Mary Anne Meola was reunited with her parents at heaven’s door on January 6, 2022. Born on March 11, 1957, Mary Anne was the youngest daughter of Frank and Rose Meola. There were things Mary couldn’t do. She could not talk, she could not feed herself, she could not care for herself. Her devoted parents took care of her every need in their home for 40 years. Because of her vulnerabilities and all of her special needs, those who cared for her day after day showed us the true meaning of love and dedication. They were her warriors. Her sister Linda was often her voice, and sister Barb was always her concerned and caring companion throughout her life. Mary taught us to love without condition. She made that kind of love exist.
While there were many things Mary couldn’t do, there were just as many things that she could do. As she worked hard to overcome her challenges, she inspired her nieces, Beth, Lisa and Vicki, and nephew Frank to use their gifts and strengths to the best of their abilities.
Mary attended the Stark County Workshop and enjoyed classes under the supervision of the extraordinary Tammy Smith. When Mary’s parents aged she went to live at Hartville Meadows Intermediate Care Facility. There again, she inspired staff with her strength and determination. She fought battles in health and had limitations that would crush most of us. There, she inspired a legion of heroes, led by their ‘hero in chief’ Roxanne. There are too many to name but you know who you are. You are the best of the best. You give each day asking nothing in return from those you care for. The family would like to especially thank all of the staff at Hartville Meadows, who cared for Mary Anne not just with their hands, but with their hearts.
Mary loved eating strawberry ice cream cones, Sunday rides in the car, and listening to rock music. We will always remember her joyous laugh and smile when we do these things. Mary was a blessing from above. We celebrate the lessons she taught us. She was a gift. Mary is survived by sister and brother-in-law, Linda Wittman and Frank (Bud) Wittman of Massillon, and sister Barbara Jean Meola of Hartville.
Private graveside service to be held Monday, January 10. A celebration of life will be held at a later date. Memorial contributions may be made in Mary’s honor to Hartville Meadows Meola Fund for Special Needs at Hartville Meadows Intermediate Care Facility, 844 Sunnyside SW, Hartville Ohio, 44632.