Mary Ann Spadafor

December 14th, 1926 - October 5th, 2017

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Mary Ann Spadafor


          Mary Ann (Pellegrino) Spadafor, 90—a longtime resident of Erie—passed away on Thursday, October 5, 2017. Mary was born December 14, 1926 in Queen, Pennsylvania, raised in Warren, Pennsylvania and moved to Erie when she married Arthur Hamilton Spadafor, Sr. in 1947.

          Mary had the spirit of an artist–and was a lifelong enthusiast for music, painting, and crafts. In the 1960s she put her creative talents to work for St. Vincent Hospital—designing a topiary Christmas tree that was auctioned for $60. Mary recognized the fundraising potential in selling more of these Christmas topiaries, so she nurtured this project with enthusiasm, passion and love. In time, Mary’s first tree evolved into the Hospital’s annual “Festival of the Trees” fundraiser, which continues to this day.

          At St. Vincent Hospital, Mary’s volunteer work continued for 25 years. She also was a member of the Gannon Guild and was an active parishioner at Our Lady of Peace. In the church, she was an energetic and generous volunteer: She chaired the Cadillac Ball fundraising gala, assisted in the elementary school, and was a spirited participant at the church’s summer festivals.

          Mary found beauty in everyday life. She carefully tended an English garden in her verdant backyard. In her cozy kitchen, she elevated ordinary baking to high art—to the delight of friends and family. Everyone who knew her will remember Mary as a kind, generous, and thoughtful companion. She always sought—and found—goodness in others.

          As the daughter of Italian immigrants, Mary proudly embraced her ancestral roots. Accompanied by her family, she frequently visited Italy and other European destinations. A curious and adventurous traveler, she always looked forward to the next journey.

          Above all, Mary was a devoted wife, mother, and homemaker. She would frequently say her greatest joys were her husband and children. She will be so dearly missed.

         Mary was preceded in death by her husband, Arthur Hamilton Spadafor, Sr., to whom she was married for 47 years. She also was preceded in death by her brother, Dr. James Pellegrino of Erie, and sisters Joanne (Pellegrino) Hill of North Carolina and Sarah (Pellegrino) Frontera of Warren.

          She is survived by her two children—Arthur Hamilton Spadafor, Jr. of Washington, D.C. and Christine J. Spadafor of Cambridge, Massachusetts—as well as her brother, John Pellegrino of Erie, and many nieces and nephews.

          Visitors may pay their respects at Brugger Funeral Homes & Crematory, 1595 West 38th Street, on Monday, October 9th from 7 pm to 9 pm and on Tuesday, October 10th from 7 pm to 9 pm.  Services will be held there on Wednesday, October 11th at 9:30 am followed by a funeral mass at Our Lady of Peace Church at 10 am.  Mary Ann Spadafor will be laid to rest at Laurel Hill Cemetery, next to her beloved husband.

          Memorials may be made to Great Lakes Hospice at 1700 Peach Street # 244, Erie, Pennsylvania 16501 and to Shriners Hospital for Children at 1645 West 8th Street, Erie, Pennsylvania 16505. Condolences may be expressed at