Marlene Petrella, 79. of Fredonia, N.Y. died suddenly Friday (March 8, 2013). She was born in Dunkirk, N.Y., the daughter of the late Mable and Michael Grupa.
An area resident her entire life, she was a parishioner of St. Anthony's Church. She worked at the Chautauqua County Home and retired from the Department of Motor Vehicles, where friends and relatives looked forward to joining her line and learning what needed to be done to be in compliance. She was highly involved for a number of years with the local Democratic Party, frequently canvassing the community, manning voting booths and preparing snacks for the multiple meetings she attended.
Marlene was an avid gardener and made sure there were fresh arrangements in her home from April through November designed with flowers from her multiple gardens. She loved cooking and baking for all family gatherings, and going to swim exercise classes. Most importantly, she was a devoted mother and proud grandmother who loved to share stories of her children's and grandchildren's adventures and successes.
She is survived by her seven children: George (Patricia) of Brocton, N.Y.; Dr. Karen (Kevin Rowson) of Kennesaw, Ga.; Dan (Peggy) of Brocton; Trudy of Fredonia; Sandy of Cincinnati, Ohio; John (Theresa) of Mendham, N.J.; and Larry (Christine) of Katonah, N.Y.; and two sisters Maxine Kern of Dunkirk and Delores Monroe, of Florida.
She was greatly loved by her grandchildren: Danny (Lena), Nicole, Jessica (Joel), Carlyn, Matt, Jillian, Sydney, Alec, Jack, Will, Conor, Christopher, Nick and Catherine. She is also survived by several nieces and nephews.
Besides her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, George A. Petrella, whom she married on Oct. 20, 1951 and who passed away in January of 2009. She was also preceded by her sister, Phyllis Grimm, and brother, Donald Grupa.
Donations can be made in Marlene's name to the God's Child Project, PO Box 1843 Bismark, N.D. 58502-1843.
Funeral services will be held on Tuesday (Mar. 12, 2013) at 9 a.m. at St. Anthony's Church with Rev. C.J. Westfield, pastor, officiating. Relatives and friends are invited to attend the funeral mass and may call at the Fantauzzi Funeral Home, 82 East Main St. in Fredonia on Monday (Mar. 11, 2013) from 3 to 5 and 7 to 9 p.m. Interment will be at St. Hedwig Cemetery in Dunkirk, N.Y.