Mary Anne Pastino, a wife, mother, grandmother and artist, whose infectious smile embraced the world around her, lost her battle with Alzheimer’s disease on Friday, June 12. She was 77.
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Born in Philadelphia, Pa., Mim, as she was affectionately known, became a resident of New Jersey in 1970, when she moved to New Providence with her beloved husband, Albert, and their three daughters, Lisa, Beth and Gina, who were educated in the local school systems.
Mim spent her youth in Philadelphia, graduating from John W. Hallahan Catholic Girls High School in 1960. As a young woman she met fellow Philadelphian Albert Pastino, a student at St. Joseph’s University, whom she married in May 1964. Al’s career took the young couple and their growing family to many locations over the years, including San Juan, Puerto Rico, Hingham, Massachusetts, Ruxton, Maryland, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania and Chester, New Jersey. Of all the places the family resided over the years however, New Providence NJ was where they called home.
As they settled in New Providence, Mim and Al were one of five families instrumental in forming The Christian Community, an Intentional Catholic Eucharist Community that was welcomed at The Shrine of St. Joseph in Stirling, NJ. Mim immediately formed the group’s CCD youth program; helped develop its spiritual program as well as its newly developed outreach to the underprivileged population in Newark. She remained active in the Community for most of its 50 years of existence, even while the couple often moved out of state as required by her husband’s career commitments.
Mim had a love of learning that propelled her to pursue her undergraduate education during her adult years. She earned a Bachelor of Arts from Douglas College in 1995 and went on to have a successful career at Merck & Co. in Clinton NJ before retiring to spend more time with family and friends.
Mim had many talents, however art was her true passion and calling. Art came to her later in life, when she took up watercolor painting as a hobby, studying in both New Jersey and the Berkshires. Floral paintings were her specialty, allowing her to develop meticulous drawing skills in producing artistic and detailed paintings that were incorporated into the family Christmas cards. Mim exhibited her work in New Jersey, Philadelphia and the Berkshires. In 2015 St. Joseph’s University sponsored an exhibition of her works. And, in 2016 Mim’s art was exhibited by Bloomfield College where she had served as an active trustee on their Board of Trustees for five years. A 2020 calendar featuring her artwork became a fundraiser for The Women’s Alzheimer's Movement.
Mim’s full life was complemented by extensive overseas leisure travel, and adventurous skiing vacations in Vermont, Canada, the Rockies, and the Alps. The family also spent cycling summers in Vermont and at their lakeside cottage in the Berkshire Mountains in Hinsdale, Mass., a gathering place for their beloved grandchildren and many friends.
Mim’s irresistible fervor for life was as contagious as her smile, animatedly expressed in her dancing, which connected her to her beloved mother who predeceased her. Mim also dabbled in local theatre as an amateur actress, a talent which was surprisingly hidden during most of her life.
Mim loved to participate with her husband Al in alumni affairs at St. Joseph’s University, especially its basketball program. Mim joined him in supporting the team. She was an ardent fan, travelling to Philadelphia for every home game each season and frequently traveling with the team to away games as a supportive and enthusiastic booster.
Mim’s final years were spent at Complete Care at Green Knoll under their kind and compassionate supervision.
Mim was predeceased by her mother, Anne McNally, her father, Edward McNally, sister, Patricia McNally, brother Edward McNally, niece Patty Moscoto and son-in-law- Douglas O”Neill. She is survived by her husband of fifty-six years, Albert; daughters Lisa Sanders (Joël); Beth Giannotto (John); Gina Cohen Pastino (Naomi); grandchildren: Kevin, Kaitlin and Brendan O’Neill; Andrew, Matthew and Jake Giannotto; Sophia and Griffin Cohen Pastino. She is also survived by her sister Elizabeth McNally, and brothers Michael McNally and Joseph McNally.
A private commemorative service for the family will be held on Tuesday, June 30,2020 at the Shrine of St. Joseph in Stirling, NJ.
For those who wish, donations may be made in Mim’s memory to: The Mim Pastino Endowed Scholarship at Saint Joseph’s University, 5600 City Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 1913.