Mary DeSimone (Tortorici)
Of Charlestown (formally of the North End) passed away early Friday Morning January 29, 2021 in the comfort of her home surrounded by her loving family. She was 98 years old, a month shy of her 99th birthday.
Beloved wife of the late John M. DeSimone Sr., with whom she shared 47 years of wedded bliss. Devoted mother to her son, John M DeSimone Jr. and his wife Pamela, and daughter Nancy J Constantine and husband Thomas. Beloved grandmother of John Soterios DeSimone and Julia Rose Pontremoli. Loving sister of the late Marguerite Luongo and her late husband Silvio, the late Frances Federico and her husband Peter, Lucy Busa and her husband Antonio, Gloria Petruzziello, Dorothy and the late Armando Paolo, Victoria and her husband Angelo, the late Jack Tortorici and his wife Florence, of Gig Harbor Washington, Mario and Roberta Tortorici, the late Accurzio Tortorici, the late Gus Tortorici, and the late Frank and Virginia Tortorici, and devoted daughter to her late parents, Giuseppe and Elisa Tortorici. Loving Cousins to the late Frances and John Cirolo, and Shelley Cirolo and aunt to many loving Nieces and nephews.
Mary was born in the North End of Boston. She worked hard her entire life. She helped her mother raise her little brothers and sisters as she was the oldest girl. Mary also worked to help support her family. She graduated from the Michelangelo School in the North End and then earned her high school diploma from Girls High School. She had to leave in her junior year to work to help her family but returned the next year and completed both the Junior and Senior Year requirements in one year in order to graduate on time.
Mary worked a variety of jobs. She worked at the Brinks building in Boston making guns at night for the soldiers of World War II. Mary worked at the Hood Rubber Shoe company where she organized a union and was the youngest shop steward to ever do so. Mary worked there until she retired to raise her family.
Mary returned to work to help her family when her children were older. She worked as a lunch mother for approximately 20 years for the Boston School Department first at the Harvard Kent School in Charlestown and then the Josiah Quincy School in Chinatown. She was lovingly known as “Mrs. D” and many of her students remembered her and her wise advice when they were well into adulthood.
Mary loved the thrill of winning whether it be in the courtroom or the casino. She championed many causes especially when it was for her family and was victorious by using her logic and sound judgment. She enjoyed Bingo, the Lottery, the Casino and the race track, that she went to often with her brother Mario. She often attended Bingo and the Casino with her lifelong friend, Frances(Chickie) Lyons, with whom she shared 89 years of friendship. Mary had many friends at the Golden Age Club in Charlestown, the Elderly Club in the North End, and was a member of the Gold Star Wives of America.
Mary was always a fighter, known for her strength, wisdom and her great love of family. “ Auntie Mae” was a shoulder to lean for her nieces and nephews when they needed guidance or were scared. She always had time to listen and give good solid advice.
Mary was a loving wife to her husband, John, especially when he was ill. She would dress up pretty everyday and say “ Just in case he wakes up I want to look nice for him”.
Mary was a loving mother to John and Nancy and guided her children with discipline(the wooden spoon) and love. She taught us the difference between right and wrong and often said “ Do good and forget about it, do bad and think about it.”
Mary loved and was so proud of her Grandchildren, Julia whom she nicknamed “Buttercup” and her Grandson Johnnie who was her “Little Man”
Mary lived 98 years and had an amazing life, which she shared with her sisters every Wednesday as they met in their childhood neighborhood of the North End. They shared their lives with each other on that day they each shared, joys, sorrows, accomplishments and failures. They were a never-ending source of support for each other.
Mary gave more than she took and she will be terribly missed by all that knew and loved her but she is looking down on us and expecting all of us to do our very best to carry on the family traditions that she instilled in all of us.
For the safety of those we love and care about during this difficult time; and for those who wish to pay their respects to Mary and her family, can do so in accordance with CDC, Federal, State & Local guidelines in the Mary Catherine Chapel of Brasco & Sons Memorial, 773 Moody Street, Waltham, MA., on Thursday, February 4th from 10am – 12pm. A Funeral Service in celebration of Mary's life will follow at 12pm and her burial will take place at Newton Cemetery.
In Lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Disabled American Veterans (DAV).