Mary Montevecchi Pistacchio
After a full and blessed life, Mary Montevecchi Pistacchio, passed away in Madera at the age of 98 on April 7, 2022. Mary was born on February 24, 1924, in Clarksdale, Mississippi, to Italian immigrants Joseph and Catherine Montevecchi. She was one of 12 children in the Montevecchi family. In 1932, Mary and her family moved to California and settled in northwest Fresno. On January 28, 1945, Mary married the love of her life, Joseph (Joe) Pistacchio. This union of love lasted over 70 years until Joe passed away in September 2015.
Mary was one of kind! She was tough, candid, witty, and loved to tease. She had a wonderful sense of humor that made everyone laugh and smile with admiration. She was a hard worker her whole life. As a young child she worked in the cottonfields of Mississippi and the harvest fields of central California. She loved her garden and could make anything grow. Likewise, she could make anything taste good in the kitchen and was well-known for her home-made Italian cuisine. She enjoyed working with her hands, doing arts and crafts, such as knitting, mosaic work, and ornament making. Most of all, she dedicated her life to her family.
In retirement, Mary and Joe moved to Madera where they became active in their church and other organizations. Mary was steadfast in her Catholic faith and her love of family. She was a faithful parishioner of St. Joachim’s Catholic Church and a long-time member of the Italian Catholic Federation and the ITALO American Club. She and Joe volunteered hundreds of hours to these organizations. Retirement also brought time for fun and trips to Santa Cruz. Mary enjoyed traveling with Joe in their Marathon Motor Coach and spending time with Bus Nuts and the Motor Coach Association. In addition, they traveled to Italy, France, Hawaii, Alaska, and Mexico.
In her advanced years, she never quit and always lived life to the fullest. In her 90s, she was still driving to pick up her great-grandchildren after school and cheering for them at their games. When going to Disneyland with the family, she never refused to go on a ride, and in 2019 at the age of 95, she swam with the dolphins when the family visited SeaWorld. She was always ready for fun and adventure!
Mary was preceded in death by her husband Joe; son Eddie, who passed away at the age of 12 in 1957; parents Joseph and Catherine Montevecchi; brothers John, Edward (Frank), and Quinto; sisters Amelia and Annie; and infant siblings. She is survived by her loving family: son Tom Pistacchio and his wife Delores; granddaughter Regina (Gina) Civiello and her husband Patrick; grandson Joseph (Joey) Pistacchio and his wife Gleize; great-grandchildren Nina Civiello, Gino Civiello, Marco Pistacchio, Mia Pistacchio, Joe Pistacchio; step-grandchildren Richard Hutcheson Jr., Alisha and her husband Dan Ballard, Heather and her husband Brian Miller; step-great-grandchildren Isabella Hutcheson, Gabriella Hutcheson, Savanna Shaves, Madeline Shaves, Mason McGrath, Kaitlyn McGrath, Cassidy McGrath, Jake McGrath; and numerous nephews and nieces.
The family thanks all those who gave Mary support and care during her illness, including her parish priests Fr. John Warburton, Fr. Shaji Athipozhi, Fr. Carlos Esquivel, and Fr. James Catalano.
Recitation of the Holy Rosary will be held at St. Joachim’s Catholic Church in Madera, on Friday, April 22, 2022, at 9:30AM, followed by a Funeral Mass at 10:00AM. Burial will be held at Holy Cross Cemetery in Fresno at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Joachim’s School, 310 N. I Street, Madera, CA 93637; St. Joachim’s Catholic Church, 401 W. 5th St., Madera, CA 93637; or to the donor’s favorite charity.