Cirello, Mary Geraldine Lowery, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother and aunt, a long time resident of Newport Beach, California, died Thursday, March 29, 2018 at her daughter’s home in Toluca Lake, California. She was 97.
Born September 8, 1920 in Hackberry, Louisiana, Mary attended John McNeese Junior College where she studied pre-med and chemistry but soon discovered she had a love of flying. The following excerpt was taken from the American Press of Baton Rouge, LA., on January 17, 1941, “The first girl to complete her civilian pilot training course under the recently inaugurated program of the Civil Aeronautics Board, through John McNeese Junior College.” The article goes on to say, “She was the only girl in the group of 10 students selected from the college to pass the rigid requirements of the CAB and become a full-fledged pilot.”
Mary loved cooking and baking. She was happiest in the kitchen preparing a meal for her family or around the card table playing a good game of “Setback,” but her most passionate interest transformed her into the family scribe. She spent many years tirelessly researching the Lowery family tree providing a complete genealogical record dating back to 1719, filled with anecdotal stories which she lovingly detailed.
No surprise, Mary was a descendant of the original settlers of Southwest Louisiana. She is predeceased by Agnes Elender and Ernest Lawerence Lowery, mother and father. Her siblings, Leo, John Anthony “J.A.”, Loraine, Lauris Earl “Buddy Boy,” Arthur Lee, Peggy, Doris, Clerfa John “C.J.” and her beloved husband of 61 years Anthony Michael Cirello. She is survived by her brother, Ernest Lawerence “Jr.” Lowery; her children, Natalie Jean (Graham) Bloxham and Thomas Lawrence Cirello; her grandchildren, Angela Marie (David) Hunter Geiss of Sonoma County, CA.; Caroline Elizabeth (Don) Johnson of Bloomington, Indiana; Antoinette Leigh (David) Shuman of West Jordan, Utah; Trinon Lawrence Cirello of Murphys, CA.; Skye Calvert Shannon Ruggieri of Murphys, CA.; and Jeffrey Crawford Bloxham of Belmont, CA.
Mary was also blessed with 14 great grandchildren, Nickolas Wesley Michael Shuman, Samantha Rae (Nicholas) Johnson Harless, Gage Anthony Cirello, Sadie Anne Johnson, Maximillian Lorenzo Cirello, Sydney Lauren Shuman, Caden Thomas Cirello, Grace Elizabeth Johnson, Bailey Anne Shuman, Molly Anne Johnson, Charles Kevin Hunter Geiss, Zoe Nicole Ruggieri, Benjamin Joseph Anthony Hunter Geiss, and Reece Erin Cirello.
The family would like to thank ResCare HomeCare for the loving caregivers they provided, especially Susie and most recently, Trish Wade.
The visitation was from 1pm until 2pm on Tuesday, April 3, 2018 at the Pacific View Memorial Park, immediately followed by the funeral mass and burial at 2pm. As Mary was a longtime member of the Soul Sisters, the family has asked that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Soul Sisters at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church in Newport Beach, California.