Maria Giovanna (Cistulli) Yacuzzo, 86, of Easthampton, passed away on the early morning of December 25, 2019, surrounded by her loving and devoted family. This day of Christmas was her favorite and most beloved holy day.
She was born in Bari, Italy on January 7, 1933, the daughter of AnnMarie and Vito Cistulli. She arrived in this country at the age of 18. She passed our beloved Statue of Liberty with the profound courage and deep hope for a better life. She then resided with family in Connecticut and worked as a seamstress. After this she moved to Easthampton. She married the (late) Angelo Yacuzzo on September 18, 1955.
She was a lifelong communicant of Immaculate Conception Church (now Our Lady of the Valley) in Easthampton where she served as a Eucharistic minister, member of the Women’s Club, and volunteer. She sang in the church choir for years and had the most beautiful operatic voice as she loved hymnal music.
She worked in the food service department of Easthampton Public Schools for over 20 years.
Maria was a proud and devoted mother. She was a loving Grammy. Not only was she a woman with the strongest conviction of faith she had the ever so soothing gentleness that could ease anyone’s pain and suffering. She was a healer. She was a true friend. She would easily go without to help another in need. She was known for her gifts of Italian cookies as she was an amazing baker and cook. Her Pastina was the family’s favorite. Her knitting and sewing skills led to the most treasured gifts that one could ever receive. She made her house a home and if you were there you were fed, cared for and loved very well. You were family.
With that, she loved her family more than anything.
Maria was known throughout her community for her giving. The giving of her time, her prayers, her cooking, her caring for others, her smile, her kindness and mostly her love.
Mr. Fred Rogers spoke of what his mother told him when he was young. He said she would tell him in times of stress: “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”
This was the essence of Maria.
Maria was predeceased by her husband Angelo Yacuzzo in 2009. She is survived by her 3 daughters, Carmela Pompei and her husband John, and Ann Marie LaBonte and husband Richard, all of Easthampton, and Mary Ann Holmes of South Hadley. She has six grandchildren, Joseph LaBonte and wife Abby and Angela Taal and her husband Fams, Jessica Cox her husband Brian and Alex Pompei, and Breanna and Michael Holmes and great grandchildren Leah, Jude, Ian, Jacob, Nathan, Sammy, Kalil and Zaynab. She has extended endearing family who still reside in Connecticut as well as in Italy.
The Mass of Christian Burial will be Tuesday, December 31st at 10 am at Our Lady of the Valley in Easthampton. Burial will be private.
Friends may call at the funeral home on Monday, December 30th from 5-7 p.m. at Mitchell Funeral Home at 15 Park Street in Easthampton, MA.
Memorial gifts in Maria’s memory may be given to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, St.Jude.org.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Maria G. (Cistulli) Yacuzzo, please visit our floral store.