Mary "Sister" (Valente) WilsonJuly 1, 1933 ~ January 5, 2018 (age 84)
Mary “Sister” (Valente) Wilson, 84, passed away peacefully after a long illness on January 5, 2018, at Seaside Healthcare where she had been a resident for the past few months. Mary was born on July 1, 1933 in Portland, and was the daughter of the late Ernest and Mabel (Siteman) Valente.
Mary was educated in parochial schools, and graduated from Cathedral High School Class of 1951. After graduation she worked at several Portland law firms. She was introduced to her husband Jim Wilson in 1958 by her future brother-in-law George Moberg. They married in 1960 while Jim was serving in the Coast Guard and they eventually settled in South Portland where they began raising their family. Mary returned to work when her children grew older, and was an employee of Cole’s Express for 25 years. Mary and Jim celebrated 57 years of marriage in May 2017, and have been wonderful role models to their children throughout both the good and difficult times of their lives together. They were devoted to each other, and we are extremely grateful for the loving care Dad provided to Mom these past years, especially as her health declined.
Mary was the matriarch of our family, and we are blessed that we’ve had her strength and wisdom to guide us. She was very much a traditional Italian Mom and Nana, with her feistiness and outgoing personality. She always put her family first and tirelessly attended her children’s activities and volunteered at school functions and events. Despite the lack of today’s technology while bringing up teenagers, Mom would always enforce curfews by waiting up at the dining room table with 20 questions. Later, her grandchildren were a source of much joy and pride – she adored each one of them. She readily offered her assistance with child care and enthusiastically attended countless sporting events, dance recitals, graduations, etc. She was always interested to know what was going on in their lives, and was proud to share in their successes.
Mary loved to entertain, and planned countless family gatherings and celebrations over the years. She was a fabulous cook, and was renowned for her Italian meatballs, lasagna and stuffed peppers – you never left her home hungry! One of her most cherished traditions was hosting Sunday dinner. Mary had a very special relationship with her three sisters, Betty, Dottie and Carolyn, and also invited them each week to gather at the dining room table to eat, reminisce about the good old days, and solve the world’s problems. Those Sunday dinners were full of laughter, song, some tears, but always much love and wisdom. We are grateful to our aunts for their devotion to Mom during her illness, especially for their visits with her at Seaside.
Mary enjoyed reading, crosswords, Saturday night card games, traveling, lunches at Bug Light and especially summers at Ocean Park in Old Orchard Beach. Every Sunday she would pack up kids and coolers and meet her sisters at the same spot on the beach. As the family grew our spot on the sand expanded - three generations now have wonderful memories of their beach days with family.
Mary lived a happy and full life and provided her children and grandchildren with strong roots and blessings of a loving family. She will be greatly missed, but her spirit will continue to resonate throughout those closest to her.
In addition to her parents, Mary was predeceased by a brother, Ernest “Speed” Valente. Survivors in addition to her husband Jim are her daughters Lynn Aceto and her husband Vincent of Westbrook, Lisa Campbell and her husband James of Lewiston, her sons Jim Wilson Jr. of South Thomaston and Jeffrey Wilson and his wife Adrienne of South Portland, seven grandchildren, Morgan and Joshua Cloutier, Jason and Alexandra Aceto, Tyler, Conner, and Samantha Wilson; three sisters, Elizabeth Moberg and her husband George, Dorothy Valente, and Carolyn DuEst, all of Portland, and many nieces, nephews and cousins, as well as close family friend Ann Foley of South Portland. The family thanks the staff at Seaside for the compassionate care that Mary received as well as to Dr. Patrick Connolly and the staff at Martin’s Point Healthcare for the years of care they provided to her.
There will be no visiting hours. A memorial service will be held at 10:00 AM on Friday, January 12, 2018 at A.T. Hutchins Funeral Home, 660 Brighton Avenue, Portland. Burial will follow at Calvary Cemetery in South Portland. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.