Mary Fratella passed away peacefully on Wednesday, July 8, 2020 at Saint Clare’s Hospital in Dover. She had shared 97 years of unconditional love, laughter, and amazing memories with family and friends.
Born and raised in Newark to the late John and Carmela D’Andrea, she was the oldest of two children to bless the D’Andrea household. Mary graduated from Girls Vocational and Technical High School in Newark, class of 1940. A devoted hard-working single mother of two, she made a very successful career for herself working for many years at Essex County Hospital in Belleville as a Seamstress. A woman of many fine accessories, she also thoroughly enjoyed her part-time employment at Ohrbach’s Department Store in Newark. Eventually, she retired at age 62 to become a full-time caregiver for her mother, Carmela. In 1969, Mary married her soulmate and best friend, Domenic Fratella; unfortunately, their time together was cut short by a tragic accident when Domenic passed in 1976.
Mary would give a stranger the shirt off her back, literally. She was the most tenderhearted, compassionate, kind, giving, and loving woman you would ever meet. Anyone who had the privilege of crossing paths with Mary knew they were in the presence of a true Angel on earth. Her family was her pride and joy and she reveled every moment spent with them. Her guilty pleasure was watching Blue Bloods, Law & Order, Lifetime and the Hallmark channel – so please think of her the next time you find yourself tuning in to any one of the shows, knowing she is smiling down and watching it with you. Although we are deeply saddened by her passing, we take comfort in knowing she is now reunited with so many loved ones that went before her; her beloved husband, Domenic, her son, William “Bill” Luca, her brother and sister-in-law, Anthony and Angela Pallino, and her parents.
She leaves a lifetime of priceless reminiscings to her adored daughter and son-in-law, Marlene and Dominic Battaglia; her caring step-son, Ray Fratella and his family; her dear daughter-in-law, Bernadette Luca; her cherished granddaughter and best friend, Christina McCauley and her husband Michael; her loving grandsons, Jonathan Luca and his wife Barbara and Christopher Luca and his wife Ellen, and their late mother, Judith “Judy” Luca; her treasured great-grandchildren, Patrick and Ryan McCauley, and Benjamin, Nicholas, Thomas, and Henry Luca; her nieces and nephew, Gary, Janis, and Donna; and many more extended family and friends.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Wednesday, July 15th at 10 am at St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church, 15 Myers Avenue, Denville. Burial will follow at Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington. Relatives and friends are welcome to visit with the family on Tuesday, July 14th from 3 - 6 pm at Norman Dean Home for Services, 16 Righter Avenue, Denville. Donations in her memory are welcome to the good work of the American Heart Association by way of www.inmemof.org.
Please leave a condolence, light a candle, and share your favorite memory of Mary here to continue to celebrate the beautiful life she endowed with us.