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Mary Tafarella

1924 - 2019
Mary Tafarella
September 24, 1924 - September 28, 2019
Resident of San Jose
The light of our lives, Mary Toshiko Walker Tafarella, passed away Saturday, September 28, 2019 at the age of 95 years in Campbell. Mary was born on September 24, 1924 in Nagasaki, Japan. She will be forever missed by her loving daughter, Sarina A. Tafarella-Gonzales; her oldest son, Peter A. Tafarella; her son-in -law, Robert J. Gonzales; her step-brother, Denis Walker and his wife, Noriyo Walker; and many whose lives were touched by knowing her.
The Walker Family home Is in Nagasaki, Japan, and is part of the Glover Estate Complex, which is a nationally recognized tribute to the first European settlers who established Nagasaki as an international port of call in the 1800's.
Mary was one of the very few, but very fortunate survivors of the 1945 Atomic bombing of Nagasaki. This traumatic experience left her with emotional and physical scars that remained with her the rest of her life.
Her strict, but disciplined early schooling at a Catholic Convent run by French nuns helped her to develop a mastery of foreign language, and she became fluent in French, Japanese, and English.
Her language skills served her well during and after the war. After Japan's surrender in 1945 she was called upon to act as a translator between the U.S. military Occupational Forces and the Japanese. It was during this time that she met Army Master Sgt Tony Tafarella who worked for the U. S. Army Intelligence Department. They were married after a long courtship, and Tony's career in the military required them to travel between the U.S. and Japan for over 20 years, until they settled in San Jose in 1968. They raised four children together.
Mary would survive the heart wrenching loss of her beloved husband, Tony; as well as the death of her youngest daughter, Patricia; and the untimely death of her youngest son, Michael.
She would spend the remainder of her life in preferred, quiet solitude. She kept herself busy with activities that she enjoyed like reading, writing, studying language, history, politics, poetry, ceramics and painting, floral arranging, cooking, and gardening.
She was a loving, gentle and very kind human being and was devoted entirely to her family. She asked for nothing, gave tirelessly to others needs, and was always there to lean on......she was our guiding light and our beacon of hope. She was strong, courageous, determined, and always there to support us in any endeavor. She was a survivor and a true believer. She was a rare and precious jewel with unlimited brilliance and her light will shine forever in our hearts.
We pray that she will be reunited with all those beloved ones who departed before her and that she will have everlasting joy and happiness, and peace, until we meet again.
A quiet, private, graveside ceremony was held in her honor on Thursday, October 3, 2019 at Gate of Heaven Catholic Cemetery in Los Altos

View the online memorial for Mary Tafarella
Published in San Jose Mercury News/San Mateo County Times on Oct. 6, 2019
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