NILES, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – Mary Catherine (Zito) Hernandez, 89, passed away peacefully in the comfort of her home and family on Friday, August 19, 2022. This November 14 would have marked her 90th birthday.

She was the first-born daughter of four children to Bruno and Virginia Zito.

She was a long-time resident of Warren and fervent parishioner at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish.

In her youth she was an avid reader, played violin, loved roller skating and was quite apt at playing pool. During her years at St. Mary’s High School, her Alma Mater, she participated in the school’s acapela choir that performed at many area concert venues.

Throughout her working years she held numerous secretarial positions but two posts stood out as her favorites. The first was surgical secretary at St. Joseph Riverside Hospital in Warren where she befriended a circle of bright nurses who taught her the game of bridge at which she ultimately excelled. The other was school secretary at St. Stephen Catholic School in Niles where her gentle caring and kindness were embraced by the delightful teachers, staff and students.

Mary married the love of her life, Alexander Hernandez, on June 23, 1951 and together they built a blessed life with their three children. Though she loved her children, she was greatly devoted to her eight grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren. She attended all their school functions, recitals and sporting events. If something was important to them, it was important to her. They were her pride and joy and dear to her heart. She cherished every minute with them.

Because family was the center of her life she created a warm home environment amid her beautiful flowers and vegetable gardens, the graceful style in her interior designs, arts and crafts, delicious meals she cooked for gatherings and interesting conversations about the news she had intently watched on any given day.

Later in life she generously nursed her own mother and husband when they were challenged with their illnesses. She was employed as a caretaker for neighborhood children during school hours. Being an advocate of the American Heart Association, she also volunteered as the neighborhood canvass leader. Indeed, a rich, giving and full life. God gave her.

Preceding her in death were her parents; husband, Alex; one sister Julia Zito Aristide; one brother, Melvin Zito and a niece, Denise Zito Harper.

Her love, friendship, hard work, zest for life, guidance, creativity and strong faith will be deeply missed by her surviving brother, Robert (Barbara) Zito; daughter, Diana (Richard) Muccio; daughter,  Donna (Clifford) Mahan; son, David Hernandez; her grandchildren, Douglas (Brittany) Muccio, Nicholas (Natalie) Muccio, Alisa (Timothy) Zeitz, Alaina (Jason) Davis, Nathan Mahan, Steven Mahan, Alexandra Hernandez and Alexander Hernandez; her great-grandchildren, Luca Muccio, Benjamin, Jonathan, Juliana and Georgia Zeitz, Franco, Rocco and Enzo Muccio, Patrick and Liam Davis and sister-in-law, Dianne Zito.

Arrangements have ben entrusted to the professional care of the Peter Rossi & Son Memorial Chapel Warren, Ohio.

As per Mary’s request, her funeral celebration will be a private Mass and gathering.

Mary will be laid to rest at All Souls Cemetery.

Her family would like to express extreme gratitude to Heyday Health providers for their amazing care and support at their time of need.

 In lieu of flowers, any contributions can be made to her charities: American Heart Association and St. Jude Children’s Hospital.

Friends and family may visit to sign the guestbook and send condolences to the family.         

To send flowers to the family, please visit our floral store.

A television tribute will air Tuesday, August 23 at the following approximate times: 6:43 a.m. on WYTV, 9:32 a.m. on WKBN, 10:58 a.m. on FOX and 8:12 p.m. on MyYTV.