Obituary of Mary T. Cicero
On December 28th our sweet, devoted mother, Mary T. Cicero, cashed in the last of her Harrah's comp points and peacefully joined her loved ones waiting for her in heaven.
Mary T. was the daughter of John and Della De Koning of Garden City, Long Island. In her early years, older sister Ronnie ("Sis") and beloved big brothers John ("Brother"), Frankie and Donald watched over and doted on her. Mary was over the moon with the arrival of her baby brother Lenny making their loud, loving Irish family complete. As a teenager, she helped the war effort in a job assembling parts for fighter airplanes and later worked in the bright lights of midtown Manhattan as a secretary. Unbeknownst to many, Mary was also a local beauty contest winner, Miss Gedney Electric- a fact she reminded her daughters of frequently as they grew up. Nursing called to her later on, a profession that allowed her caring, loving nature to shine through, traits that endured and touched so many throughout her life. Mary’s career eventually led her to AT&T Capital Corporation a job that she thrived in and cherished.
After marrying and settling in Parsippany, NJ, her life quickly became a happy whirlwind, a constant circus of activity and energy. It amazed everyone how she seemed to effortlessly juggle the care of all 6 kids while making it look so simple. Sons Joseph and George Jr. kept her on her toes, while daughters Frances Ann, Mary Ann, Jo Anne & Kelly Anne kept the house lively and festive. Lena “Morgie” Morgan helped Mom along the way with unending devotion, and was a beloved friend to Mom and to all in the family.
Mary T. was a devout Christian who found solace and joy in praying her novenas regularly. She was a dedicated volunteer to St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church & School in Parsippany as well as at Morris Catholic High School in Denville.
Mom loved her summers spent with her children in the Poconos and enjoyed close friendships there with her tennis gal-pals. She delighted in opening her home – and her heart - to a constant flow of visitors to the Pocono house. During one winter stay she even managed to convince a few visiting St. Peter's Dominican nuns to take a spin on the snowmobiles! Mary also enjoyed time in Brigantine NJ with her family, relaxing on the beach by day and trying her luck down the road in AC in the evenings.
Mom deeply valued her close bond with her next door neighbor, Liz Rauchberg, who was a life-long confidant and friend. She treasured her relationships with her sisters-in-law Shirley, Winnie, Eleanor and Helen. Mom’s spirit shined especially bright in the presence of her special “partner-in-crime” Antoinette Ognibene - or Aunt Jean - who was adored and loved by all, and the family is so happy and at peace that the two are together again, hand in hand, in heaven.
Mary was a true force to be reckoned with when it came to things she held dear to her heart; family feasts using the “good china", her sneaky backhand volley, finding a $10 blackjack table, hunting down fabulous shoes, and only buying Boar's Head cold cuts. She relished and accomplished all this while deftly keeping all of her children and grandkids in line.
While many thought having raised 6 kids before the days of disposable diapers, baby wipes and car seats would qualify for a quiet retirement, Mary T. caught a remarkable second wind. When her grandchildren started arriving, she was in her glory. Mary Frances & William (Gene) were the Pennsylvania babies. Daniel, Dylan, George Jr. and Tyler were her local NJ joys, and Jamie, Thomas and “the twins", Michael & Christopher, visited often from Chicago. And she always worried that “the babies” - MaryKate, Pamela Jean & Tommy – would be warm enough during their Wisconsin winters.
Mom taught her children, and those around her, how to enjoy and appreciate the little things, how to persevere, endure and learn from life's challenges, and how to live life to its fullest. Nothing stood in her way of making her children and grandchildren the center of her life, dedicating all of her time, love and attention (and the occasional wooden spoon…) to them. It is this all-giving, selfless spirit that epitomizes Mary and captures how she touched so many lives.
Mom’s many life lessons could fill a book and will endure forever: “Blackjack Tips For When Not to Hold on 18”, or “101 Uses for Ammonia in Our Homes” or, “Making Aunt Jean’s Magical Meatballs”. She was a treasure to us in countless ways, and we will miss her smiles and constant encouragement and reminders to "go easy" in her NY accent.
We find peace that she has reunited with our loved ones in heaven. We can only smile when we dip into our endless well of wonderful memories and stories we have of Mom. Please rest peacefully and enjoy all that heaven has in store for your wonderful next chapter.
We love you Mom/Nana -
Joseph, Kristen & Matthew....Fran, Don, Mary & Gene....George, Denise, George Jr. & Tyler....Mary Ann, Jim, Jamie, Tommy, Michael & Christopher....Jo Anne, Chris, Danny & Dylan...Kelly, Andy, MaryKate, Pamela Jean & Tommy.
Our family would like to send a heartfelt thank you and express our sincere gratitude to the staff of Holly Manor Center in Mendham, NJ for their extraordinary loving care and attention to our mother. Your dedication and devotion to her well-being during her last years have been comforting to us all, and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place on Monday, January 2 at 1:30pm at St. Mary's Church, 15 Myers Ave, Denville. Donations can be made in her memory to Wisconsin Lions Camp Wish List by way of www.inmemoryof-memorial.org.