Mary Dal Cerro, 86, beloved wife, mother, sister and aunt, passed away on June 29, 2018. A native of Cullman, Alabama, Mary attended Madera schools and Fresno City College.
She was perhaps best known as a nurse, having worked at Dearborn Hospital in Madera before helping to open Madera Community Hospital, where she spent the majority of her career. She began nursing while still in high school, working first as an aide and then as a licensed vocational nurse, before becoming a registered nurse in her 40’s. At various times, she was charge nurse for the skilled nursing facility and the intensive care and surgical units at MCH, as well as the hospital’s infection control officer.
Throughout her life Mary was active in community affairs, including as a member and officer of the PTA, various nursing organizations and the Jaycee-ettes. She actively raised funds for many health-care-related charities, and she was a member of the Madera County Historical Society and the Italian-Catholic Federation at St. Joachim Church. Mary became a Roman Catholic after she retired from nursing and enjoyed learning about her new faith tradition. She loved gardening, and her roses and irises were always magnificent. She had a particularly tender heart for all types of animals.
She is survived by her son Jeff, her sister Kay (Victor) Sienze, nieces Susan Daugherty, Sandy Bacon, Sherry (Oscar) Olguin, Mira (Mike) Franey, Kat (Rod) Baldwin, and Toni (Jim) Amey, and nephews Monsignor Scott Daugherty and Shawn (Amy) Bacon, as well as a wealth of other family members, colleagues and friends. Mary was predeceased by her beloved husband Dick, parents Martha McKenzie Whitlow and John McKenzie, sister Onvie Williams, and her in-laws and niece, Diana.
Mary would wish to thank the residents and staff of Cedar Creek for providing her with a fun and compassionate community during the final years of her life, as well as the staff of Madera Community Hospital for their kind and professional care during her last days here.
Visitation will be 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Monday, July 9, 2018 at Jay Chapel, 1121 Roberts Ave., Madera.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated for Mary at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, July 10, 2018 at St. Columba Catholic Church, 213 Orange Avenue, Chowchilla, followed by burial next to her husband at Calvary Cemetery, 28447 Ave. 14, Madera.
Memorial donations in Mary’s honor may be made to Holy Family Table, c/o St. Joachim Church, 401 W. 5th St., Madera, CA 93637; Madera County Historical Society, P.O. Box 150, Madera, CA 93639; or Friends of Madera Animal Shelter, P.O. Box 923, Madera, CA 93639.