Dear family and friends,
I apologize for the blast and jarring email, but I am a ghost on social media so this is my best form to get the word out in an efficient fashion.
My Mother, Maureen Ann Maresca née O’Brien (born March 22, 1948), very suddenly passed away last night from heart failure at Lenox Hill hospital. She was 73 years young and healthy up until her passing (and a lymphoma survivor). As many of you know, in mid-2015 my Father Carl Maresca tragically passed away at 66 just before his retirement. To say we are devastated as a family is beyond an understatement at this point (we’ve been blindsided twice). Both of them grew up together in Rye. I thank you in advance for taking the time to read the below and your compassion. I encourage you to pass along to anyone you think may have known my Mom or my family (I do not have everyone’s email, so this is definitely missing people).
My Mom grew up in Rye on Brookdale Place, graduated at Resurrection (when it went through high school), then headed out to Marquette University for college (she loved basketball…always wanted to watch our kids). She was the daughter of Virginia Brown and Francis Xavier O’Brien, and one of ten O’Brien kids (eight surviving, my Mom is the oldest). She became a Labor and Delivery nurse post college and spent most of her career in Mount Kisco at Northern Westchester Hospital. She was selfless, loving, full of laughter and loved to be called ‘The Queen’ by her many siblings and ‘Gigi’ by her surviving five grandchildren (Vincent, Stella, Dominic, Matthias, Pia). She also loved a nice full glass of Chardonnay and a good martini around the holidays. She was rarely not smiling and loved her grandkids. She was a huge part of our family and the many lives she touched as a nurse and great friend. I’ll never forget her effectively ‘taking charge’ during my oldest son’s birth in the delivery room at UCONN hospital (emergency delivery, he was premature). She didn’t even work there and soon enough she’s helping direct traffic during labor. It was awesome.
A lot of tragedy has unfolded around all of us in many communities over the past 18+ months and none of it seems fair…this certainly falls squarely into that category. My sister Amy and I are stunned to so quickly not have parents (and our kids are equally upset to not have their Gigi and Papi anymore). My wife Melina and Amy’s husband Paul are also crushed. I know my Mom’s many friends and co-workers are going to be hurt to find this out so suddenly. I had a great conversation with my Mom on Saturday when she had just come back from a long ‘fun’ lunch at the Mount Kisco diner with many friends. We also had an awesome Labor Day weekend ‘birthday-palooza’ party at the beach and then back at my house…last time I saw her alive.
On Sunday afternoon she was dizzy and thought she may have had vertigo, then went to the Northern Westchester ER where she was stable. Her heart seemed structurally sound after some tests (no blockage), but was somewhat erratic rhythmically, so she was transferred to Lenox Hill yesterday. Immediately upon arrival it was clear the heart wasn’t working properly (possibly from inflammation related to medication she was on to treat her lymphoma, but doctors were unclear), they tried to shock her several times, worked on her for 15+ minutes, to no avail. I’ll never forget the final image. Absolutely brutal to hug a lifeless body. One anecdote from yesterday that encapsulates my Mom’s selflessness: my last conversation with her was on the phone yesterday, I asked her what she needed from her house as she was getting transferred. She gave me a few items, then proceeded to spend the next several minutes telling me about the tomatoes I needed to get from her garden and from her windowsill because they would make for great salad and sauce and she wanted me to have them before they went bad. Her heart is failing, she’s hours from death, and wants to make sure we’re eating her tomatoes.
Thanks for your friendship and love and for listening. No one is promised tomorrow. Go and squeeze the most out of each day.
All my love,
Steve (and the extended Maresca / O’Brien family)
Maureen Ann Maresca (nee O’Brien) of Mt. Kisco, NY passed away on September 14, 2021. Born in New Rochelle, NY on March 22, 1948, the daughter of Francis and Virginia (nee Brown) O’Brien. After graduating Resurrection School in 1966, she went on to receive her Bachelor of Science degree from Marquette University in 1970, thus beginning her 50 year career in nursing.
Maureen is survived by her two children: Stephen of Rye, NY and Amy of Valhalla, NY; five grandchildren: Vincent , Stella, Dominic, Matthias, and Pia; and seven siblings: Greg, Lauren, Paul, Justine, Tim, Bernadette and Andy.
The family will receive friends at the Graham Funeral Home on Sunday September 19, 2021 from 1:00-4:00 PM. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated on Monday September 20, 2021 at 9:45 AM at the Church of the Resurrection. Interment to follow at Greenwood Union Cemetery.