Mary R. Sciandra, of Plains Township formerly of Pittston, passed away on Saturday, January 8, 2022. She lived strong and independently right up until her peaceful passing at home, at the age of 92. In fact, her great-grandchildren enjoyed the soup she made earlier that day.
Born in Pittston on March 10, 1929, she was the daughter of the late Rosario and Concetta DiCaprio (DeGraba) Mastruzzo.
Mary was a graduate of Pittston High School, class of 1946. In her earlier years, she had worked in the garment industry. She married the one and only love of her life in 1948, Samuel J. (“Yippee”) Sciandra, a decorated World War 2 veteran in the European Theatre as a tanker in the 2nd Battalion, 66th Armed Regiment, better known as “Hell on Wheels.” Till death do us part, in Mary’s view, was upon her death, not her husbands.
When Mary became widowed at age 46, her eldest son recently married and her daughter a senior in high school; it was then that she began to quietly and humbly overcome
adversity in order to lead and support her family. Out of necessity, she became the Matriarch. Having been out of the garment industry for quite some time to raise a family, she learned a new vocation that would coincide with her youngest son coming of school age and continued in that work until she retired from the School District Cafeteria system at age 70. Despite not having a driver’s license, she always got to where she had to go, even if that meant waiting in the snow “across the tracks” on the by-pass for a co-worker to pick her up for work. Missing a child or grandchild’s game or event was not an option. From a 2022 retrospective view, it was extraordinary - to Mary, she was just doing what she had to, when she had to, in order move forward.
Though never seeking of attention or notoriety, she had a force and presence about her that people wanted to befriend; both the Pittston community and also more recently in her Townhome in Plains Township. Inevitably and invariably, she earned everyone’s respect. At times, she commanded it. Having graduating children in the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s; literally generations of friends gathered at her home for countless good times. Her humility never allowed us to celebrate publicly her retirement or milestone birthdays. The least we can do now, in celebration of a life well lived, is provide a glimpse into Mary’s unwavering character.
Her father helped lay the foundation stone when St. Rocco’s Church was built in the Oregon section of Pittston and the Mastruzzo family was omnipresent with the founding and growth of that parish and the Mutual Aid Society. She continued her devotion and prayer as a member of St. Joseph Marello Parish, Pittston.
Her family was the center of her life. When asked about her parenting style, without hesitation or apology, Mary stated she and her husband were merely trying to raise good people. What wasn’t in her answer was the lesson. The love and corresponding void due to Mrs. Mary Sciandra’s passing is immeasurable.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Samuel J. Sciandra in 1975; brothers, Dominick (Walker) and Rocky Mastruzzo; sisters, Eleanor DePhillips, Margaret Casper, and Philomena Ratchford.
Surviving are children, Salvatore (Sam) Sciandra and his wife Hilda, Pittston Township, Mary Lou Forshee and her husband Keith, Pittston Township; and Louis S. Sciandra and his wife Lisa, Wyoming; grandchildren, Audra Kiefer and her husband Mark, Bethlehem, Salvatore Sciandra and his wife Barbara, Jenkins Township, and Julia M. Sciandra, Wyoming; great-grandchildren, Jameson, Chase, and Cameron Sciandra and Anderson and Cole Kiefer; numerous nieces and nephews.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Wednesday, January 12, 2022, at 9:30am in St Joseph Marello Parish, 237 William Street, Pittston. Those attending are asked to go directly to the church. Private interment at the convenience of the family in St. Rocco’s Cemetery. Arrangements are entrusted to Adonizio Funeral Home, LLC, 251 William Street, Pittston.