Mary Varano (née DiPaolo),
Mary Varano (née DiPaolo), 93, of Essex passed away peacefully on March 31, surrounded by her family.
She is survived by her three children, Gina M. Varano and her husband Paul Dest, E. James Varano II and his wife Dara Varano, and Dina Varano and her husband Michael Joplin; and her six granddaughters, Christina and Victoria Dest, Ava and Ella Varano, and Scarlett and Sienna Joplin. She also leaves behind her siblings Grace Bellina and Anthony DiPaolo and many nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her husband, Edward J. Varano, her spouse of 57 years.
Mom was raised on a farm in Belle Mead, New Jersey, with her three older sisters and younger brother. As a family, they worked hard operating the bakery and making fresh loaves of bread daily from the brick oven in their home. She was the first in her family to attend college at a time, as Mom would say, “when my parents didn’t even know where the college was.” She graduated from New Jersey State Teacher’s College in 1950, but not before she became the softball team’s pitcher and distinguished herself as the “Montclair Clipper.” She accepted a job with the Somerville New Jersey Board of Education in 1951. Teaching brought her great joy and she continued in that role throughout her life and outside of the classroom as a mentor to her children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, friends, and even acquaintances.
In 1955, Mom met the love of her life, Edward Varano, at an Arthur Murray Dance Studio where she joined a teacher’s training class. As the story goes, Dad was a supervisor at the time and was more than happy to take the beautiful new trainee under his wing. That moment marked the start of something special for both of them. They were married in 1958, and together they owned and operated studios in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Illinois, New York, and even one on Fifth Avenue in New York City. Some of the most distinguished dancers in the business worked under their management and many became life-long friends. Mom and Dad were passionate about dancing and were proud of the joy and togetherness it brought others.
Mom’s greatest joy, however, was her family. She proudly referred to her children as the lawyer, the artist, and the entrepreneur and her six granddaughters as both beautiful and smart. She recognized every accomplishment of theirs and often with a paper Achievement Certificate. Mom and Dad provided our extended family with too many cherished memories to count, all of us at the summer house in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey, and the ski chalet in Ludlow, Vermont. Lots of laughter, family time, and of course, pasta.
Funeral arrangements are by Robinson, Wright & Weymer Funeral Home in Centerbrook. All services will be private. A celebration of Mom’s life will be held at a later date for family and friends. In lieu of flowers, dance with someone special. We will miss you, Mom, and yes, we will keep on dancing, too. To share a memory or send a condolence please visit www.rwwfh.com.