Mary, to her family and friends, was born on March 8, 1935 in Jersey City, as one of six children to Arcangelo and Benedetta Racaniello, both immigrants from Bitonto, Italy. Mary attended Saint Aedan Grammar School and Lincoln High School in Jersey City, where she was recognized for her beautiful soprano voice at school assemblies and as a member of the St. Aedan’s Catholic Church Choir. Mary met Lenardo (“Lenny”) Savino on a blind double date in 1953. Mary, the songbird, was quickly swept off her feet by Lenny, through mutual love of the Yankees, seeing numerous shows in New York, including Frank Sinatra, The Rat Pack and Peggy Lee at the Copacabana. Lenny and Mary ended every date with a great Italian meal and wonderful memories. They continued to write to each other when Lenny valiantly served with the US Marine Corps. Lenny sent Mary his certificate for achievement in cooking while in the Marines and the deal was sealed.
Mary and Lenny married on June 8, 1957 at St. Aedan’s Church. While starting a family, Mary worked for Block Drug Company in Jersey City in inventory control and was promoted to supervisor of the Payroll Department until retirement.
Mary was a kind, caring and gentle soul. Her passions were her family and the church. She derived some of her greatest pleasures from the simplest things. Every day started with a good cup of coffee. She loved shopping with her daughters and daughter-in-law. If there was a bargain to be had, Mary knew about it. If there was a coupon needed (especially for Macy’s) it was in Mary’s possession.
Mary was happiest when she was cooking for her family. Every Sunday after mass was followed by an amazing meal of gravy and macaroni. She loved hosting Christmas. Mary would spend days preparing a grand Italian feast. Nothing disappointed Mary more than when someone refused seconds. So naturally, she was never disappointed.
Both as a mother and grandmother, Mary never missed an opportunity to support her family. Her selflessness knew no limitations. She attended every activity for her children. As a grandmother, Mary was no different. She was present at every swim meet, every play and every baseball game. Mary could ride the umpires with the best of them.
Mary is survived by Lenny, her beloved husband of 62 years; their three children, Antoinette, Leonard (Lenny) and his wife, Lori and Angela Coyne and her husband, Kevin; and grandsons, Lenny and Nicholas. She is also survived by her brother, Dr. Anthony Racaniello and his wife, Irma; her sister, Angelina LoBue; her sisters-in-law, Geraldine Racaniello, Antoinette Racaniello; and many loved nieces and nephews.
Mary was predeceased by her parents, Arcangelo Racaniello and Benedetta Racaniello (DiMundo); her sister, Ann; and brothers, Vincent and Frank; and son-in-law, Thomas A. Federico.
Donations in her memory to Alzheimer’s New Jersey, 425 Eagle Rock Ave. Suite 203, Roseland, NJ 07068 (www.alznj.org) would be appreciated.
Condolences may be left at www.proutfuneralhome.com.