Mary Catherine Tamburro, dearest wife for 70 years of the late Frank J. Tamburro; loving mother of Frank Jr., Nick, the late Cindy Eiben, and Nancy Blanco; fun-loving grandmother and granny of Frank, Erica McDonough, Nicholas, Christopher Eiben, Catherine Sallah, Daniel Eiben and Dennis Blanco; great-grandmother of Frank, Olivia, Daniel, Nicholas, Madison, Nicholas, Nolan, Mary, Claire and Charlotte; and cherished daughter of the late Joseph and Lillian Skidlesky.
Mary was born on July 17, 1924 in York Run, Pennsylvania and grew up in “the patch” in Grindstone as a proud coal miner’s daughter. When Mary was 13, she lost her dear mother and took on the role of cooking, cleaning, washing, ironing and shopping at the company store. Her father would take Mary and her friends into Uniontown to shop at Kaufmann’s for dresses and to the movie theater.
Mary left Grindstone at the age of 18 to work at the Curtiss-Wright factory in Buffalo, New York, building cargo planes. It was here that she met her life-long friend, June Cole, who selected Mary to be her work partner. Mary was a true “Rosie the Riveter” during WWII.
Mary met her husband, Frank, through her brother, William, when Frank sold his car to him. This is a long story but the end is that Frank delivered the car to her brother in Pennsylvania and when Frank left he said to Mary, “If you ever get to Cleveland, give me a call.” Frank would love to tell this story and would always say that she almost beat him back to Cleveland!
Mary did move to Cleveland and lived in the same boarding house with her brother, Tom. She held many jobs including working as a waitress at Walgreens (went to lunch the first day and didn’t return), at a shoe store (instructed to say the shoes will stretch if the shoes are tight and the shoes won’t stretch if the shoes are loose), and eventually at Ohio Bell Telephone Company as a long-distance operator.
Mary selflessly devoted her life to her husband and children and truly loved being a homemaker. Frank would say that the best place to eat is Mary’s kitchen and it was true. Mary loved preparing homemade meals including homemade pasta, the most tender and flavorful roast beef and baking delicious nut and poppy seed rolls, banana cream pies, strawberry rhubarb pies, cream puffs, chocolate chip cookies; whatever your favorite she would make it for you. She was also an exceptional seamstress making clothes for her children and curtains and drapes for her home.
Mary made it possible for her family to have years of camping, boating and family reunion vacations often including their life-long friends, Dean and June Cole, and their children.
In their retirement, Mary and Frank enjoyed their winter home in Florida, traveling the country visiting family and friends, golfing, bike riding, cross country skiing but mostly being in their home in Wickliffe where they lived for 70 years.
Mary passed away peacefully in her sleep on June 6, 2023, at the age of 98. Mary will forever be remembered, loved and missed.
Mary will be laid to rest alongside Frank at the Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery with a private family service.