Mary Dolores Mazza, aged 85, passed away on October 30, 2018 surrounded by her loving family, following a brave and courageous battle with dementia. Mary was born on April 7, 1933 in New Haven, Connecticut to the late Vincenza Giampetro and Felice Panagrosso. She was predeceased by a sister, Louise Bottino and five brothers, Ralph, Alfred, Mario, Gerald and William, and her husband Vito Michael Mazza. She is survived by her big brother, Paul.
Mary was the heart of her family. She was a devoted mother and grandmother. She loved to cook and host family Sunday dinners and holiday gatherings serving delicious Italian meals. Mary loved living near the beach in West Walk. She would take daily strolls on the boardwalk meeting many friends and acquaintances along the way. Her smile welcomed everyone.
After raising her children, Mary spent 15 years in the West Haven school system including time at St. Lawrence School teaching math and reading as a paraprofessional. Mary loved the children, greatly admired her colleagues and found the work gratifying.
Mary was always willing to help those in need. She worked with her husband to form Hunger, Relief and Development, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to feeding the children of the United States and Haiti. Her charitable endeavors also included raising money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and The United Way. Mary also helped raise money for Mother Teresa's charities. Mary had the honor of meeting and spending time with Mother Teresa, Pope John Paul II and had dinner at the White House with President Jimmy Carter.
Mary is survived by her four beloved children: Vito Mazza and his wife Anna DiCicco Mazza of Milford, CT, Frances Mazza Chung and her husband Richard Chung of Monroe, CT, Mary Mazza and her partner David Peterson of Brooklyn, NY and Diane Mazza (Ben) of Hamden, CT. Mary is also survived by her grandchildren, the loves of her life, Amanda, Zachary, Sophie, Christian and Krystie, and a great-grandchild, Olivia.
At Mary's request, services will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her memory to the Alzheimer's Association by visiting www.alz.org/donate or by calling 1-800-272-3900. Please indicate that 100% of the donation should be directed to research.
Published in The New Haven Register from Nov. 2 to Nov. 3, 2018