Mary Natalina Vatrella Mayeres passed away on the morning of Thursday, December 23, 2021 in Columbus, Ohio, just 7 days short of her 83rd birthday, taken by the swift and unrelenting Covid-19 virus. Those who knew her are heartbroken.
Mary was a native of Steubenville, Ohio—a first generation Italian American who was proud of her heritage and loved sharing stories about growing up in the Ohio Valley steel town. A naturally beautiful woman inside and out, she pursued life with passion and empathy, seeking knowledge and learning throughout. She graduated from Steubenville Big Red in 1956, going on to the College of Steubenville (“Steubey U”) where she graduated with a degree in chemistry and also met the love of her life and future husband, Charles Mayeres (d. 2019).
Charles and Mary were married in 1960 and moved to Columbus, where they started a family and eventually settled In Reynoldsburg. She was a devout Roman Catholic, and became an integral member of St. Pius X parish. Community, faith and family were central to her, and she never tired of volunteering and singing in the choir. She was an avid gardener with a green thumb, and became a certified horticulturalist and active member of the Red Fox Garden Club. A voracious reader, she hosted book clubs in the 1970’s, before they were trendy. A part time job at the Columbus public library led to her return to school in the late 80’s, attending Kent State University where she obtained a masters degree in library science. She worked at the downtown branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library, at the Magazines and Newspapers desk, for many years. She was a fixture at the library until she retired in 2001, known as a go-to research resource for students, journalists and so many library patrons. She was passionate about sustainability, and composted before composting was cool. She volunteered with the Wild Ones, a group devoted to restoring Ohio’s native prairie lands. An accomplished quilter and charter member of the Common Threads Quilt Guild, she won best of show for her quilt “Harvest Moon and Stars” in 2008.
Mary never missed a family event, milestone or gathering. She and Charles would pack up the Chevy van, hitch up the Coleman camper, and take the family on adventures to visit relatives in Canada and New York, on cross county treks, and camped at every single Ohio State Park. In their retirement, Mary and Charles traveled the world with their “travel group”, a small group of close friends who shared their love of experiencing different cultures.
She is preceded in death by her beloved husband Charles (d. 2019), sister Angela (Vatrella) Oliveti (d.1964) and parents Isabella (Briatico) Vatrella (d. 1995) and Bruno Vatrella (d. 1981) and brother-in-law Peter Oliveti (d. 2013).
She is survived by children Mary Catherine Hoffman, Teresa (Ronald Michael) Witt, Angela Preston, Christopher (Regina) Mayeres, Elizabeth (Dennis) Sheridan, sister Catherine (Vatrella) Oliveti, grandchildren Megan, Adam, Michelle, Andrew, Coleman, Rachel, Alexander, Zoe, Joseph, William, Matthew, Isabel, great-grandchildren Adrienne, Aidan, Brooklyn, Axel, nieces, nephews, and many other beloved extended family members including aunts, uncles and cousins across the globe. Her spirit lives in all of us and her kindness, wisdom and beauty will be missed in this world.
“Enough is as good as a feast”—Sir Thomas Malory, Mary Poppins, and Mary Vatrella Mayeres.
A private Memorial Mass will be held for Mary’s family at St. Pius X Catholic Church with Fr. Jim Klima officiating. Inurnment Holy Cross Cemetery.
Memorial donations in Mary’s memory may be made to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio, 711 E. Livingston Ave., Columbus, OH 43205.
Arrangements under the care of Cotner Funeral Home.
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