Mary Rose MacKinnon

PORTLAND – Mary Rose MacKinnon crossed to the other side in early May after a valiant battle with Stage IV metastatic breast cancer. She passed peacefully at her home in Portland, her daughter and husband by her side. She was 60.Mary Rose was born in 1960 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the third child of Dr. Bernard MacKinnon and Margaret Loretta MacKinnon (MacDonald). Her family lived throughout the Maritimes, moving with her father’s practice. The family emigrated to the United States when she was a child, settling in Hartford, Conn., then Portland, and ultimately Yarmouth. Mary Rose attended Nathan Clifford Middle School and Yarmouth High School. She graduated from the University of Maine at Orono and received a master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Southern Maine. After living in Toronto in her 20’s, Mary Rose returned to Maine and settled in her beloved Portland. She began her career with L.L. Bean in 1993, selling footwear in the retail store, then quickly advancing to the Creative Department where she became Photography Team Leader, traveling throughout the state and around the county coordinating catalog photo shoots. She then advanced to Public Affairs where she became a Public Relations Representative and ultimately Manager, focusing on media relationships and product placement. Mary Rose had a significant impact on the awareness and sales of the L.L. Bean brand. She continued to work for the company until her passing.Mary Rose was widely known and loved for her kindness and optimism. In her family, social, and work lives, she radiated a joy that was infectious. She was a passionately devoted mother, filling her children’s lives with love and guidance, and adventures great and small. She married the love of her life, James Hoban, and they spent 23 wonderful years together. Mary Rose approached life with enthusiasm, wonder, and an appetite for all it had to offer. A foodie long before there was such a term, she reveled in good cooking both fine and simple, and always had an adventurous palate at home and abroad. Ever proud of her Canadian heritage, family trips to Montreal, Quebec City, and other Canadian cities were a highlight of almost every year. Trips around the Holidays to her husband’s native New York City also were a joyous ritual. True to her L.L.Bean ethos, she loved the outdoors and always took the lead in planning family adventures in the woods and on the water. But she was truly happiest at her home on Montrose Ave. Mary Rose adored her charming old house and was always investing in and improving it. She reveled in quiet evenings at home, her Pug curled up on her lap. Her home became the preferred gathering place for family and friends for many occasions, year after year, and her hospitality was legendary. She built a home on a foundation of love that will endure in her honor.Mary Rose fought cancer with a bravery and grace that was nothing short of remarkable. Not once did she ever say “why me?” or succumb to bitterness or despair. She faced her diagnosis with a clear-eyed resolution and unshakable hope, no matter how many setbacks she endured. She was filled with gratitude for her medical team and they in turn adored her and went the extra mile. And all through the journey, no matter how much cancer took away, she always found joy in the life she could retain, and wonder in simple pleasures. Mary Rose was a study in strength and class in the face of adversity.Mary Rose is survived by her children, Oona MacKinnon-Hoban and Brendan Hoban, her husband, her mother, her siblings Bernard, John, Paula, Carol Ann, Ellen, Ron, and their spouses and children. She is predeceased by her father. A private memorial Mass will take place in late June. A celebration of her life will be held when social restrictions are lifted. Please visit to sign Mary Rose’s online guest book. Donations to METAvivor ( are encouraged. METAvivor supports research and awareness of Stage IV metastatic breast cancer.

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