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Mary Ellen Sprague

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Mary Ellen Sprague Obituary
Sprague, Mary Ellen

March 11, 1953 - October 25, 2012

Mary Ellen Sprague, 59, passed away peacefully at her home in Ithaca on Thursday, October 25, 2012, surrounded by her loving family. She waged a determined battle against breast cancer for a number of years. At her death our lives were dimmed and a beautiful soul departed this earth. Born in Ithaca, NY but raised in Vestal, NY, she was the oldest child of Enrico and Kathleen Kavanagh Zizzi. After high school she returned to Ithaca where she lived the remainder of her life. Mary Ellen is survived by her adoring husband of 34 years, David W. Sprague; and her loving children, Michael and Samantha. She is survived by her immediate family of David A. and Phyllis Sprague, Nancy Cleveland, Jamie and Pete Bernard, Larry and Dawn Sprague, Mark and Elaine Zizzi, Kathy Suisman, Jim and Shannon Sprague, Michael Zizzi, Carol Sprague, Jody Zizzi, Lynn and Bill Bobb, Angela Zizzi, Dan Cleveland and Tim Bordoni. She is also survived by numerous special nieces and nephews. Mary Ellen was known for her ferocious love for her children, her soft spot for cats, her love of music and singing, her sense of humor and the many friends she cherished. She was an aerobics instructor for 20 years. She owned and operated the unique retail store, BodyGear Fitness and Dance, and was close to many people in the dance community. Her greatest talent and love was gardening. Her gardens were featured a number of times in the Fall Creek garden tour and she received a citation from the Ithaca Garden Club for her front yard garden. She spent hours in her gardens, with her cats, at peace with all that surrounded her. She has left us with an immeasurable gift as her gardens will return each spring to fill us with hope and renewal. Mary Ellen was predeceased by her father, Enrico Zizzi; her mother, Kathleen Kavanagh Zizzi; her lifelong friend, Cathy Fairbanks; and her nephew, USMC CPL Christopher D. Bordoni. David would like to thank the doctors, nurses and staff at Cayuga Hematology Oncology Associates. The nurses made life easier for us especially Kat, Jo, Hannah, Jenn and Laura. Thank you also to Dr. Julie Campbell whose care for Mary Ellen was only exceeded by her kindness. He would also like to thank their good friends Shirley Ladd and Joni Landau for making Mary Ellen's final hours filled with peace and comfort. A very special thank you and much love to Suzy Freitas (Aunt Suzy) for a lifetime of love and support for Mary Ellen and her family and for all she continues to do for us to this day. Friends may call on Tuesday, October 30th, from 4 to 6 p.m. at Bangs Funeral Home. All are welcome to Services at St. Catherine of Sienna Church on Hanshaw Rd. on Wednesday the 31st at 10:30. A Celebration of Mary Ellen's life will be held at a later date in November. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to the Tompkins County S.P.C.A. or to Hospicare & Palliative Care of Tompkins County.

Published in Ithaca Journal from Oct. 29 to Oct. 31, 2012
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