NORTH LIMA, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – Mary U. Berardi, 95, died peacefully on Tuesday, September 22, 2020 at The Assumption Village in North Lima. She was affectionately called “Dolly” and “Uncle Pat’s Aunt Mary.”
She was born at home on Pew Street in Niles, Ohio October 4, 1924, as the first of five children born to Ralph D. and Ellen (DeCapito) Lepore. She was baptized at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Niles which was a short walk away. One child, Frank, died in early childhood and is buried in Niles Union Cemetery. The family then moved to Linden Avenue in Warren where she attended St. Mary School and later Warren G. Harding High School.
Prior to marriage, she worked at J.C. Penney and then Packard Electric.
She met her husband-to-be at her 18th birthday party. They were married on April 10, 1944 at St. Mary Church.
Shortly thereafter, her husband, Liberi P. Berardi entered the U.S. Army Air Force. Following his basic training, she joined him at his posting in Carlsbad, New Mexico and then Geiger Field, Spokane, Washington. While living on base, she worked checking parachutes and assigned to some mechanical work on the planes. She even worked for the Spokane department stores doing their advertising layout work.
During this period, she became known as top cook. Her pies were regularly stolen by the other servicemen who would promptly return the empty pans. Her culinary fame grew over the years as many guests dined at her table, including famed radio and music personalities. Also, a good number of out-of-state truck drivers who were stranded away from home as their truck was being repaired in their Berardi Truck Garage.
After the war, she moved to her husband’s family hometown of Ellsworth, Ohio. They started the Berardi’s Garage, renovating the old wooden schoolhouse on Route 224 near the Route 45 intersection with living quarters on a second floor and the garage business below. They would additionally take over the Gulf gas stations on Route 224 at the centers of Canfield and Poland. By the early 50s, they added two bay steel building expanding the Ellsworth Business. These buildings today form the Ace Hardware Store within them.
She became a member of St. James Catholic Church in North Jackson, Ohio and was a part of the donors with the start-up of the St. Paul’s Monastery in Ellsworth.
The family moved to North Lima in 1959 where they had acquired 200 acres just east of Elser Airport to the Turnpike off-ramp at Market Street. The bulk of the acreage led to their developing and opening the Penn-Ohio Truckstop in 1963. With a sharp eye, she filled their home with fine art, objet d’art and collections of classic and antique furniture.
She became a member of St. Charles Church in Boardman, joining their Women’s Bowling League and had continued in many of its parish groups such as its Ladies Guild, Over 55 and others.
In 1969 she moved into her final home of 50 years about a mile northwest of Elser Airport on New Buffalo Road, in the old community of Paradise.
She enjoyed learning to fly glider planes at the airport and enjoyed traveling throughout the United States, especially New Mexico where they maintained a second home in Albuquerque. She enjoyed traveling to the national parks with her family with their Airstream trailer in tow. Another passion was attending the opera in Cleveland with her mother-in-law and sister-in-law.
She is survived by a daughter, Tina Mortimer of Ellsworth; a son, Beri (Diane) Berardi of Boardman; a granddaughter, Heather (Andrew Uphold) Berardi of Streetsboro; grandsons, Christopher Berardi of Poland, Giovanni and Jerry Duley of Ellsworth and James Duley of Surfside Beach, South Carolina; two sisters, Constance Capito of Surprise, Arizona and Nancy Schimmel of Ft. Worth, Texas; a brother, Ralph Lepore of Rio Rancho, New Mexico; a sister-in-law, Mary Berardi of Atwater, Ohio; cousins, June Rose of Florida, Judy (Istvan) Domonkos of Diamond, Ohio, Roger and Alberta DeCapito of Warren and many nieces and nephews of which a number are themselves grandparents and great-grandparents.
Besides her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Liberi P. Berardi; son-in-law, Joseph Mortimer; a brother, Frank Lepore; nine brothers-in-law and eight sisters-in-law.
The family extends its heartfelt gratitude to her long time physician, Dr. Scott Agnew and the staff at The Assumption Village in North Lima and the members of Hospice. Also thankful for the pastoral care from Msgr. Michael Cariglio of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and Msgr. William Bonczewski of Our Lady of the Cedars.
Friends may call at Lane Family Funeral Homes, Canfield Chapel on Friday, September 25 from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. and on Saturday, September 26 from 9:30 – 9:45 a.m. at St. Charles Church, followed by a Mass of Resurrection at 10:00 a.m.
Due to COVID-19, the 6-foot rule will be honored, and we ask that all guests, whose health allows, please wear a mask. For the safety of everyone, we ask that visitors not linger at the funeral home after seeing the family.
There will be a luncheon following the burial at A La Cart in Canfield.
A television tribute will air Thursday, September 24 at the following approximate times: 7:10 a.m. on FOX, 12:22 p.m. on WKBN, 5:08 p.m. on MyYTV and 7:27 p.m. on WYTV.
More stories from WKBN.com: