Mary Nicola (Morelli) Calisto,
92, of Quincy died peacefully November 11. She was the beloved wife of the late Luigi A. Calisto and cherished mother of Mary Catherine Calisto of Bedford and Luigi A. Calisto, Jr. of the Boston Home in Dorchester.
Born in San Giuliano, di Puglia, Italy, she was the daughter of the late Giuseppe and Maria (Simone) Morelli. At age 8 she immigrated to Quincy with her mother and siblings to join her father who had arrived earlier to establish himself as a cabinetmaker and create a secure home for the family. She was a member of the Quincy High School graduating class of 1939 and went on to study at the Higgins Business School in Boston. She worked as a keypunch operator at the Fore River Shipyard during World War II and later took a position with a downtown Boston bank.
In May 1954 Mary and Luigi were married in San Giuliano in a joyful ceremony that drew the entire village out to celebrate the good fortune of the two native born who went on to share 41 years of marriage. A honeymoon touring Italy followed and filled Mary with fond memories and a love of her native country and travel that she passed on to her children. Returning to Quincy, she worked until the birth of her first child and then devoted herself to being a wonderful wife, mother and homemaker. The family lived in Quincy until 1966 when they moved to Westford, Massachusetts where she created a nurturing home that centered on the activities of the family. She always welcomed family and her children's friends to join them in wonderful family dinners. Mary was always an attentive mother who loved to participate in school field trips and provide delicious desserts for bake sales and social events. Later her "care packages" filled with baked goods were eagerly awaited by classmates of Mary Catherine at College of the Holy Cross. She also expressed her creativity through crafts such as crocheting, painting, pottery and rug-hooking. Later in life, Mary enjoyed the challenge of puzzles.
In 1981, Mary and Luigi returned to Quincy to live in her childhood home. There she lived independently until her death. Throughout her life, family was her first priority and source of great pride and joy. Her cooking and baking was legendary. She expressed her love and hospitality through her many varieties of cookies, pizza ricotta among many other Italian desserts, meatballs, lasagna, eggplant parmesan and so much more.
Mary also enjoyed traveling with her family. She and her husband experienced many wonderful trips from Florida to Virginia as well as Montreal to visit family. The family was a frequent visitor to coastal Maine, including Bar Harbor. A drive up the coast and a relaxing meal that ended with an ice cream with family was a perfect day. For Mary, home was where her family was and she enjoyed trips to Pittsburgh to visit daughter Mary Catherine with a stop in Atlantic City. She also treasured memories from the trips to New York with her husband to meet Mary Catherine and dear family friends.
In addition to her children, she is survived by her sister Dina and husband Wales Kennedy of Boca Raton, Florida; sister-in-law Claire B. Morelli of Duxbury. Massachusetts; grandsons Luigi J. Calisto of Nashua, New Hampshire and Joseph A. Calisto of Acton, Massachusetts; and her 10 nieces and nephews. She was the sister of the late Michael Morelli of Alexandria, Virginia and John Morelli of Duxbury, Massachusetts.
A funeral service will be held at the Bolea-Buonfiglio Funeral Home, 116 Franklin Street, Quincy on Saturday, November 19 at 11 a.m. Visiting hours will be held Friday, November 18 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Internment in Mount Wollaston Cemetery followed by a luncheon reception. Friends and relatives are kindly invited to attend.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Mrs. Calisto's memory to the National Brain Tumor Society, 124 Watertown Street, Suite 2-D, Watertown, MA 02472 or to the Boston Home, 2449 Dorchester Avenue, Dorchester MA 02124.
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