It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved Mother, Grandmother, Great-Grandmother, Sister, Aunt and Friend, Mary Theresa Gannon Panatieri, age 93, on April 29, 2018. We were blessed to have her in our lives for all these years. Mary was born in Pittston, PA, the second child of the late Lorena (Clisham) and John Gannon. In 1946, she moved to CT with her family, and became a permanent resident. Mary was the beloved wife of the late Santino Panatieri for 29 years. Widowed at a young age, she became a very independent woman. She possessed the attribute of common sense, was a woman of faith, blessed with remarkable inner strength and courage.
In the late 1960s, Mary was an active volunteer for St. Charles Parish School and was also a former officer of St. Charles Council of Catholic Women in Bridgeport, serving as treasurer. She was recognized for her volunteer work in the Annual Mothers March in the Fairfield County Chapter for The March of Dimes Campaign. Her home was always open and the center for any occasion for her large extended family and friends. Mary was a fabulous cook and baker. Although she was of Irish and English descent, early in her marriage she mastered cooking "Italian style"; she could make homemade macaroni, polenta, gnocchi, and spaghetti sauce better than most Italians by birth. Mary relished the experience of the effect of light: the radiant sun, the moon, the star lit sky on a clear night, Christmas lights, harbor lights, and Fireworks on the 4th. By faith, she now lives in the light of the Lord.
When her children were grown, she had the opportunity to travel and happily took advantage of it. Mary celebrated her 60th birthday in Hawaii and California. She enjoyed trips to Bermuda, the Bahamas, Aruba, Saint Thomas, and within the USA. She celebrated her 75th Birthday in San Antonio on the Riverwalk with all three of her children. Affectionately called "The Queen mother", she kept a close watch on her family. Mary's 90th Birthday was a memorable celebration with family, extended family and friends. She received the Papal Blessing from Pope Francis to mark this special occasion.
Left to honor her memory and remember her love are her children: Pauline Panatieri of Westerly, RI, Mary (Robert) Ventresca of Shelton, CT and Gerald Panatieri of Indianapolis, IN; Grandchildren: Paula (Ray) Bosari of Stratford, CT, Robert (Charisse) Ventresca, Jr. of Newtown, CT, Pamela (Michael) Vagnini of Southbury, CT, Patricia Gabriele, and Lauren Ventresca, both of Shelton, CT. Great-grandchildren: Kayla, Ryan and Ray III Borsari, Madison, Aidan and McKenna Ventresca Alyssa, Amanda and Robert Vagnini, Landon and Ava Gabriele; her loving brother and sister, Thomas J. Gannon and Constance White of Bridgeport, CT. She is also survived by her nieces and nephews: Norman Brooks, Linda Brooks, Karen (Felipe) Rosa, Lorena (Anthony) Merida, Constance Deaso, Alfred (Donna) Panatieri, Barbara Antonovich and great-nephew Austin (Samantha) Cook. She was pleased to have in her life, longtime friend and advisor of 40 years and daughter by heart, Emilia Mascaro, also her friend and neighbor Claudia Bennett. She was predeceased by her siblings: Rosalyn Andrews, John Gannon, Jr, and Carol Deaso.
The family wishes to express their heartfelt thanks to Pamela Gau, APRN, of Northeast Medical, who served as Mary's Primary Care Provider with expertise and caring nursing intervention over the years. Mom considered her as family, always respected her decisions, and was completely comfortable in her presence.
At her request, there will be no calling hours. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at her longtime parish church, Our Lady of Grace, Second Hill Lane in Stratford, CT on Tuesday at 11 a.m.
Following the Mass, she will be laid to rest in St. Michael's Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, please say a prayer for Mary and perform an act of kindness for someone.
Memorial donations in her name may be sent to: The Little Sisters of the Poor, 1365 Enfield Street, Enfield, CT, 06082.
Cyril F. Mullins Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.