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Mary A. (Donovan) Corvo

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CORVO, Mary A. (Donovan) Mary A. (Donovan) Corvo, wife of the late Max Corvo passed away Wednesday evening, (November 24, 2004) at her residence at Wadsworth Glen Health Care Center. She is survived her three children, Mark Corvo and his wife, Mary of Cromwell, William Corvo and his wife, Betty of Farmington, and MaryJo Corvo-Angus and her husband, James Angus of Chicago, lL. She is also survived by seven grandchildren, Andrea Charlier, Sean Angus, Max Corvo and his wife, Kara, Robert Corvo, Greg Corvo, Brian Corvo and Andrew Corvo. Born in Cleveland, OH, on Thanksgiving Day, November 29, 1917, she was the daughter of the late William Francis Donovan and Mary (Sales) Donovan. After a brief career as a legal secretary in Cleveland, OH she enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1943 where she was transferred to the Office of Strategic Services (OSS- the precursor to the CIA). She served in the OSS office in London, England during World War II and returned to the United States to attend Officers Candidate School. She achieved the rank of 1st Lieutenant and was named to head the review office of Awards and Decorations under the direction of General William "Wild Bill" Donovan (no direct relation) in Washington, D.C. In 1945 she met and married Major Max (Biagio) Corvo who had also served in the OSS as Chief of Operations of the Secret Intelligence Section for OSS Italy from 1942 to 1945. After the war they moved to Rome, Italy and established an international business-consulting firm. They returned to Middletown, in 1948 where they established The Middletown Bulletin Incorporated, a newspaper publishing company that published a number of weekly bi-lingual Italian and English newspapers in Connecticut including the Middletown Bulletin, the Hartford Bulletin, the New Haven Bulletin and the Waterbury Bulletin. Mary Corvo served in the capacity of Corporate Secretary and also as the publisher. Their offices were originally located at 386 Washington Street but later moved to 790 Ridge Road in Middletown. In 1962 she moved with her husband and family to Catania, Italy where they worked and resided until 1967. While in Catania, Italy, Mary Corvo was actively involved in the American Friends Services Organization, which engaged in numerous charitable activities within the community. Politically active upon their return to the United States, Mary Corvo worked with her husband to help establish an effective Republican Party organization in the Middletown community. While her husband, Max worked as the campaign chairman for Republican candidates Mary worked effectively behind the scenes as a campaign organizer. Her Italian and Sicilian dialect language fluency proved invaluable in helping to get out the vote in the large Italian communities in Middletown in support of many Republican candidates in local elections, including Mayoral candidates Salvatore Cubeta, Anthony "Buddy" Sbona and Sebastian Garafalo. In addition to her business and political activities Mary Corvo was also active with the St. Sebastian parish where she served as an officer and member of the PTA of St. Sebastian School. She served actively as a fundraiser for the development of Xavier and Mercy High Schools in the early 1960s. She was an original member and long active in the Altrusa Club of Middletown where she served actively with her dear friend, Loretta White for many years. Funeral Services will be held Tuesday morning at 9 a.m. from the D'Angelo Funeral Home, 22 South Main St., Middletown followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. at St. Sebastian Church. Burial will be in the family plot in St. Sebastian Cemetery, Middlefield. Friends may call at the Funeral Home Monday from 4-8 p.m.

Published in The Hartford Courant on Nov. 27, 2004
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