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Marylee Joann Ferrara Avila, 88 years young, was born and raised in the historic Northeast neighborhood of Kansas City. She was born to Antonio (Tony) and Antonina (Lena) Polocie Ferrara on March 23rd, 1933. Marylee was proud of her Sicilian heritage, the cultural diversity and upbringing in the “North End.” She was the baby of the family, as the youngest of five children. Growing up, she attended Karnes Elementary School and Manual High School. At Manual, Marylee was small in stature, but mighty - lettering in basketball and field hockey. She also sang in the Women’s Choir. As a freshman in 1947, 14 year old Marylee met her husband, Tano, at the Northside Youth Club, where he was training for the Golden Gloves and Olympics. He would be the only man she would date. She graduated from Manual HS in 1951 and married in 1952. One child, Richard, was born to their union, in 1956. She and Tano would be married nearly 63 years until his passing in 2014.
As a newlywed, Marylee began her career in office and administrative support by working at AT&T while Tano was overseas in Korea. She would go on to work for Farmland Industries throughout the 60s, as a supervisor at Midwest Truck Lines during the 70s & 80s, and finally retire for the second time from United Missouri Bank in 2014 after serving with them since the 1990s. In her final years, she stayed active by serving as a Food Prep and Demo Clerk at Price Chopper.
Marylee’s walk with the Lord was undeniable. She was a passionate intercessor, studied God’s word, and loved teaching and inspiring young and old to serve God. She served most notably as an Elementary Sunday School Teacher and Kids Camp Counselor for many years. Throughout her life, she was a devout member and active in ministry at Northeast Assembly of God, Sheffield Family Life Center, and Commission Church. Marylee always gave God the glory for the strength to work three days a week, live independently on her own, drive herself as she pleased, and care for others until her passing.
Her kids were the love and joy of her life! “NANI” raised 3 generations, including a multitude of nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews. Marylee loved them all deeply, as if they were her own. Her great-grandkids, Hosea and Holli, were the icing on the cake and the ultimate joy of her life in her later years. Marylee loved having them over each week, cooking for them, teaching them about life and the Lord, and attending their sporting events. To them, Nani was Wonder-Woman.
Marylee departed from this earthly life to eternal glory with Jesus on January 6th, 2022. She is preceded in death by her husband, Tano Avila and daughter, Francine; her parents, Antonio and Antonina Polocie Ferrara; her siblings; Frances Ferrara Lipari (Nunzio), Anthony Ferrara, Jr., Leonard Ferrara (Grace), Virginia Ferrara Weaver (George), her nephews and niece, Alan Fisher (Kathy), Anthony Ferrara (Edith), Sue Fisher (Tony Sr.), and great-nephew, Tony Fisher Jr.
She will be lovingly remembered by her son, Richard Avila (Dana); her grandsons, Benjamin Avila (Enjoli) and Andrew Avila (Bekah); her great-grandchildren, Hosea Avila and Holland Avila; her nephews, Anthony Lipari, Sr. (Mary) and Tony Fisher, Sr. (Sue); her niece, Kathy Fletcher (Dale), and a host of extended family and dear friends.
A memorial visitation will begin at 10AM, with a Celebration service to follow at 11AM, Saturday, January 22 at Sheffield Family Life Center, 5700 Winner Rd., Kansas City, Missouri 64127.Service Information:
A memorial visitation will begin at 10AM, with a Celebration service to follow at 11AM, Saturday, January 22 at Sheffield Family Life Center, 5700 Winner Rd., Kansas City, Missouri 64127.
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