Mary L Casella

mary casella

November 2, 1924 ~ March 30, 2020

Casella, Mary, L. nee: Digirolamo, age 95, passed into eternal rest on Monday, March 30, 2020. Beloved wife to the late Dr. Frank Casella.

Mary loved her family more than anything in life. Nothing made her happier than being surrounded by those she loved. She reveled in cooking for and giving advice to all in her family. She was always a supportive mother to Margaret Schellato and her husband Joseph; Silvia Drubin and her husband Dr.Saul Drubin; Dr. Joseph Casella and his wife Karen; Anthony Casella and his wife Ann; Dr. Frank Casella and his wife Chai; Maria Elias and her husband Dr.Steve Elias; and her special needs daughter Ann Casella. She will be remembered as the cherished grandmother of Dr. Teodora, Maria, Samantha, Frank, Joseph, Sara, Mary, Michael, Cory, Sam, and Mia. Loving great-grandmother of John, Samantha, Isabella, Teodora, Michalina, Giuliana, Joseph, and Carmen.

Born in Bari, Italy. Mary came to the United States when she was six years old. She made the transatlantic journey with her parents, Vito and Silvia Digirolamo, and her older brothers John and Joseph. They came to America for a better life and were very successful in all their pursuits.

As a young Italian American woman, Mary overcame many challenges. Her successes were many. After graduating from Rutgers/Douglass College, she worked as a chemist at Mallinckrodt. She supported her husband Frank when he was in medical school. Mary and Frank raised their seven children in Leonia, New Jersey. Her civic duty was evident during her years in Leonia. Some of the positions she held were as a council woman, Police and Fire Commissioner, and President of the Leonia Board of Education. Mary wrote plays and published novellas. Mary also received her Doctor of Education from Columbia University. She worked as the Director of Educational programs on NYC’s Floating Hospital. As a professor at New Jersey City University, her passion was teaching and training future special education teachers.

Mary and her husband Frank shared so many unforgettable days at their Long Beach Island vacation home first with their children and then grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Mary’s family will miss her in countless ways. They will hold in their hearts her many quips about life, encouragements to succeed, and deep love for family, country, and heritage. Her intelligence, tenacity, and, fortitude will continue to be an inspiration to her family.

Current services will be private. The family will plan a celebration of life once current health restrictions are lifted.

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Memories Timeline


  1. The Lenahan family sends its condolences to the Casella family on the passing of your mother

  2. I am so very sorry for the loss of your Mother. I am the daughter of Doris, her roommate at Care One. I always will remember her for her smiles when I would visit Mom. I knew instantly she was filled with kindness. I am sure you were all blessed to have her as your Mother. My thoughts are with all. Dar-Lyn G. Savage (Daughter of Doris Forte)

  3. My fondest memory was sitting with Mrs. Casella and Sylvia at their kitchen table laughing. Precious moments. Thank you, Mrs. Casella

  4. I remember Mary fondly from our days at The Floating Hospital. We called her "mom" because that is how we felt about her. Mary, I hope to call you "mom" once again in heaven.

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