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Obituary of Mary Ann Damato
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On April 1st, 2022, Mary Ann (Missy Owens) Damato, 73, passed away peacefully on the bank of Lake Champlain. She was in the care of her dear friend, Margaret Sheehey and daughter-in-law, Jeanette Damato. Mary Ann, or Missy was born in Ithaca, New York on August 21, 1948. She graduated from Fr. Leo’s Memorial School, Croghan NY, in 1966. She spent much of her youth ice skating with the Fransican brothers in Croghan. She loved camping, the outdoors and reading all things medieval. She went on to receive a Bachelor of the Arts degree in Elementary Education from The State University of New York College at Cortland in 1970. In 1984, she received her Masters degree in Theology from Regis University in Denver, Colorado. Whether she was dancing to Son Jarocho music in Mexico, washing the feet of a community member at a Holy Thursday Mass in Keene, or swimming across Dublin Lake, whatever Mary Ann Damato did, it was with great conviction. She was a devotee to the peace loving, humble ways of St. Francis of Assisi; with a thirst for adventure. Mary Ann had an insatiable appetite for travel and always encouraged growth through gallivanting. She was a huge fan of New York City, NY, Mexico City, Mexico, Antigua, Guatemala, Santa Teresa, El Salvador, Assisi, Italy, Stoddard, New Hampshire, La Joya, California and Burlington, Vermont to name a few. She had many places that her heart called home, her most recent being San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico. Mary Ann enjoyed many things in life. She loved Celtic Music, NPR, chocolate, iced mochas, Vermont cheddar cheese, teaching art, thrift store shopping, fashion magazines, watching movies, indigenous native american traditions, mariachi music, mole sauce, fresh roses, Christmas celebrations, swimming, ice skating and wearing red shoes. Nothing however, brought Mary Ann greater joy than when her children grew up to love and support each other. She loved to know the Damato kids were having fun. Pax et bonum, Peace and Goodness. The motto of St. Francis- it was adopted by Mary Ann. A true trailblazer in the Catholic community, Mary Ann dedicated her life to the service of others. She worked tirelessly as an educator, and advocate. From 1990-2000, summers were spent in Lakeside, California- working with her dear friend Father Ted Brown at the Long Island University Tekakwitha Project. There, she led students in how to teach vacation bible school to the native children of the parish. In New Hampshire she spent more than a decade providing a space for the Cathloic Campus Ministry to act as into an interfaith community-celebrating the tenements of service and social justice. During her time at Keene State College, as the director of the Newman Center, Mary Ann’s work was vastly felt over the years. Be it her efforts to stay committed to Liberation Theology via work at the Keene Community Kitchen, travels to service trips in Central America, leading faith based retreats or hosting Thanksgiving Dinners for the hungry; the celebrations of love, the arts and faith were endless. Mary Ann was an artist her whole life, with experience in drawing, pottery, painting, fabric art, choir singing and glass etching. “Do not throw it away, I will make something with it.”, was a common phrase around her household or classroom. As a benefit of working at Keene State College she was able to further her art expertise and returned to being an art student. She took almost every class offered in the visual arts department. Ceramics, Photography, Painting, Drawing & Sculpture to name a few. Mary Ann taught in many places over the years. Camp Holy Cross in Vermont. St. Mary’s in Claremont, NH. Indian River in Enfield, NH. St. Joe’s in Keene, NH, to name a few. Mary Ann also lived with her family in Victoria, Texas for a brief time where she belonged to the Our Lady of Sorrows Parish. There she helped grow the Morning Star Youth Group. In her retirement years, Mary Ann could be found at a piazza or cafe in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico. She may have been telling an epic story, painting a friend’s portrait, or teaching art to youth, always free of charge. Her life in Mexico was rich with colors, celebrations and friends who revered her and adored her artwork. Her paintings and photos remain up, with a solo show in a local restaurant to this day. Mary Ann is survived by her children Frances Marie, Christian Dominic, Dominic Giovanni, Annamarie, David James, Maria Kathryn, and Nina Guadalupe, as well as her brothers, William David Owens and Carroll Edward Owens. Mary Ann, Missy Owens is preceded in death by her daughter, Kateri Marie Damato and brother, Mickey David Owens. On Saturday, April 30th, a funeral Mass will be held at St. Bernard’s Church, 185 Main St, Keene NH. The mass will begin at 11:00am. There will be a reception with light refreshments in the church basement immediately to follow. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be given to Mary Ann Damato's Go Fund Me at https://gofund.me/8e95df3a This will help ease some of the logistical costs remaining. Also, as was Mary Ann’s request, a portion of the donations will go directly to the community she loved in Chiapas Mexico. Special gratitude to Margaret & Larry, and their entire supportive community of Port Douglas/ Keesville, NY. Thank you for walking Missy home. “We journey with you, Missy, toward your new home. We will go with you as far as the front door. We will help you and pray with you as you pass through this door into your new home in the Kingdom of God.” Pax et bonum. Arrangements are in the care of the Hamilton Funeral Home, 124 Clinton Street, Keeseville, 834-7667. To make a floral purchase, offer an online condolence, share a symbolic gesture, or share a photo in memory of Mary Ann Damato please visit www.hamiltonfuneralhome.com
A Memorial Tree was planted for Mary Ann
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Hamilton Funeral Home
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In Loving Memory
Mary Ann Damato
1948 - 2022
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