September 12, 1922 - February 28, 2014
Resident of San Jose
Marie passed away February 28th at the age of 92 surrounded by her children and grandchildren.
She was born in Campobello Di Mazara, Sicily on September 12, 1922. In early childhood the family moved to Casablanca, Morocco, then a French colony. As a young woman she worked as a seamstress, a talent she passed on to her daughter. She married John, her best friend's brother in 1943 and the couple enjoyed a happy life in spite of war time shortages. They managed to have fun camping on the beach, near the family's farm house, dragging a household of equipment to the water front so that they could cook pasta and fresh fish with extended family. The couple spent many evenings with family and friends, dancing to the accordion playing the waltz and the tango.
They enjoyed long summer vacations driving through Spain, Portugal, France and England. In 1950 they made a pilgrimage to Rome for the "Holy Year" where she was touched and blessed by the Pope while standing in a huge crowd at St. Peter's Square. The following year they started their family and later, immigrated to San Jose in 1961 to join her mother, father and siblings.
Marie was an unpretentious woman who enjoyed a simple life as a devoted wife, mother and grandmother. She was especially attentive to her grandchildren who spent lots of time with "Mémé", French for grandmother. She thrived on cooking hot after-school snacks, made with love. She cooked her delicious spaghetti sauce every Sunday well into her 90th year, which her grandchildren cherish to this day. She also found great joy spending time with her extended family, especially at annual reunions.
She is survived by her daughter, Marie-Jeanne and her son-in-law, Geoff Dyer; her son Marc "Tony" Zammit and his husband Wayne Crabbs; her grandchildren Nicholas and Natalie Albanese, the apples of her eyes; her sister Victoria Ravasco; her brother John Fagiano and sister-in-law, Angelina . Also, a wonderful extended family of nieces and nephews both in the US and France.
While her presence will be sorely missed, her children and grandchildren are comforted knowing that she is reunited with "Pépé", which had been her deepest desire since his departure in 2005. The family is especially grateful to Dr.Lila Fatemi, who took very good care of her to her last day.
Services will take place at Mission Santa Clara Cemetery, Saint Claire Chapel, March 8th at 1:30 PM. In lieu of flowers, Marie would welcome donations to a cause inspired by her patron saint; St. Anthony's Dining Room in San Francisco, CA.
Published in San Jose Mercury News/San Mateo County Times on Mar. 5, 2014