OBITUARY: Maria V. (Ferrara) Ferrandini, 74

Below is an obituary from Twomey-LeBlanc and Conte Funeral Home:

NEWBURYPORT, MA — Maria V. (Ferrara) Ferrandini of Newburyport passed away peacefully on January 16, 2022 in her home surrounded by loved ones. Born in Winchester, MA, she was the only daughter of the late Theresa and Frederick Ferrara, both originally from Boston. 

Maria grew up with a large extended Italian family which instilled in her strong values of tradition, love, and support. An adventurous spirit from a young age, she enjoyed the best of both worlds during her childhood, spending time with relatives in Boston as well as at her family estate surrounded by her grandparents and cousins in the town of Wilmington, MA.  

Maria graduated from Wilmington High School in 1965 where she was active in many clubs and was the captain of the WHS Band Majorettes. She was particularly proud of playing on the 1968 state champion Wilmington Girls Basketball team which was inducted into the WHS Athletics Hall of Fame in 2013. From 1965-1969, she attended Lowell State College where she was on the Dean’s List and graduated with a BS in Education. 

Following college, Maria married the love of her life, John Ferrandini, on August 2, 1969 and soon after moved to Newburyport. There she raised her two sons, Jay and Mark, whom she considered her greatest accomplishments. Over the years, she created many traditions for their close knit family and was the consummate hostess. An annual event she always looked forward to was her famous 4th of July pool party extravaganza complete with an epic Yankee Swap. When her sons were young, they made many memories spending summers at Lake Ossipee in New Hampshire and participating in various community activities and sports around Newburyport. As her sons grew into adults, she imparted wisdom and advice on building strong relationships and shared her secret recipes for success – both in and outside the kitchen. Maria’s graciousness and spirit attracted many beyond her family to join and honor these traditions and aspire to the sense of ‘home’ she came to represent. 

Passionate about developing and educating young people, Maria taught for 35 years in Wilmington, Salisbury, Newburyport and Amesbury schools where she retired in 2008. She was the recipient of many awards and nominations over her career, but a highlight was the Milken Foundation National Educator Award in 1998. She was also proud to join the Amesbury Educational Foundation Hall of Honor in the community she served for 25 years. In her later years, Maria found joy in mentoring student teachers and newer members of her team at Cashman Elementary to share her approach to students and the classroom. 

By her side through it all has been her life-long friend, Sylvia Fransescone, and her husband Hank. Whether it was teaching, parenting, fashion or music, Sylvia shared counsel, support, laughter, and love. Partners in both friendship and business, during the 70’s and 80’s the Francescones and Ferrandinis brought mainstays to downtown Newburyport like the Corner Store, Luncheonette, and Paesano’s Italian restaurant. 

Faith was very important to Maria from an early age, but especially in recent years. Caring for her dear mother until her death in 2017 as well as during her long journey living with cancer, she always counted her blessings, embraced positivity, and held firm to her belief in God’s plan. In addition to faith, she drew immense strength from the support and many acts of kindness from her wonderful friends and family who truly made a difference in her life and to whom she would offer her heartfelt thanks. 

She is survived by her husband John of Newburyport, her cherished sons, Jay Ferrandini and his wife, Amy, of Haverhill and Mark Ferrandini and his husband, Ben Harman, of Newburyport. She is also survived by her beloved cousins and adopted nieces and nephews, and many dear friends. She will be deeply missed by all who knew her.

Her family would like to thank Christine Hatch, NP at Seacoast Medical, Dr. Lauren Dias and Fredrica (Ricky) Preston, NP at MGH for the excellent health care they provided over the years. 

Family and friends were called on on Thursday January 20, 2022 from 9:00 to 12:00 PM at the Twomey, LeBlanc, & Conte Funeral Home 193 High St. Newburyport, MA 01950. Her Funeral Mass followed at 12:30 PM at Immaculate Conception Church in Newburyport, followed by burial at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Newburyport, MA. 

In consideration of the safety of our friends and family, a celebration of her life is planned for the Spring when pandemic precautions and concerns can be minimized and all can gather safely.

In lieu of flowers, we encourage you to consider donations in Mrs. Ferrandini’s name to Mass General Cancer Center or the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Maria V. (Ferrara) Ferrandini

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