Mary Cordelia Ossi
Norfolk - Mary Cordelia Bell "Diddie" Ossi, 46, departed this life 4 February 2013 after a courageous battle with metastatic melanoma. She is survived by her husband Alessandro Ossi, two sons Nicholas Reid and Thomas Cameron, her father Dr. Charles Edward Bell, Jr., her mother Mary Carlotta Duncan Bell, one sister Carlotta Bell "Lottie" Cochran and her husband Tommy, and two brothers Charles Edward Bell III and his wife Susan, and Christopher Duncan Bell and his wife Terri.
Diddie was a devoted wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend. Her commitment to each of these relationships was extraordinary and each person who was fortunate enough to be part of her life was made to feel deeply connected to her and an important part of her life. Diddie had an easy and gentle nature, unwavering positive outlook, and most of all, a love of making things fun. Everyone wanted to be with Diddie.
In her 23 years as an educator in the Norfolk Public Schools, she was honored to have been able to serve her community and felt her responsibility to her students, parents, and colleagues deeply. She first taught at Camp Allen Elementary and then Larchmont Elementary, which she herself had attended and her mother had also been a teacher. Her devotion and success with each of her students was unspoken proof that she believed that "every child can learn" long before it became an NPS motto. As a colleague, she was always ready to mentor, a willing team player, and a trusted advisor, all with a laser focus on the children.
As part of a very talented musical family, Diddie was an accomplished musician from an early age, studying piano with Mary Ruffin for many years and later voice as a coloratura soprano at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. Accompanists loved her professionalism and confidence, and of course her superior performance. She and her husband Alex sang in the St. Paul's Choir for many years.
Funeral services will be held at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Norfolk on Sunday, February 10 at 2 o'clock.
The family is grateful to all those who have been so generous with their time in caring for Diddie and the family during this very difficult time. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the St. Paul's Church general fund or Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
Published in The Virginian Pilot on Feb. 7, 2013