Mary Rose Cestone, 94, of Pinehurst and formerly of Harding Township, New Jersey, passed away suddenly at her home, on Sunday, January 10.
Born in Summit, N.J., on December 11, 1926, Mary (“Mickey”) was the daughter of the late Daniel J. and Mary Miller Fitzpatrick. Mary attended Summit High School and then went to New Jersey College for Women (Douglass College), where she graduated with a degree in sociology. Following graduation she worked as Executive Director of the Summit Area Girl Scout Council. Soon after Mary served as a Department of the Army civilian in Geisen, Germany. There she met Thomas Cestone who was stationed in the Army at the same time. When Tom and Mary returned to the States they married on August 28, 1954.
Mary lived a full life and was often described as a woman ahead of her time. After returning to college for an education degree, she began her teaching career as a 5th grade teacher in the Morris School District, Morristown, N.J. She was a natural teacher who made a lasting impression on all of her students. Mary never stopped learning. She earned a Masters in Administration and Supervision from Kean University and then worked as a principal, Supervisor of Teachers and Director of Curriculum within the district. She helped to implement a curriculum that was adopted nationwide.
Mary was a voracious reader and kept journals throughout her life. She was passionate about history and archeology and enjoyed a healthy political debate. She loved to garden and was a longstanding member of the Pinehurst Garden Club. She was an avid painter who filled her family’s homes with many lovely portraits and landscapes. A devoted member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Mary belonged to the Woman of Sacred Heart, the Sanctuary Society, the Faith Discussion Group and served as an eucharistic minister and perpetual adorer. For many years, along with husband Tom, Mary coordinated the food donations from Sacred Heart Church to the Sandhills Moore Coalition for Human Care. Mary continued to play golf with family and friends well into her 90s. Mary and Tom enjoyed many trips abroad, activities with their Pinehurst friends and memorable vacations with the family.
Mary is survived by her husband of 66 years, Tom Cestone. She was the mother of: Noemi C. (Mimi) Alberu, Mary C. Bulger, (Stephen), Thomas D. Cestone, (Marlene Koik), and Daniel C. Cestone. She is also survived by her grandchildren Rosemaureen, Marykate, Alexander, Marlene-Victoria and Talia Marie.
A Mass of Christian Burial is planned for Saturday, January 16 at 10:00 a.m. at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Pinehurst, with Reverend John J. Forbes officiating.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of Mary to Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 300 Dundee Rd, Pinehurst, North Carolina 28374
Online condolences may be made at www.bolesfuneralhome.com
Services are entrusted to Boles Funeral Home of Pinehurst.