Marie D. Panza, 90th Birthday Celebrant
Marie D. Panza, after her 90th birthday festivities on August 29th, was welcomed home by God for glorious eternity.
Born August 29, 1928 to Ettore (Tony) and Mary Dante, Marie was the youngest of four. Siblings, Louis, Rose and Anthony, pre-deceased her. Early in life Marie acquired the nickname “Dolly” which she was affectionately called by family and friends. Dolly was known to be a kind, loyal, and nurturing person. Testimony to this was lasting friendships she maintained spanning decades. She still spoke with her friends from youth, Susie Rotelli and Mary Romer, daily.
Marie was raised on Staten Island, N.Y. and graduated Curtis High School. A patriot, Marie served in the Navy WAVES Women’s Reserve paying tribute to her brother whose life was sacrificed in WWII.
An independent woman, Marie held various jobs throughout her life including with companies Con Edison, NY Telephone, and Macy’s. Marie also had the distinction of being the first female salesperson at a local car dealership. Allaying their concerns that a woman wasn’t suited for the job she achieved top in sales. Yet, it was her dedication working as a nurse’s aide where Marie left a lasting value.
Marie married Albert (Al) Panza in 1953. The couple shared a long and devoted life together and raised three daughters. The couple made their home on Staten Island until their retirement to Hendersonville, N.C. in 1999. Al passed merely weeks before their 50th anniversary and thereafter Marie moved to Chatham, N.J.. In Chatham she enjoyed sharing the milestones and achievements of her cherished grandchildren, Julia Contorno, and Anthony and Ava Tesoriero. Marie also extended grandmotherly love to Daisha (Daisy) and Romeo.
Marie’s pastimes included periodic daytrips to casinos, antiquing, reading, and listening to Frank Sinatra songs.
Marie found comfort in her Catholic faith and had a particular devotion to St. Therese of Lisieux, the little flower. Marie will be remembered as a good person who exemplified the Corporal Works of Mercy.
“Our loving Mom was a natural caregiver ministering to many infirmed over the years and always helping the needy. Countless family members, friends, and patients were beneficiaries of her comfort and hands-on care. We grew up watching Mom care for the sick, welcoming the stranger, always adding one more seat at our table for the friend,” recalls Jane Panza-Devlin, her daughter.
Left to mourn her passing and honor her life are daughters Jane, Marylou Panza-Contorno and husband Joseph, Alison Panza-Tesoriero and husband Philip, along with her grandchildren Julia, Anthony and Ava, and many nieces and nephews including her dear niece, Joan Crowson.
Visitation will be at Wm. A Bradley & Son Funeral Homes, 345 Main St. in Chatham N.J. on Tuesday, September 4th, from 2-4pm & 7-9pm and a Funeral Mass offered at Corpus Christi R.C. Church, 234 Southern Blvd. in Chatham, N.J. at 12:15pm, Wednesday, September 5th. Interment will follow at Silver Mount Cemetery, Staten Island N.Y.