Food Culinary 08

Mary (Gemmato) Genovese

April 6, 1931 ~ May 16, 2019 (age 88)


Mary Genovese (nee Gemmato) was born in the West End of Boston to Italian immigrants. She moved to Allston with her husband, Tony, when the West End, (subject of the book "Urban Villagers" by Herbert Gans), was torn down to make way for Mass General Hospital. She lived in a three-family house with her brother Joe, his wife Carmella (who was also Tony's sister), and her parents, Francesco and Caterina. In the big white house at 70 Chester Street, they all raised seven children together. Mary worked as a seamstress and then spent 20 years as the kitchen manager at Jackson Mann School where she was known as "Miss Maggie." She was an accomplished cook, baker, organizer and cleaner. She had a better way of doing most things and was not shy about sharing. She enjoyed opera, classical music and anything Italian. At age 70, she moved to Madison, Wisconsin where she spent many happy years in her Tamarack condo helping raise her Madison grandchildren. The last couple of years she returned to Massachusetts where she battled the unrelenting disease of Alzheimer's. She was lovingly cared for by her son, Richard, daughter-in-law, Arlene, and the wonderful staff of Avita Newburyport. She is survived by her children, Tony (Bruna); Richard (Arlene); Julie (David Harth); ten grandchildren: Bruna, Alessia, Jeffrey, Alex, Anthony, Nick, John, Tony, Jasper and Lizzie; and six great-grandchildren: Violet, Jack, Giada, Tori, Emmett, and Dario. She is also survived by three brothers: Joe (Carmella), Frank (Sandy), and Geno. She leaves her lifelong friend, Leah Guertin. She was preceded in death by her husband, Tony, and her parents. Donations in her name may be made to the Alzheimer's Association, Memorial Service at a later date.

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