Born July 1, 1924 and passed away after a brief illness on July 4, 2018.
Mary Ann was born a daughter of the late Leonardo and Filomena (Mattola) Sarra and was raised in New Britain. She attended school there and graduated from New Britain High School. Growing up in a family with 10 children meant everyone had a task. Mary’s job was to care for her younger siblings while her parents were working.
She was introduced to Frank Garvis by a mutual friend. They fell in love and were married in 1949. In the early years they resided in Hartford, Plainville and Bolton and settled in East Hartford. While Frank worked and attended college, Mary raised their four children and continued working part time. She worked as a data entry clerk at Traveler’s Insurance, and later G. Fox and Company. However, her most rewarding position was her time as the Dining Room manager at UCONN. Her working career ended when she retired from the Aetna Insurance Co. company store in 1991. After retirement Frank and Mary were part-time residents of Daytona Beach Shores in Florida.
Family was Mary’s primary focus and there were many family gatherings for holidays, picnics, birthdays and special events. She and her sisters got together to make cookies for Holidays, and we enjoyed the end product - cookies for 2 weeks. Our mother taught us many skills, including how to make pasta from scratch, and how to can and preserve fruits and vegetables. She made sure we understood the value of education, treating people with respect and to “always do your best at whatever job you were doing.”
Mary spent many happy hours with her East Hartford friend, Harriet Stanek, shopping at the mall, traveling and playing Bingo. Mary volunteered with the Salvation Army during the Christmas Holiday as a bell-ringer and attended summer retreats at Camp CONNRI in Ashford.
She leaves her daughters, MaryEllen “Meg” Riding and her husband Edward of Coventry and Marlene Frost of South Windsor, her sons, Frank Garvis and his wife Kim of Durham and Joseph Garvis of East Hartford, her sister, Elizabeth Burns of Meriden, her brothers, Edward Sarra and his wife Ann and Ben Sarra, all of Southington, her grandchildren, Lisa, Todd, Amy, Erik, Kate, Fritz and Catherine, 12 great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her brothers, Andrew Sarra of California, John Sarra of South Windsor and Alfred Sarra of Enfield and her sisters, Angeline Nyberg of Hartford, Dorothy Costa of Plainville and Susan Sarra of Florida.
Funeral services in celebration of Mary’s life will be held on Saturday July 14, 2018 beginning at 9:00 a.m. from the Bailey Funeral home 48 Broad Street in Plainville to Our Lady of Mercy Church 94 Broad Street in Plainville for a Mass of Christian Burial at 10:00 a.m. Burial will follow in Saint Joseph Cemetery in Plainville. Family and friends may gather at the funeral home on Friday July 13, 2018 from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to the Salvation Army 78 Franklin Square New Britain, CT 06051 or to the Wounded Warrior Project 4899 Belfort Road, Suite 300 Jacksonville, FL 32256.
Wounded Warrior Project
7020 A.C. Skinner Parkway, Suite 100, Jacksonville FL 32256
78 Franklin Square, New Britain CT 06051