Everyone of a certain age was a little bit in love with Mary Tyler Moore, To be sure her first big TV role was as the wife of comedy writer Rob Petrie in the early 1960s sitcom “The Dick Van Dyke Show.” But she dazzled in her own show, which dominated the 1970s, “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” in which she played Mary Richards, the 30 something, single producer of a local news show in Minneapolis St. Paul. She was backed by a great ensemble cast, including Ed Asner as her crusty boss Lou Grant and Ted Knight as the hapless, dim-witted news anchor Ted Baxter.

But she was the star attraction of the warm, funny, and sometimes poignant show.

It is hard to believe in the 21st Century, but depicting an unmarried woman in her 30s with a career who was not dependent on a man was considered ground breaking. The story lines of the show transcended the usual insipidness that had featured situation comedy before and has proven to be an inspiration for every such program that followed. She exuded the right balance between wholesomeness and sexiness that made her character appealing to everyone who watched the show. Who would not want to be a friend (or even more than a friend) of Mary Richards?

“The Mary Tyler Moore Show” had three spinoffs based on supporting characters, “Rhoda,” featuring Mary’s goofy but fun neighbor and best friend Rhoda Morgenstern, “Phyllis,” featuring one of her other neighbors and friends Phyllis Lindstrom, and “Lou Grant,” a newspaper drama featuring her boss.

A number of reunion shows, including one that featured all of the women of the old show on a sitcom called “Hot in Cleveland,” in 2013.

Who can forget that opening sequence in which Mary spun about in a Minneapolis street and tossing her hat in the air in sheer exuberance that spoke freedom and a hope for the future? Who can also forget that sad, yet touching finale episode in which the cast went into a group hug and could not let go even when it was time to leave?

Then Mary finally left the office and turned off the lights as the rest of the cast belted out "It's a Long Way to Tipperary."

It's a long way to Tipperary,

It's a long way to go.

It's a long way to Tipperary

To the sweetest girl I know!

Mary Tyler Moore had died at the age of 80. Farewell and good night, sweet Mare. May the afterlife bring you joy as your television appearances brought joy to millions.