Mary M. Berardi, age 106, entered eternal life, Thursday July 14, 2022 at Golden Hill Nursing & Rehabilitation Center surrounded by her family and nursing staff.
Born in Kingston, she is the daughter of the late Frederick and Anna (Mooney) Perry. Mary attended Kingston High School, before going to work at Jacobson’s Shirt Factory in Kingston, where she met her husband, Amelio T. Berardi. Along with Amelio, Mary raised their family in Kingston. As a homemaker, she cooked and shared many picnics and birthday parties with family, neighbors and friends. She enjoyed going to the “Peck Hollow” camp for picnics and hiking (often out-hiking the men). She and her twin sister Alice, loved to walk, especially from Kingston to East Kingston. Later Mary worked as a school bus driver and then as a school crossing guard. She eventually worked at and retired from Rotron in Woodstock. Mary was very proud of her job at Rotron and received several commendations for her work with solid logic technology boards and cooling fans for computers.
Mary took the opportunity to travel with Alice, her son, Fr. Thomas Berardi and her daughter, Mary Alice Berardi, including trips to Brazil, Venezuela, England, Ireland, Switzerland and Canada. She went multiple times to Disney World with her “adopted daughters”; Ann and Jan and was a VIP at the Beauty and the Beast show where she was presented, on stage, with a rose from the Prince. The Kingston Freeman interviewed and dubbed her “Queen For A Day at Disney”. Mary and her sisters enjoyed going to the “shrines” at Foxwoods, Mohegan Sun, Turning Stone, Monticello and Atlantic City and betting on her favorite #5 horse at Saratoga.
Mary took great pride in her grandchildren, Charles, Maria and Carole; great-grandchildren Randi and Ryan (deceased); and great-great-grandchild Rylan (5th generation) who has been the apple of her eye. Rylan has delighted and entertained her with dancing, gymnastics and her great big smile. They have all been very close to her as she shared in many of their events, graduations and sports, over the years. She traveled with Carole and Vince to attend a national gymnastics competition for her great-granddaughter Randi in Orlando. She enjoyed the culinary scones and delights made and shared with her by Charles and riding in his convertible Corvette. Getting her hair done by Maria was a serious ritual that she looked forward to and told many others about. She also enjoyed riding in Maria’s “big” car/truck. With deep emotion, she has been a supporter of the R.Y.A.N. house and programs that honors the memory of Ryan.
Most of all, she enjoyed making “Nanni’s Meatballs” for all of them as a family favorite, especially for “Little Christmas” in January. She was known for making holiday “scaweelies” (Italian honey dipped pastry) and oversaw the annual tradition of making them all day with family and friends who became ‘skilled’ in this culinary delight. Although of Irish and French-Canadian descent, Mary learned and mastered making Italian comfort foods, from her mother-in-law Mary (Nardi) Berardi.
She was a parishioner of St. Colman’s Catholic Church in East Kingston where she grew up, and often worked cleaning the church. Since 1946, Mary was a member of Immaculate Conception Church in Kingston, the Rosary Society (that recently honored her) and the Mother’s Club. She helped with the annual bazaar and various church and school events. Mary helped the Felician sisters for many years, driving them to shop, doctors and the mother house in Enfield, CT. She enjoyed visiting her son’s parishes and meeting parishioners and many religious sisters in the Diocese of Albany. With her creative sewing abilities she also made many liturgical vestments.
Mary continued to enjoy the company of her three surviving sisters, Agnes, Dorothy, Helen and brother-in-law Jerry. When visiting her they could still delight in recalling stories from past times with their mother, family and friends. They had some good laughs in the spirit of their father, Fred, who loved to laugh and play the piano and violin for them. She and her twin sister Alice, delighted in fooling people with their identical looks, clothing and hairstyles. Mary missed her twin very much (who died at the age of 80) as they were together constantly, shopping and going to the beauty parlor. Their families (Benny Tiano, Linda and Charles) grew up sharing much together and her niece, Kim Tiano, lived with and helped care for her for a period of time in latter years.
Surviving are her children Mary Alice Berardi, RN of Kingston, Reverend Thomas Berardi of Albany. Grandchildren Charles J. Van Wagenen, Jr., Maria Naccarato (the late Peter Naccarato), Carole Kelder and her husband Vincent. Great granddaughter Randi Kelder, great great granddaughter Rylan Paschall. Sisters Helen Williams, Dorothy Donovan, Agnes Brown. Many nieces, nephews, and Godchildren also survive.
Her husband Amelio Berardi, great grandson Ryan Kelder, her twin sister Alice, siblings Florence, Frederick, Arthur, Ronald, Octave, Janet, Irene and Frank predeceased her.
At Golden Hill she made friends easily, although it was a difficult transition in her life. True to her personality, she embraced and enjoyed her table mates and enjoyed many activities, especially music and songs, even recently attending a luau. Her daughter, Mary Alice, RN, brought a friendly face to her as a volunteer at Golden Hill. We thank the staff and administration for their kindness to her and to our family. She leaves many rich and colorful stories for us to cherish. God graced us and our world with her presence for 106+ years. As a butterfly in God’s hands, rest gently forever until we see you again.
Donations, in Mary’s memory, can be made to the R.Y.A.N. House,1568 Rt. 32, Saugerties, NY 12477 and to the Immaculate Conception Church, 467Delaware Ave., Kingston, NY 12401.
Friends will be received at the funeral home on Wednesday July 20th from 3-7 PM.
A funeral procession will form Thursday 10 AM at the funeral home. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated 11 AM at Immaculate Conception Church.
Burial will follow at St. Mary’s Cemetery.