HAVERHILL - Mary passed from this life on September 5, 2020 at the age of 94 with family around her at her assisted living facility in North Andover, MA where she had lived for the last 3.5 years moving from her beloved home on Clover Lane in Bradford, MA. While there she had enjoyed many visits with family and relationships with friends that she always so easily developed. To the end she recognized and communicated with those family members around her.
She was born in Lynn, MA on March 28, 1926 to Michele and Elizabeth (Luongo) Barboni. She attended schools there and at an early age started her many years of work.
Her family later moved to Sandown, NH before later moving to Haverhill, MA where she was to spend the majority of her life.
In 1948 Mary married the love of her life, Antonio (Tony) DeCristofaro but he was to be taken too soon from her in 1958.
They had one son, Michael who she provided for in every way possible after his father’s death. Although working as a Candy Striper and several other positions her favorite and longest lasting employment was with Western Electric in North Andover, MA where she was able to retire early after 35 years.
She loved “WE” and all the people there. In later years Mary would ride past the now changed building often and smile. That famous and contagious smile that she was so known for. Mary never complained nor did she ever dodge responsibility.
Through the years Mary enjoyed many hobbies and crafts and was quite good at them. She did ceramics at the Haverhill Senior Center, pine cone wreaths and kissing balls, computer card pieces and Japanese Bunka. She gladly gave them away as soon as they were finished. Her generosity was another positive trait.
She loved and collected Hummel’s having to put them on lay away before adding to her collection. She had an appreciation for the finer things in life having grown up and witnessing some very difficult times. Mary got to travel to Italy multiple times, Spain and Africa and would come home loaded with gifts and mementoes for her family and friends.
Mary was very proud of her Italian heritage, self-taught enough of the language to carry on conversations with the “old timers” whom she truly enjoyed. Mary loved People magazine, collected anything on Princess Diana, going out to eat and always read the local paper from start to finish.
Most important to Mary was family. She loved the holidays and any excuse for a gathering. She loved cooking and was great at it. Her sauce recipe was gladly handed down. Due to the size of the crowds she was often the last to eat but did so gladly.
Mary remarried in 1977 to Pellegrino (Bill) Malegieri who also passed in 1981 while visiting family in Italy.
Mary is survived by her son Michael DeCristofaro and his wife Kim of Haverhill, MA. One brother, Joseph Barbone of Amesbury, MA. God-daughter Elizabeth (Barbone) Liguori and her family from Chelmsford, MA, and many loved nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews and one recently arrived great-great nephew.
Mary again joins many family members and friends she had enjoyed and developed over a life time. She loved and cherished them all and never had a bad word to say about anyone. Mary appreciated the two non-family members that helped her in extending the time that she was able to live alone. Her wheel chair unfortunately became a necessary but often unloved helper.
Mary was a strong, proud and independent woman. She was a woman of faith and character. She persevered.
Mary enjoyed Cape Cod and Lake Ossipee with family and friends. She enjoyed rides to the mountains and her late special family member Rita Nelson. She loved spending time on the phone and would spend hours at a time just talking.
She was predeceased by brothers Rudy (Rudolph) Barboni of New York, Arthur Barbone of Groveland, MA and a sister Rose (Fortuna) Drohan of Haverhill, MA.
Private Funeral Mass of Christian Burial and interment in St. Patrick Cemetery were held on September 11, 2020. Donations in Mary’s memory may be made to the New Hampshire Food Bank, 700 E. Industrial Park Drive, Manchester, NH 03109, phone 603-669-9725. Arrangements by Driscoll Funeral Home, Haverhill. For guestbook, visit www.driscollcares.com
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