Mary Guarascio Arco, of Charleston, formerly of Shinnston, died peacefully at Charleston Area Medical Center, General Division, on December 17, 2022, at the age of 98 years. Mary was born on April 10, 1924, the daughter of the late Salvatore and Rose Guarascio.
In addition to her parents, she is preceded in death by her very young daughter, Agnes Rose; her loving husband, John; her sister, Chiara Marra and her brother, Tony Guarascio.
She is survived by her beloved son, Samuel Anthony Arco and his wife, Christina Belcastro Arco of Charleston; one granddaughter, Andrea Nicole Arco-Mastromichalis and her husband Michael of St. Louis; one grandson, Lee John Arco and his wife Elizabeth of Charleston; three great grandchildren: Max Arco Mastromichalis, Mason Arco Mastromichalis and Cecilia Gray Arco. She also leaves behind several nieces and nephews and great nieces and great nephews who were so important in her life.
Mary was born in Wyatt, WV but then resided in San Giovanni, Italy until she was twelve years old when her father arranged for her return with her mother and brother to America. She often recounted the story of the plans that her father had made including touring New York City before moving to Carolina, WV. She lived most of her life in Shinnston until moving to Charleston eight years ago.
Mary had a very vibrant personality and enjoyed spending time in the company of others. She was well known for her expertise in Italian cuisine and she loved serving her specialty dishes and baked goods to everyone.
She had a wonderful sense of humor, and her grandchildren remember her telling her beloved husband: “Johnny, take a picture” because she wanted to capture all of the moments when her family was together. She was very proud of her Italian heritage and she relished opportunities to tell stories of her past. She loved laughing and singing, and her joy in those moments was contagious.
Throughout her life, she endured situations that most of us can never imagine: immigration to the United States, joining an English-speaking school without knowing the language, and losing her very young daughter. Yet, through it all, she maintained a strong determination to persevere.
She cared very deeply about her family; she was a loving wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother. She was extremely proud of her family and of their accomplishments. She was always available for advice-giving: her short tidbits of advice became affectionately known as “nunnyisms” (e.g. When you have a good day, take it!).
Mary was a devout Catholic and was a member of St. Ann Catholic Church in Shinnston for many years. She was a member of the St. Ann Altar Society and devoted much of her time cooking for and serving others within her church community.
Family will receive friends at St. Ann Catholic Church, 610 Pike St., Shinnston, on Friday, December 30, 2022 from 12:00pm until the time of service, 1:30pm, with Father Chris Turner officiating. Interment will follow at Shinnston Memorial Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to:
WV Health Right
1520 Washington St.
Charleston, WV 25311
where Mary’s son, Sammy, has been a long-term board member and volunteer.
Dorsey Funeral Home is honored to be handling the arrangements for the Arco family.
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