Mary Catherine Calisto,
of Bedford, formerly of Quincy, died peacefully at home after a long and courageous illness. She was 55 years old. She was the loving Daughter of the late Luigi and Mary N. (Morelli) Calisto, and is survived by her brother Luigi of Boston, nephews Luigi Calisto and his wife Nicki of Nashua, NH and Joseph Calisto of Harvard as well as many beloved family and friends.
Trained as a chemist, she worked her entire career within the Bayer Corporation organization, retiring in 2010 from her position as Business Development Director for the Lanxess Corporation.
She was born in Quincy and spent most of her childhood in Westford, MA. After college she settled in Pittsburgh for more than 10 years before relocating to Bedford where she resided for the past 17 years. After earning a BS in chemistry from the College of the Holy Cross she pursued an MS in Chemistry from the University of Michigan and later earned a Master's of International Business from the University of Pittsburgh.
She was an avid skier, enjoyed golfing with her Bedfordshire neighbors and was a die-hard fan of all the Boston sports teams. Traveling was her passion and her career took her around the globe where she collected friends and colleagues throughout Europe and North America. She also enjoyed traveling for pleasure -- skiing the Italian Alps, hiking in Cinque Terre, touring the great wine regions of France and Italy, attending the Olympic Games in 1976 and 1992 and even kissing the Blarney Stone.
During the last five years as she pursued treatment under the expert care of Dana Farber's Thoracic Oncology and Neuro-Oncology departments she lived an active lifestyle and considered travel as part of her therapy. With the support and amazement of her medical team, the indefatigable Mary Catherine enjoyed several trips including an Alaskan cruise, Tanzanian safari, a tour of the Norwegian Fjords and two trips to her beloved Italy.
She was also an accomplished cook and hostess who loved to gather people in her home and share good food, great wine and the warmth of friendship.
Family was paramount to Mary Catherine and she enjoyed the company of a large extended family of aunts, uncles and cousins through the U.S., Canada, Argentina and Italy. She loved so many, especially Donna and David Ryan of Duxbury and sons Buzz and Charlie who accompanied her every step of her illness.
Her charitable work included supporting the Boston Home in Dorchester, serving on the board of the Big Sister Association of Pittsburgh and serving for more than a decade on the board of the National Brain Tumor Society (NBTS). As board chair of the NBTS she used her business acumen to orchestrate the merger of the two leading U.S. organizations focused on finding a cure for brain tumors. She was instrumental in developing a rigorous research agenda aligned with a public policy. She guided the research agenda toward an integrated approach to treatment and the society honored her leadership by establishing the Mary Catherine Calisto System Biology Initiative. As a tribute to her remarkable life, please make a donation to the fund (124 Watertown Street, Suite 2D, Watertown, MA 02472).
A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. John’s Church, 44 School Street, Quincy on Saturday January 26 at 10am. Relatives and friends are kindly invited to attend. Visiting hours will be held at the Bolea-Buonfiglio Funeral Home, 116 Franklin Street in Quincy on Friday from 5-8pm. Interment in Mt. Wollaston Cemetery.
Click Here To View Condolence Messages
116 Franklin Street
Quincy, MA 02169