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Mary Lou Louise Mansanti - (March 7, 1928 - October 20, 2017)


Mary Lou Mansanti On October 20, 2017, Mary Louise Garbarino Mansanti peacefully passed away in the presence of her family. Mary Lou was born on March 7, 1928, in Butte, Montana, the first of two daughters to John and Marie (Buckley) Garbarino. She was 89 years old. She spent her early childhood in Hail Columbia Gulch, Walkerville and the Buckley boarding house on North Wyoming street. Mary Lou attended grade school at St. Mary’s and St. Lawrence O’Toole’s. As part of the only class that spent all four years at war, she graduated from Butte High School in 1945. Three years later she graduated from the Sisters of Charity School of Nursing. Her career in nursing began at St. James Hospital, working in pediatrics and obstetrics. Later, she worked in a similar capacity in Eugene, Oregon and Seattle, Washington. She returned to Montana working at St. James again and after marriage and the arrival of children became a vacation relief nurse. While her children were growing up she worked as a private duty nurse and in 1978 she became a Community Health nurse. She then found her true passion as a Lamaze instructor by combining her nursing skills and her love of teaching. With humor and skill, she instructed many of Butte’s young couples through the delivery process and helped make the miracle of life miraculous. She continued in this role until her retirement. Mary Lou married Louis Marcelino Mansanti on September 11, 1954. Together they had four children, John, Loren, Joe, and Michele. In 1955 she lost her mother to cancer and several years later her father married Madeline Gibson Garbarino instantly expanding Mary Lou’s immediate family. Mary Lou and Louie moved to Daly Street in Walkerville shortly after their marriage where they raised their children. Louie passed away after 44 years of marriage. Mary Lou continued to live in Walkerville living in the same house for 61 years. After recovering from a broken hip and a hand she decided to pursue other living alternatives, leaving her home in Walkerville to live at the Big Sky Living Center. She adapted to the Big Sky with ease and grace, becoming reacquainted with old friends and becoming new friends with staff and residents alike. A grade school friend and fellow resident, Marie Hubley, became a special companion to Mary Lou bringing joy to her days and support to her final months of living at the Big Sky. Mary Lou was proudly Irish, proudly Italian and proudly Catholic. She was a member of the Hibernians, the Daughters of Isabella and Butte Community North. St. Patrick’s Day was one of her special days. She was also proud to be a cancer survivor. All about family, her children, her grandchildren and her great-grandchildren she would entertain them with story and song. She was especially good with small children and could amuse them for hours with stories, Tupperware and whatever else was at hand. Few things were as special for a child as an invitation to a Grandma Lou tea party. She was a den mother, a religious education teacher, and an avid fan, following her children and grandchildren across the state in support of their sports. She enjoyed traveling and a trip to Ireland with her sister Florence was one of here fondest adventures. She was recognized for her creativity and enjoyed contributing poems and songs to nursing school reunions, to her ladies' clubs, and to other social events. She enjoyed the sing-alongs of the old days, cooking for crowds (big and small), fishing, antiquing, collecting pink dishware and bells, and anything competitive with a deck of cards or a game board. Mary Lou was preceded in death by her parents and Madeline; her husband, Louie; her close aunt, Eleanor Buckley Shea;, her sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Kathryn Mansanti Martina and Gene Martina; Winfred “Biddie” Holman; Bill Gibson; Harold Zigrang; her nephew, Bobby Martina; and her two grandchildren, Peter and Paul Loomis. She is survived by her sister, Florence “Queen” and Rich Alden, Nancy Zigrang, John and Pat Gibson. She is also survived by her children and their spouses John and Margaret Mansanti, Loren and Danise Mansanti, Joe and Tamie Mansanti and Michele and Stephen Loomis. She has 15 grandchildren, Daynen Lalicker and Tom Davis, Marcie and Josh Jany, Scott Mansanti and Jennifer Casey, Stephanie and Ryan Donahue, Meghan and Sal Giovenco, Johnny Mansanti, Joanna, Katie, Thomas, Joseph and Emilie, James, Grace and Joshua Mansanti, Nathaniel and Noah Loomis. Mary Lou is also survived by 14 great-grandchildren, Shea and Sudha Davis; Elizabeth and Kathryn Lalicker; Alyssa, Cade and Cole Jany; Marly and Henly Mansanti; Giovanni and Nina Giovenco; and Norah, Coryn, and Asher Donahue. She is also survived by numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews who she dearly loved. The family expresses their sincere gratitude to those who helped Mary Lou her during her years of living without Louie in Walkerville, especially Tony Jangula and Tudo Stagnoli. They would also like to thank the many friends and family members that would look in on Mary Lou from time to time and lighten up her day at the Big Sky. Friends and family are welcome to gather at St. Patrick’s Church on Friday October 27th for visitation at 5 p.m. to be followed by a decade of the rosary. Mary Lou’s funeral Mass will be celebrated at 9 a.m., Saturday, October 28th. in St. Patrick’s Church with the Rite of Committal to follow in Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery. Memorials are suggested to the Montana Association for the Blind, P.O. Box 465 Helena, MT 59624, to a hospice association or to a charity of people’s choice.

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