Mary Jane Martelli, 84, of Lansdowne, a homemaker and waitress and the mother of St. Joseph’s University basketball coach Phil Martelli, died Sunday, March 25. at her home.
Mrs. Martelli had been in declining health with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and congestive heart failure, said daughter Marianne.
“My mom was very understated,” said Phil Martelli. “She judged no one, and taught all of us to respect all whom we came in contact with — no titles, possessions, matter.”
She was a devoted St. Joe’s basketball fan and attended every Hawks home game, and often traveled with the team for away games, her daughter said.
Mrs. Martelli was a longtime coffee shop waitress at the former Hilton Hotel at Penn Tower in University City.
“She loved every minute of that,” her daughter said. “She loved going to work every day. She met lots of people and knew their stories.”
Born Mary Jane McCormick, she grew up in Southwest Philadelphia and graduated from West Catholic High School for Girls.
In high school, she met her future husband of 64 years, Philip E. Martelli, while attending a Friday night dance at St. Francis de Sales in West Philadelphia. (It cost a “quarter to get in,” her daughter noted.)
In 1966, the couple found a home in Lansdowne and Mrs. Martelli committed to raising a family.
Before her job at the Hilton, she worked on weekends for L&M Caterers in Delaware County.
She was an avid reader, solver of crosswords puzzles, and traveler.
She was a member of St. Philomena Roman Catholic Church in Lansdowne. She cared for social-justice issues and “accepted everyone for who and what they were,” her daughter said.
In addition to her husband, son, and daughter, Mrs. Martelli is survived by son Stephen and daughters Rosemarie Kehoe, Christine Castagna, and Lisa Jane Haney; two sisters; 17 grandchildren; and 16 great-grandchildren. Two children, Michael Martelli and Patti Ann Phillips, died earlier.
There will be a visitation on Tuesday, April 3, at 9:30 a.m. at St. Philomena Church, 41 E. Baltimore Ave., Lansdowne, followed by a eulogy at 11:45 and a Funeral Mass at noon. Interment will be in Holy Cross Cemetery in Yeadon.
Memorial gifts may be made to Camilla Hall, 1145 King Rd., Box 100, Immaculata, Pa. 19245.