Molly Blayney was an active part of Upper East Side life, always helping friends and neighbors in need
“Molly embodied a person who did random acts of kindness for no reason except that it was her persona,” said her friend and colleague Rita Popper. After working as an advertising executive for many years, she dedicated her time to her community on the Upper East Side. She was always fighting for causes that helped her neighbors, focusing her attention on improving the lives of senior citizens.
As a member of Community Board 8, Manhattan, Molly worked as a leader at Seniors Resourcing Solutions, and with the Eviction Intervention Services (EIS). Her efforts with the EIS helped save 40,000 senior citizens from being evicted from their residences. Never losing her enthusiasm for life, she inspired those around her to stay active both physically, and mentally.
Additionally, Molly was a member of the East 79th St. Neighborhood Association where she worked fervently to establish an outdoor adult activity area in John Jay Park. She worked to add more seating areas, picnic tables, bi-weekly yoga and exercise classes allowing seniors a place to stay active and socialize with one another.
“Molly took such great pleasure in organizing the exercise classes so that seniors would have a place to socialize,” said Betty Cooper Wallerstein, president of the East 79th Street Neighborhood Association. She described Molly as “loads of fun. She was witty, she was dedicated, she was sincere.”
Molly had a unique ability to make every person in her life feel appreciated.
“What struck me was how many members related [to] how she reached out to them,” said fellow Community Board 8 member Nick Viest. “She would also help members in unexpected ways, like finding a cab for someone who wasn’t able to get around as easily, or write a note to someone if she felt they were having a hard time.” She contributed with sensitivity and a big heart to the things that she did, from daily emails with neighbors to sending personalized gifts to her coworkers just to brighten their day.
Beyond the work she did for the community, Molly was an adventurous entrepreneur. She owned and operated a theme driven boutique on the Upper East Side where she would completely change the décor and inventory with each new season. Some of the themes included Christmas in New York, Holiday in New York, and A Victorian Holiday. She also published two books inspired by her interest in Victorians, “Happy Anniversary,” and “Wedded Bliss, A Victorian Bride’s Handbook.”
“Each time you saw her, it was as if she just walked right out of the pages in Vogue,” said friend Randy Rosen. “Molly’s generosity seemed endless; she never took anyone or anything for granted. That was her way. Her charisma brightened so many lives, and warmed the hearts of everyone lucky enough to have crossed her path.”
Molly was born in San Diego, CA on Aug 30th, 1937. Her parents were Albert John Dolan and Madeline Carey Dolan. She is survived by her sister Colleen Dolan Brown, niece Barbra Yancey Franklin, nephews Bill Yancey, Mark Yancey, all of San Diego, and her predeceased brother Al Dolan’s daughters Delynn Dolan Alexander of Raleigh, NC and Leann Dolan Coward of Dallas, TX.
There will be a memorial in her honor at the Church of the Epiphany at 1393 York Avenue (at 74th Street) on March 10, 2014 at 4 p.m. Reception to follow. Gifts in memory of Molly may be sent to Church of the Epiphany’s Wednesday Homeless Dinner Program.
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