July 13, 2021
Marie Desiderio (affectionately known as “Gunther”) passed away peacefully surrounded by her loving family on Tuesday, July 13th, 2021 at just six weeks shy of her 104th birthday. A survivor of two pandemics, she was born on Villa Avenue in the Bronx, New York to her parents Joseph and Carolina (Gallina) Desiderio on August 25th, 1917. Marie’s parents immigrated from Palata/Termoli, Italy in the Campobasso region of Abruzzi around 1907. Marie was the only daughter amongst a family of four older brothers and one younger brother. At a young age, she would help her mother with the household duties and was unable to speak English until she reached elementary school. After much hard work and sacrifice on the family’s part, her dad built their beloved family home at 2917 Gunther Avenue in the Bronx in the year 1923. The Great Depression left Marie’s family as well as many others in a financial turmoil. In 1933, her father was unemployed, but with the help of a little money saved, Marie’s brothers, and good friends; the family built another home directly next door where they rented it for $35 per month. It remained like this for many years until it became the expanded family home for Marie, her parents, her brothers, their wives, and children. At 21, when most of her friends were settling down and having families, Marie took on a much different role. She stepped in as her mother’s caregiver for the next three years and took loving care of her and all of the family’s needs. After Marie’s mother passed, she continued to still help the family while taking on different jobs outside of the home. Marie was a skilled seamstress and would often use this talent outside of her profession to make dresses, costumes for school plays, and Halloween costumes for her family. She went to school to learn key punch and later took a job with Blue Cross Blue Shield as a key punch operator. Towards the end of her career, Marie took a position working for Ross Perot’s Corporation (Electronic Data Systems). Marie never shied away from difficult situations; instead she would jump right in to help wherever it was needed. She lived her life taking care of others and would never expect a thing in return. Marie once again stepped up to be her father’s caregiver until his passing at the age of 91. While she has helped to fill many shoes in her lifetime, her filling in as a surrogate mother for her nephew Robert and surrogate grandmother for Kim and Candace were roles that set a distinct and unbreakable bond between the generations. In Marie’s spare time she would find the most pleasure visiting Atlantic City and hitting the slots, taking trips to Rocking Horse Ranch, attending ceramics classes, dancing the cha-cha, knitting, and cooking! Marie was most famous for her delicious zucchini pie, stuffed mushrooms, roasted potatoes, and stuffed artichokes. If you visited Marie at home, you would often hear Rush Limbaugh playing on her radio above the stove and find yourself sitting down to a snack of Wheat Thin crackers, muenster cheese, grapes that were pre-washed and sitting in a container on paper towels, a can of Canada Dry ginger ale with the top already cleaned and a plastic cup sitting atop. There would be different aromas throughout her home depending on the room you walked into; varying from the scents of Jean Naté, tangerines, or moth balls. Cleanliness was very important to Marie and you would often find her cleaning every area of her apartment to the sweeping the street in front of her home. Marie was never without the pearls around her neck or the Pearls of Wisdom she offered to all those who would listen. After living through the Great Depression, Marie always preached the importance of “Save your dollar for a rainy day.” She would never utter a bad word about anyone and kept to herself in even the most difficult situations. Having peace within her family was of great importance to her. Marie’s family and her home brought her the greatest joys in her life. Up until 4 days before her passing, Marie was still telling anyone that visited her that she wanted to go home. Although her family has had an amazing (almost) 104 years with her, it does not lessen the pain of losing such a concrete and constant figure in their lives. While it may not be the home she has requested to go back to all these years, she has returned home to be reunited with her parents, brothers Louis, Nicholas, Anthony, Adelo, and John. Marie was also pre-deceased by her niece, Carol Rondina. She is survived by her sister in law Marge (John) Desiderio, nieces Rosemary (Frank) Carroll and Joan Barcia, nephews Joseph (Susan) Desiderio, Robert (Judith)Desiderio, Richard (Kathy) Desiderio, Kenneth (Debra) Desiderio, Steven (Kathy) Desiderio, 13 great nieces/nephews Carolyn (Michael) Napolitano, Kim Barcia, Carla Desiderio, Kristie Desiderio, Michael (Kimberly) Carroll, Candace (Antonio) Treglia, Regina (Joseph) Stefania, Stephanie (Brian) James, Michael Rondina, Nicholas Desiderio, Daniel Desiderio, John Desiderio, Michael Desiderio, and 11 great-great nieces/nephews Alexandra, Juliana, Milana, Nicholas, Madison, Gianna, Gabriella, Finn, Michael, Lola, and Gabriel. Marie will live on in the hearts of everyone who loved her. God’s Garden God looked around the garden and saw an empty space. He then looked down upon the earth and saw your tired face. He put His arms around you and lifted you to rest. God’s garden must be beautiful for he only takes the best. He saw the road was getting rough, and the hills were hard to climb. So he closed your weary eyelids and whispered “Peace be thine.” It broke our hearts to lose you, but you did not go alone; For part of us went with you, the day God called you home.
Marie Desiderio (affectionately known as “Gunther”) passed away peacefully surrounded by her loving family on Tuesday, July 13th, 2021 at just six weeks shy of her 104th birthday. A survivor of two pandemics, she was born on Villa... View Obituary & Service Information
Obituary & Service
Marie Desiderio (affectionately known as “Gunther”) passed away...View More
Flowers & Gifts
Send flowers to the Desiderio family.Send Flowers