Mary, daughter of the late Anthony and Rosaria Manfredi Castanaro, died peacefully Thursday morning surrounded by her children at Geisinger Community Medical Center. She was preceded in death by her two wonderful husbands, Joseph Budney in 1963, and Wasco Dzwonczyk in 1996. Mary would have celebrated her 90th birthday on Dec. 29.
Born in Scranton, Mary was one of 10 children. She left school in the eighth grade to help support the family. Her first job was at Lincoln Laundry, where she folded sheets for CC Camps under FDR. She was a seamstress at Lackawanna Pants for 25 years. With a strong work ethic, after retirement she continued to work at Mass Feeding Corporation and for Joe Cognetti at Notarianni Produce, which was one of her favorite jobs.
The most important things in Mary's life were her faith, cherished family and friends. She had a heart of gold and was very kind, compassionate and generous throughout her life. She loved to cook and was well known for her "pizzelle cookies," meatballs, and the legacy of "canning," which has been passed on to her children. She loved to hand out all of her favorite meals to her family and friends. Mary also loved to garden, travel and listen to polkas and Italian music. She was a loyal member of the Zonta Club, After 50 Club, and the Blessed Sacrament Society of Jesus and Mary. She was a member of Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary Church (St. Paul of the Cross Parish) since 1944. She was also very devoted to St. Ann's Novena.
It not only "takes a village to raise a child," but also to care for the elderly. The family would like to express their sincere gratitude to Mary's wonderful neighbors in Moosic, especially Kathy and Henry Boyle; and Joan and Tom Preston, who were always there for her; the staff at the Life Geisinger Day Program; Erin Williamson and Jerry Tolerico, all of whom very lovingly and caringly enabled her to live in her beloved home for as long as she could. We would also like to thank the second floor and recreation staff at the Jewish Home where she became a resident, as well as the medical staff at Geisinger CMC, where she passed on to Heaven. Mary was a strong, independent and very funny woman who will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved her.
She is survived by her three children, daughters, Carol Matiskella, Tunkhannock; Rosemary Opshinsky and husband, Frank, Dalton; and a son, Joseph Budney and wife, Ann Marie (Angie), Scranton; seven grandchildren, Stephen Matiskella, Stacey Horan and husband TJ; Justin, Adam, and Christian Budney; Olga and Nick Opshinsky; one great-grandchild, Callen Horan. She is also survived by five brothers, John, Casper and wife, Theresa; Frank and wife, Mary; Joseph and wife, Marlene; and Mike and wife, Maryann; and two sisters, Clare Puzzo and Antoinette Cox.
Two sisters, Spinarda Yanni, and Rose Naughton; and son-in-law, Paul Matiskella, also preceded her in death. She also has many nieces and nephews.
The funeral will be Monday at 9:15 a.m. from the Nicholas Chomko Funeral Home, 1132 Prospect Ave., South Scranton, with Mass of Christian Burial at 10 in Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary Church, South Scranton, to be celebrated by the Rev. Scott P. Sterowski, pastor of St. Paul of the Cross Parish. Interment, Cathedral Cemetery, West Scranton.
Friends may call Sunday from 2 to 6 p.m.