Marianne (Masino) Cercone, 98, of Walpole MA died peacefully at home in her sleep on March 2nd. She is survived by her six children: Michael Cercone of Marblehead MA; Lauren Cercone (James Williamson) of Phoenix, AZ; Diane Cercone of Dedham; Christopher Cercone (Christine Reynolds) of Concord MA; Faith Cercone of Walpole MA; and Len Cercone (Jill) of Natick MA; as well as by her five grandchildren, Christopher, Victoria, Daniel, Téa, and Noah Cercone. She is also survived by her sister-in-law Betty Ann (Cercone) Balboni of Sudbury MA and numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews.
Marianne grew up in Norwood MA, one of the seven children of Michael and Elizabeth Masino. She was preceded in death by her sisters Josephine Ollis of Walpole, Arlene Loomis of Easthampton MA, Florence Pollitt of Cumberland RI, and Connie Delsignore of Wrentham MA, and by her brothers Leonard Masino of Eatontown NJ and Michael Masino of Plainville MA.
Although she lived in Walpole for 68 years, she never lost her fierce devotion to her hometown. She was a proud 1942 graduate of Norwood High School who often tormented her kids by singing the Norwood High fight song. When she would drive by Norwood High she would tell them to “bow your heads”. After graduation, she attended Chandler Secretarial School in Boston, then worked at Bird & Son in East Walpole. When her children were older, she returned to work in the helicopter division of Wiggins Airways in Norwood. She also worked as an occasional bookkeeper for a family business, Lou’s Country Auction in Medway MA, which was founded by her father-in-law.
As an avid collector of china, linens, and silver, she loved to scour yard sales, second-hand stores, and flea markets for finds. She always set a beautiful table for holidays and special occasions and would say, “Use your good stuff – that’s what it’s for.” Particularly notable were her collections of antique purses and of teapots and tea wares. Also often heard: “Go put the kettle on.” She was happiest when her house was full of people. She fed whomever came through the door – and there were many. She was a terrific cook whose pies, tortellini soup, sausage bread, and meatballs were legendary; on Friday nights she customarily churned out homemade pizzas.
Marianne was a long-time member and then president of the Westwood Garden Club from 2005 to 2009, and an active member of the Norwood Historical Society. She also supported literacy by volunteering for many years as a reading tutor at Fisher Elementary School in Walpole. She was an avid reader all her life, especially of biographies and of social histories of the Victorian era. As a family friend once commented, she was the only mother in town who would be stirring a pot of meatballs with one hand while holding a Hunter S. Thompson book in the other.
She was a devoted PBS viewer and a professed museum junkie; her favorite was the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. She made it a point to take her kids from a young age to museums and historic sites of all types. On Mother’s Day she loved to ride the Swan Boats in the Boston Public Garden. She also loved Cape Cod, especially when sitting on a beach with family and friends to “chew the fat”.
Her favorite activity: activity! She attended events of many types whenever she could, often with her “posse” of like-minded friends. They named themselves the “COVI”: Club of Varied Interests, whose members were Jeannie Orphan, Dottie Messier, Phyllis Georgeau, and Rosalie Barbato. She loved travel, both in the US and in Europe, and new experiences, especially new tearooms to visit. No matter where she went, people she didn’t know talked to her, told her their problems, and asked her advice. “Ma, do you know her? No, she just came up to me and started talking” was a frequent exchange.
Relatives and friends are kindly invited to attend Marianne's committal service at Highland Cemetery, 320 Winter Street, Norwood, on Saturday, March 25, 2023, at 11:00 AM.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in her name to the Norwood Historical Society. Online donations may be made on NorwoodHistoricalSociety.org; the yellow Donation button is at the end of the Membership section. Checks may be mailed to: Norwood Historical Society, 93 Day Street, Norwood MA 02062-2118.