In the early morning hours of May 4th, 2015, with an unwavering love in her heart and the grace and stoicism with which she lived life, Mary slipped peacefully from our family to be with her Lord, Jesus Christ.
She was born on June 25, 1932 in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario to Gabriele Nardi and Adelina Suriano. She was the loving wife of 58 years to Dr. Dominic A. Santana. Mary was the unwavering mother to her children Denise and Jim, Mark and Victoria, John and Mary Catherine, Lisa and Kelvin and Michael and Laura. Nana will be especially missed by her adored grandchildren, Stormer, Ella, Kate, Gabriele and Isabella.
At the age of 2, Mary located to Brooklyn New York where she lived with her parents and sisters Amelia Lento (Alfred) and Louise Fitzpatrick until she was 26 years old. There were a great number of parallels between her life in Brooklyn and her birthplace in Sault Ste. Marie. In both places, she lived in strong, family oriented Italian descent communities. In Brooklyn, she was surrounded by her father’s family, the Nardi family. When she returned to Sault Ste. Marie through her marriage to Dominic in 1958, she was warmly welcomed by wonderful parents in-law, Frank and Florence Santana sisters and brothers in-law, Rose(Sandro) Mariotti and Dora (Gene) Scarfone, Ron (Sandra) and Frank (Linda). She was also reconnected to her mother’s family, the Suriano family. The Suriano’s and the Santana’s together were a very close clan and this union of families had a very powerful influence on Mary.
She loved to regale her children with stories of her life in New York where she absorbed all that the city had to offer in the late 50’s; art, literature and music.
In her years of education and early employ, commuting between Brooklyn and Manhattan, our mother counted among her friends, people who had ambition, great ambition. While our mother loved the life in the city and saw her friends go on to become great writers, journalists and legal minds, when we queried her about why she did not do the same she would say, “I loved what they were doing but my greatest ambition in life was always to be a mother.”
Every action Mary took was out of love for her family. She had an incredible ability to recognize the strengths and weaknesses of all her children and through that, develop a unique but equal relationship with each of them. “When she spoke to you, she made you feel like you were the most important person in the world”. To Mary, her husband, each of her children, her grandchildren and her friends were everything.
During this time of deep sorrow, our heart seems to be filled with this. If we could have one wish for every child who is brought into this world, irrespective of what kind of world they are brought into, it would be to have a kind, loving and strong mother. Please honour our mother by making this your prayer. This would have been her final prayer.
Friends are invited to visit at Northwood Funeral Home Cremation and Reception Centre (942 Great Northern Road 705-945-7758) on Thursday evening from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Funeral Mass at Precious Blood Cathedral on Friday, May 8, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. with Father Hamish Currie officiating. Entombment at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery Mausoleum.
Warmest and sincerest thanks to the caring staff at Extendicare Maple View. Our mother developed a profound love for each of you.