Mary Catalano Auth, 82 years old, passed away at home, with her family, in Maplewood on February 9, 2024.
Mary was born in Summit, NJ to her parents, Philip and Alexandria Catalano. She was the youngest of three daughters, and she adored her sisters Sondra Blum and Phyllis Yates.
Mary lived in Maplewood for her entire life, and was a product of the Maplewood-South Orange public schools, attending Jefferson Elementary, Maplewood Junior High, and Columbia High School. She received her undergraduate degree from Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts. She then worked in New York City at an advertising agency, and soon after that, she married the love of her life, Victor Charles Auth.
Mary was a pervasive presence in her family, in her children’s schools and activities, in Morrow Memorial United Methodist Church, and in her larger Maplewood community. She gave much of her time to Morrow Church throughout her life, including her work as Financial Secretary, as the head of the Church School, and as the director and heart of the Turnover Sale, a long-standing sale of community members’ donations for the benefit of local charities and others in need. For many years, Mary wrote a weekly newsletter for those people near and far who could not be a part of the church community in person.
Mary loved the color red—in her clothes, her jewelry, her lipstick, and her PT Cruiser. She was creative and beautifully artistic, expressing her talents in so many ways. She played the piano, and accompanied her husband on his violin, playing both existing music and original pieces they created together. Mary enjoyed quilting, sewing, painting, dancing (often at Kings Market), arranging furniture at the Morrow Turnover Sale, and curating and displaying her many collections in her house. She loved flowers and gardening, nurturing plants, trees, and flowers in her home and neighborhood. Mary took great joy in expressing herself in these ways, and you could see that in everything she touched.
Mary looked for ways to help others, and she had an incredible knack for getting people involved in it with her. She fought for anyone who needed support or love, without any need for acknowledgement. She was a friend to everyone, always with a kind word of encouragement and a smile for all, always trying to make others’ lives better.
Mary loved her family deeply, and was eternally devoted to their well-being. She and her husband were married for almost 55 years and enjoyed an incredibly close relationship throughout their marriage. She was a loving mother to her two children, and may have enjoyed being a grandmother most of all.
Mary is survived by her children Thomas Philip (and Karee Hanifan Auth) and Jessica Jean Auth, by her grandchildren Lillian Grace, Alexander Thomas, Alexandria Mary, and Camille Isabel Auth, by her sister Sondra Catalano Blum and her sister-in-law Norma Evelyn Auth, and by many nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held at Morrow Church in Maplewood in the coming weeks to celebrate Mary’s life. For more information or to send condolences, please visit jacobhollefuneralhome.com