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May 2, 1957 - Nov. 23, 2013
Mary Jo Zacchero-Smith, 56, of Bradenton, died suddenly on Nov. 23, 2013.
She was born in Mt. Lebanon, PA and was formerly of Washington, DC. She is survived by her husband of almost 13 years, Brian M. Smith, her mother, Frances Zacchero and her brother, Charles (Chuck) Zacchero, all of Bradenton, FL; stepson, Brian Smith, Jr., his wife, Maria and grandson, Dominic, of Phoenix, AZ; stepdaughters, Quinn Smith of Killeen, TX and Sidnie Smith, PFC US Army, currently stationed in South Korea; lifelong friends, Ann Cecchetti of Bradenton, FL and Stephen Lerner of Washington, DC; and many devoted friends from the Bradenton Yacht Club and around the world. She was predeceased by her father, Frank Zacchero. Mary Jo graduated from Georgetown University with Honors in 1979. She had an amazing work ethic and while still in school took a position in Congressman Doug Walgren's office. She worked on the Mondale Presidential campaign. She moved back to Pittsburgh and was a special assistant to the Director of the Department of Energy's Pittsburgh Energy Technology Center (now the National Energy Technology Laboratory), several years later she transferred to the Department of Energy's Headquarters, Office of Fossil Energy as a speech, Congressional testimony and technical writer. Also during her tenure at the Energy Department, she was a writer and an executive assistant to the Assistant Secretaries for the Offices of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and Environmental Safety and Health. She retired in 2005 and became a consultant for several health and safety organizations focusing on the effects of radiation. Also following Georgetown, she received her certification from American University in Washington, DC for teaching English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). She was devoted to her family and friends, always willing to help someone in need. She loved sports especially the Pittsburgh Pirates and Steelers and attended many of their games with her father as she was growing up. She studied Italian for many years and spent a month in Italy improving her language skills. A devotee of opera, she volunteered as an usher at the Sarasota Opera House. She loved travel and celebrated her 50th birthday in Lucca, Italy with her husband and close friends. Besides Italy and within the US, she traveled to France, Spain, Germany, England, Ireland, Croatia, Morocco, Gibraltar, South Africa, Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Bahamas, Jamaica, Dominica, the US Virgin Islands and British Virgin Islands where she spent a lot of time cruising with her husband on their sailboat, Pinguino, named for her love of penguins which she had 48 plush ones from various places. She was very active in the Bradenton Yacht Club on the Communications and Membership Committees and in the past the Entertainment Committee and was part of the Sail Cruisers. She was a member of the Georgetown Alumni Association, the Sarasota Opera and the Bradenton Yacht Club. She was loved and will be greatly missed. A Mass will be held on Monday, December 2, 2013 at 2pm at Saints Peter & Paul Catholic Church on 75th Street in West Bradenton. A Celebration of Life will be held on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 from 5-7pm at the Bradenton Yacht Club in Palmetto. Brown & Sons Funeral Homes & Crematory 43rd Street Chapel in charge. Condolences www.brownandsonsfuneral.com.
Brown and Sons 43rd Street - Bradenton
604 43rd Street West
Bradenton, FL 34209
Published in Herald Tribune from Dec. 1 to Dec. 2, 2013