Grande, Mary

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Grande, Mary was born in 1928 to Joseph and Antoinette Napolitano. Mary was the eldest of 7 children, 4 sister and 2 brothers. Mary’s family was in the produce business. Life was full of hard work for Mary’s parents in post depression years. Mary shared in that hard work growing up in the 30’s and 40’s which formed Mary into the young woman she became later in life. Growing up Mary served many roles. Sometimes as a sister, sometimes as a much-needed friend and sometimes as a 2nd mother to her siblings which was fine with Mary as she was all about family. A big part of that family was Mary’s cousin Helen who was very close with Mary and all the sisters and brothers.

She learned many things from her parents especially how to become an excellent cook from her mom. Her parents instilled a strong work ethic along with strong family values at a very young age. Mary remained very close with all of her family throughout her life. Mary’s sister Annette and her children brought much love and a lot of fun to Mary in her latter years. As Mary matured into a young woman she met joe the love of her life. Mary and joe enjoyed spending time with each other’s friends and families. Joe was a people person. Very outgoing and generous to all that knew him. For Mary and Joe it was the more the merrier. They always had room for everyone to share in the fun and good times.

As time passed Mary and joe decided to get married and start their own family. They had 2 sons. First was joseph whom all we all call chip. Then later came Gary. Mary, joe and family spent much of their early years in rockaway NJ. Mary kept a happy home filled with friends and many family visits. Always with much fun and laughter and great food with great times. As with many people, moving from place to place became inevitable. In the mid 70’s the family found themselves in New York state. Mary didn’t let distance or new surroundings change her in any way. Still a happy home filled with visiting friends and family and let us not forget the laughter and great food all of the time. It’s here in New York state where chip met his wife to be Margaret several years later he and Margaret decided to start their own family. They have 2 daughters, Michelle came first and later on came Jacqueline. The 2 girls became the loves of both Mary and joe. The saying it’s all about the grand kids applied big time for Mary and joe and would remain so for the rest of there lives. Mary’s independence showed up in the form of frequent trips to Atlantic city Bally’s casino. Mary never met a slot machine she didn’t like the family tells me you call Mary in the middle of the day, get no answer for hours. Wonder where she is and if not told, or if she was not to busy you would get a phone call and it would go something like this: I’m at Ballys so make yourself something to eat or come down I’m going to be here a couple of days. And your response would be: it would be nice if you told somebody you were leaving we did not know where you were. Where Mary would reply: i don’t ask where you guy’s go, so i don’t have to report to anybody!! As time passed Mary was to lose joe who passed away in 1995. We all suffer losses and Mary was no exception. Mary lost her 2 best friends, carol and later on ruth. Along with 2 sisters, Theresa and rose. A nephew, Frankie and many other family members. We all get old and our bodies start to break down and help is required. Mary was an independent, outspoken, with no filter, and a say what you mean type of women. As all those who knew her can attest to. She had strong values and strong opinions on many subjects. Gary tells me that he and chip along with their cousins aunts and uncles could easily get Mary going. Just pick a topic and take the other side of the argument and watch Mary go.

Wow, could she talk, talk, talk. And most of the time with no air required. Gary said she should be in the book of world records. For most words spoken, with no breath taken (she did it all the time). It was hillarious. Mary was funny, tough, loving and honest. Mary’s last few years were tough on her and the family. This independent outspoken woman was forced to admit she needed help. She just couldn’t do it on her own any more. Her girlfriends gone, her joe gone, sisters and brothers far away who was she going to talk to and we all know Mary loved to talk. It was her medicine, her therapy throughout her life. The everyday struggles along with age, medical condition and failing health were taking it’s toll. She needed a friend, a girlfriend, a confident, a shoulder to cry on or just somebody to complain to and to talk their ear off when necessary and that’s where Dorothy whom we all know as dot comes in, Gary’s girlfriend. Gary tells me if not for dot Mary would not have had her last few years. It was dots loving friendship through some very hard times with Mary along with her hands on care and love that kept Mary going. Mary loved dot and could not wait to ask her what she was doing with Gary. Mary would say your a good looking girl get somebody else. Through it all Mary had a happy life and made all the people around her happy. If you had Mary in your corner as a friend or sister you had her for life. She was a generous, loyal and loving woman to the end. The family would like to thank all the staff at regency grand nursing home for there thoughtful care and hard work during Mary’s time the. Special thanks to all care givers especially Sami. Mary had several nurses and there’s no one who stands out more than Margot whom Mary became very attached to while at regency. Margot’s care and attention for Mary’s comfort and well-being went above and beyond the norm and the family will be forever grateful.

Funeral Services will be held Friday July 25th, 2014 at 12:00 PM in the Smith-Taylor-Ruggiero Funeral Home One Baker Ave. Dover, NJ. Interment will follow in the Locust Hill Cemetery Dover, NJ. Visitation will be held Friday from 10:30AM until noon. Memorials may be made to the Compassionate Care Hospice Dover, NJ. On line condolences may be offered through

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