WESTFIELD - Mary Leah (Anderson) Mascaro, of Westfield, N.Y., died peacefully at her home of five years, Absolut Care of Westfield, on Oct. 10, 2012.
Born April 11, 1919, in San Antonio, Texas, she was the daughter of John H. and Clara Diaz Anderson.
Mary Leah graduated from St. Mary's Parochial School, furthering her education by completing the commercial program at Draughon's Business College in San Antonio. Texas remained a part of her soul.
Mary Leah (Anderson) Mascaro
During World War II, her employment at Normoyle Ordnance Depot introduced her to Robert S. Mascaro of Westfield, N.Y., who was stationed there. "That one's mine," she declared to her work colleagues when Bob first walked into her office. Married on Aug. 13, 1943, in Texarkana, Texas, they traveled to Westfield on a troop train to make their home.
Moving from a city to a small town challenged Mary Leah, but she soon made lifelong friends and always remembered from her own experience how important it is to welcome the newcomers, a belief she exemplified.
Mary Leah, an active member of St. James Major Catholic Church, served as an original member of the Parish Council. She and her husband worked for years as parish advocates for Catholic Charities. A lifetime member of the Altar and Rosary Society, she also devoutly served as a Eucharistic Minister in her parish. A founding member of the Westfield Counseling Service, she derived great pride from that accomplishment.
Employing her skills as a secretary, she worked in the office at Westfield Academy and Central School. Taking a maternity leave, while nurturing her own children she also guided several youngsters for whom she provided daycare in her home over the years.
Returning to WACS, Mascaro served several years as an assistant in the instructional materials department. In that capacity she fondly was known as "Aunt Mary" by many student assistants to whom she gave respect, guidance and purpose, making a lasting difference in their lives. Further, many first-year, student and substitute teachers from WACS are ever grateful for her assistance, patience and humor. A gracious hostess, she welcomed many of these and other friends into her home and around her dining room table. She loved to entertain and always enjoyed attending or giving a party, maintaining her reputation as a hostess while a resident at Absolut Care.
Mary Leah was predeceased by her husband, who died Feb. 2, 2005. She is survived by her daughters, Joan Caruso of Westfield and Muffi Mascaro (Rob Farkas) of Erie, Pa.; son, Rick Mascaro (Judith) of Anderson, S.C.; "daughter of the heart" Lorna Penny of Westfield; one granddaughter, Marci (Stuart) Davis of Longmont, Colo.; and two great-granddaughters Ara Belle and Aja Pink both of Longmont, Colo.
Friends may call on Friday afternoon, Nov. 23 from 4 to 6 p.m., at the Mason Funeral Home, 37 Clinton St., Westfield and are invited to attend the memorial mass to be held on Saturday Nov. 24 at 11 a.m., at St. Dominic Roman Catholic Church, 15 Union St., Westfield. A parish Rosary service will be held at 3:30 p.m., prior to visitation. Interment will be in St. James Cemetery on Memorial Day 2013.
Mary Leah requested those who wish to honor her contribute to St. Dominic's Church, 15 Union St., Westfield, N.Y., 14787 or Northern Chautauqua Canine Rescue, 7540 North Gale St., Westfield, N.Y. 14787.
Log on to www.masonfuneral.com to send the Mascaro family a message of sympathy.