Mary G. Valentino SchenectadyOn Thursday morning, after a brief illness, Mary G. Valentino was lifted by the gentle arms of the Lord to join her husband and son in heaven. Mary, 93, a daughter of Biagio and Antonietta (Melone) Dardanelli, was born in Piana Di Caiazzo, Italy, and immigrated to this country with her parents and sisters at a young age. Mary was first and foremost a wonderful wife and mother, and her children were the light of her life. She was an excellent cook and enjoyed preparing meals for her family and friends. Once her children were grown, she decided to join the workforce. She spent several years working as a comparison shopper for Almart Department Store until she was able to get her foot in the door as an employee of New York State Office of General Services in the janitorial department. Mary was a consummate business woman, testing her way higher and higher at OGS until reaching the position of building management specialist, a position she held until her retirement. Over the years she collected a large library of cookbooks from around the world. She also enjoyed watching food and cooking channels, giving Annette the task of making certain recipes for her girls, as she referred to her caregivers. She had a passion for gardening, and could often be seen tending her beautiful perennial gardens from dawn until dusk. She loved to shop, and was one of the original fashionistas. Mary had such a happy and sunny personality and would invite everyone she saw taking walks in front of her house in for tea, especially if they were accompanied by a baby or dog. Mary had an unwavering faith in God. She was a member of St. Paul the Apostle Roman Catholic Church, was past Regent of the Catholic Daughters of America and a long-time member of the St. Paul's Rosary Society. Her gorgeous voice could be heard singing in the church choir for many years. Mary was predeceased by her loving husband of many years, Warren. She was also predeceased by her son, Michael Lee Valentino. She is survived by her daughter, Annette Wheat and her husband, Ray; her sisters, Anne Coyle and Amelia White; her brother, William Dardanelli, and his wife, Celeste; her daughter-in-law, Barbara Valentino; beloved grandson, Michael B. Valentino and his wife, Jill; great-granddaughter, Saige Angeline Valentino, who was such a joy in her life, and many adored nieces and nephews. Annette's husband, Ray, Mary's much-loved caregiver (who she always referred to as her right arm), Dee Howard, and Annette's best friend, Pamela Dintrone, helped Mary leave this world with all the dignity and grace she so deserved, for which Annette will be eternally grateful. Annette and Ray would also like to thank Mary's companions, Kanisha, Cory and Jody who brought comfort and fun to her life over the past year, watching her favorite Shirley Temple movies with her, cooking special meals to tempt her with and just being there for her. They would also like to thank the nursing staff at Ellis Hospital C4 Unit and her wonderful Hospice nurse, Barb and volunteers. Family and friends are invited to call at the Rossi & Ditoro Funeral Home on Monday evening from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Services will be held on Tuesday morning at 8 a.m. from the Rossi & Ditoro Funeral Home, Union and N. Jay Streets, then to St. Paul the Apostle Church, 2777 Albany Street, Schenectady, NY, where a Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 9 a.m. Interment will follow at St. Joseph's Cemetery, Kings Road, Schenectady. For online condolences, please visit www.rossiditorofuneralhome.com
. In lieu of flowers, kindly consider donations in memory of Mary G. Valentino to the Dominican Retreat and Conference Center, 1945 Union Street, Niskayuna, NY 12309.