Mary Alice (McMahon) Di Salvo
Mary Alice (McMahon) Di Salvo, 79, of Ridgefield, passed away in her home with her children Peter, Elizabeth, and Suzanne by her side on Tuesday, January 29, 2019. She was the loving wife of the late Richard S. Di Salvo.
Born in Detroit, Michigan on June 24, 1939, Mary Alice was the eldest of the late, Edmond McMahon and Mary (Malloy) McMahon’s three children.
She was known for her modesty, elegance, kindness, and sensibility and was a cultivator of lifelong friendships, a voracious reader, a swimmer and skater of lakes, a skilled artist and designer, a perennial gardener, and a terrific dancer.
Most of her childhood was spent in Syracuse, NY where she graduated as Valedictorian of Saint Vincent de Paul High School in 1957. She was also crowned the 1957 Rose Queen of Syracuse.
Mary Alice graduated from the College of New Rochelle in 1961 with a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics. She spent summers waitressing with her Spring Lake gang on the Jersey Shore where she met and fell in love with Richie Di Salvo, a young engineer and Air Force officer. After graduation, she worked as an engineering assistant for Bell Telephone and was a spokesmodel at the 1964 World’s Fair in Flushing, NY introducing Bell’s cutting edge and soon to be available video-phone!
In 1964 Mary Alice and Richard were married in White Plains, NY and she subsequently advanced her apparel design skills at the Fashion Institute of Technology. In 1967 Rich and his “M.A.” moved their growing family from Larchmont, NY to Ridgefield, CT.
As a young mother of three, Mrs. Di Salvo was active in Ridgefield Newcomers, the PTA, the League of Women Voters, and the Ridgefield Environmental Action Program. She was a key instigator of the Dump Ball and Memorial Day Float, a community action effort of the LWV and REAP, which raised awareness and funds for a town transfer station. It was the talk of the town in 1974!
Mary Alice and Richard could often be seen spontaneously ballroom dancing at restaurants and gatherings. Her eye for style was evident in all she took on. She contributed illustrations and graphic design work to local causes created a unique home, and was famous for her Christmas cards.
As her children grew older, Mary Alice went back to school to study computer programming. She worked for Real Decisions, an early systems technology company in the 1980s. Later, she worked as the Marketing Director for her husband’s firm, the Di Salvo Engineering Group, in Ridgefield. She was a co-founder of the Village Investment Partners, a group of women who still meet regularly to analyze and invest in personal stocks.
In recent years, Mary Alice was awarded the Ursula Laurus citation by the College of New Rochelle in recognition of her alumna work. She enjoyed travel adventures, involvement in book clubs, activities and events at Founder’s Hall, reunions and outings with friends, and the company of her grandchildren of whom she was excessively proud. Her interest in technology, the arts, and the environment influenced her children’s career paths.
Mrs. Di Salvo is survived by her three children: Peter Di Salvo, Elizabeth Di Salvo and her husband, Bob Donohue; Suzanne Di Salvo and her husband, Zachary Miller as well as two grandchildren: Eli Keeler and Mays Miller. She is also survived by two brothers: Terrance McMahon and his wife, Jean and Brian McMahon and his wife, Lynda and many nieces, nephews and cousins. Mrs. Di Salvo was predeceased by her parents, Edmond and Mary and her husband, Richard.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Friday, February 8, 2019 at 10:15 AM at St. Mary’s Church; 55 Catoonah Street, Ridgefield. Interment will follow in St. Mary’s Cemetery,
Ridgefield. Friends will be received on Thursday, February 7, 2019 from 4:00 to 7:00 PM at Kane Funeral Home; 25 Catoonah Street, Ridgefield. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Danbury Hospital Praxair Cancer Center or Regional Hospice and Homecare.