EAST ISLIP, N.Y. - Mary Anna Lascari (nee Natole), 96, formerly of Bellevue, Ohio, Queens, New York, and Beverly Hills, California, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2013, at the Veterans Memorial Home, in Paramus, New Jersey.
Mary Anna was born in Bellevue, Ohio, on Jan. 30, 1917, one of 15 children, to the late Benedetto and Rosalia (nee Meleti) Natole, who had emigrated to the United States from Santa Agata di Miletello, Province of Messina, Sicily.
Mary Anna graduated from Bellevue Central High School in 1936 and worked for the former Klein Steel Company in Bellevue, and the E.B. Badger & Sons Co., Toledo, Ohio. In January 1944, she enlisted as a WAVE in the United States Navy
Reserves. She received her preliminary training at Hunter College in New York, and attended the United States Naval Training School at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and the William and Mary College in Williamsburg, Virginia, where she completed communications and Morse Code courses, advancing to the rank of Radioman Petty Officer Third Class.
While stationed at the Naval Air Station in Norfolk, Virginia, she met and fell in love with fellow Seaman, Joseph Rosario Lascari. Following her Honorable Discharge from military service, they were united in marriage on Nov. 8, 1945, at Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church in Bellevue, Ohio. She relocated with her husband to his hometown, Ozone Park, New York, where she remained until she returned to Bellevue in 1985.
Mary Anna returned to her career in 1967, working for the United States Postal Inspection Service, Jamaica, New York, from where she retired in 1979. During the early 1980s, she participated in the Veterans Administration Voluntary Service Program dedicating hundreds of hours of her time and service to the St. Albans Veterans Administration Extended Care Center in Jamaica N.Y. She returned briefly to work for the United States Census Bureau during the 1980 census and then assumed the role of House Mother in 1984-1985, helping guide young women at a home for expectant unwed mothers sponsored by the Right to Life organization.
Mary was an active member of the Catholic War Veterans, Post 1721, Queens, New York, and the American Legion Posts in Bellevue, Ohio and in Beverly Hills, California, where she lived from 1997 to 2003.
Mary absolutely loved playing any kind of word games, but Scrabble was her favorite and she would have marathon games until the wee hours of the morning with her daughters. She was a tough one to beat! She had an incredible vocabulary and not only could spell every word, but could also give you the meaning of any word. The New York Times Crossword was another one of her passions and she was a whiz at them, completing two or three puzzles every day.
Mary Anna is survived by her devoted children, Mary C. Schunk, Albuquerque N.M., Elizabeth R. Lascari, Inverness Ill., Joseph R. (Georgia) Lascari, Ansonia Conn., Theresa L. (Gerald) Kaiser, Albuquerque N.M., Stephen J. (Joy) Lascari, Ridgefield Park, N.J., Paul A. (Melanie Ellison) Lascari, Sudbury Mass., and Joan M. Zidow, Pacific Palisades Calif.; 14 grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces, nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews and great-grandnieces and grandnephews - all who loved her dearly.
She was preceded in death by her parents; all of her sibling; her husband, Joseph, of 38 years; and her beloved children, Peter John and Agnes Jean, who died in infancy and whom she now holds in her arms.
Visitation was held at the Overton Funeral Home, 172 Main St., Islip N.Y., on Sunday, Aug. 11, 2013.
The funeral Mass was held on Monday, Aug. 12, at 10:45 a.m. at St. Mary's Catholic Church, 20 Harrison Ave., East Islip N.Y. Internment followed the Mass at the Long Island National Cemetery, 2040 Wellwood Ave., Farmingdale N.Y.
A luncheon reception for family and close friends was held following the internment.
For more information, please call Overton Funeral Home at (631) 581-5085.