Mary J. (Scuderi) Sapienza, 94, died peacefully with her daughters at her side in her home at Methuen Village on Tuesday, August 7, 2018.
Born in Lawrence on March 13, 1924, Mary was the youngest child of Giuseppe and Angelina (DiPrima) Scuderi, and sister of Nunzio Scuderi. She won the gold medal for excellence at Holy Rosary Grammar School and went on to graduate from St. Mary’s High School and McIntosh Business School, receiving her certificate in accounting and business law in 1942. In 1946 she married “the boy upstairs,” Salvatore J. Sapienza, the love of her life for sixty-five years until his death in 2011.
Always recognized for her professional skills and dedication to her work, Mary served as executive secretary and office manager for the United Way of Lawrence, and at the Greater Lawrence Mental Health Center where she worked from 1958 until her retirement in 2003 at the age of 79. Her passion to “be useful” continued through volunteering – both at the front desk of Holy Family Hospital and serving customers at the Salem, NH Senior Center Thrift Shop until just last year.
Mary was a lifelong parishioner of Holy Rosary Church and a member of the Saint Rita Sodality. She was also devoted to the Feast of the Three Saints. In her 94 years she never missed a Festa and could be found with her cousins selling raffle tickets from her honored post in front of the Saint Alfio society clubhouse while keeping an eye out for her beloved saints to make their way down Common Street.
Mary and Sam moved from Lawrence to Salem, NH in 1984 where they were quickly embraced in their new community of wonderful neighbors who became true friends. Family was forever at the center of their lives and their home was the scene of countless dinners and holiday celebrations as well as a place where all were welcome for a kind word, a bit of advice, and a glass of vino. Moving to Methuen Village in 2017, she made many new friendships and especially enjoyed the Helping Hands service activity and the high stakes game of “Big Money Bingo.”
Mary will be sadly missed by her daughters, Dr. Agnes Bain and her husband David of Lawrence; and Dr. Gina Kahn and her husband Jay of Wilbraham. Her memory is also cherished by her grandchildren, Elizabeth Bain of Lawrence, Rachel Bain and her husband Marcus Soule of Newbury, Dr. Jason Kahn and his wife Liz (Exton) of Arlington, Deborah Bain and her husband Grant Marshall of Newburyport, Jeffrey Kahn of Seattle, WA, Jared Kahn of Sturbridge, and Jillian Kahn of Burlington, VT. Her precious great-grandchildren, Katherine Robey, Benjamin and Nathaniel Soule, Samuel and Penelope Kahn, will also greatly miss their “Big Nanna.” Mary leaves nieces, nephews, cousins, neighbors and friends from every intersection of her life. The family would also like to express special thanks to Alexander Rodriguez and his crew of caregivers who were so dedicated and devoted in assisting Mary in her final days.
Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend visiting hours on Sunday, August 12, 2018 from 4:00-7:00 pm at Cataudella Funeral Home, 126 Pleasant Valley St., Methuen. Her funeral mass will be celebrated at 10:00 am on Monday, August 13, 2018 at Corpus Christi Parish at Holy Rosary Church, 35 Essex St., Lawrence. Burial will be in Immaculate Conception Cemetery, Lawrence. Those who prefer may make memorial donations in her memory to St. Alfio Society, 20 Common St., Lawrence, MA 01840.