Mary (Maria) was born in Kansas City, MO on November 6th 1917 to Nunziata (Nancy) and Joseph Ragusa, who emigrated from Sicily to America. Being the only girl in the family she was well protected by her 4 brothers, Tony, Carl, Tommy and Charlie, who preceded her in death. She attended Holy Rosary School until 7th grade, and then started working in order to help her family. She loved playing baseball, going to dances and hanging out with her cousins and friends.


She met the love of her life, John Cormana while he was stationed in Kansas City and married on January 24th, 1946. They had 6 girls: Majorie, Nancy, Lillie, Mary Darlene, Jeri and Joni.  John was called to our Lord in October 2009 as was her daughter Lillie in February 2002.


Mary and John moved to Spokane, WA for a few years, and then moved back to Kansas City for a brief period of time before moving to Rock Springs, WY in 1952. Mary was a devoted wife and mother who made sure her children were raised as Christians in the Catholic faith. Her faith was reflective in the way she lived. The hardest job of all is that of “Homemaker”, and Mary had her hands full taking care of 6 daughters. When all of her children were in school, she joined a bowling league and loved it.


In 1966 the family moved to Kirkland, WA where she and her husband watched their girls start their own families. She helped care for her 14 Grandchildren: Rachel, Alan, Daran, Johnny, Michelle, Christine, DoriAnn, Trevor, Jason, Whitney, Evan, Joshua, Patrick and Kendra.  Her eyes would light up whenever she saw her 16 Great Grandchildren: Tyler, Jenna, Sawyer, Ryker, Raymond, Garrett, Robbie, Tyson, Tristan, Marko, Brock, Allyson, Thaelynn, Jayden, A.J., and Shelby. She was looking forward to seeing another Great Grandchild this May, who’ll be named Heidi, and even though she will not meet her on earth, they will meet in time.


Mary also had other loves, that of her animals and birds.  Her 2 white doves were named Angel and Dovey and she talked to them all the time. She made sure all the squirrels and birds in her yard were well fed.  She loved watching the birds come to the feeder outside the living room window and when the squirrels came begging at the back door, she would say,  “ my little friends are here” and that meant it was peanut time. The blue stellar jays were her enemy because they stole peanuts from the squirrels.

Her favorite past times was having lunch with her friends, which was time she thoroughly enjoyed, as well as playing Bingo and going to the Casino to beat the one-armed bandit. These were activities that meant a lot to her, and were greatly missed when she became homebound. There are no words to describe this most wonderful woman who was an inspiration to all who knew her including her family, and long time friends from Kansas City, Rock Springs, Spokane and Kirkland, as well as other cities throughout the country. Mary stayed in contact with friends and family up until the time she was called Home to our Lord on January 5, 2012. She gave from her heart and made sure that when others were in need of help she would find ways to provide for them.


Mary had the most beautiful spirit, who always laughed and made great attempts at telling jokes. She would say “keep a smile on your face and never be angry”, and then she would give you “her” smile and you couldn’t help but smile back.  Mary always thought of others and included everyone in her daily prayers, along with saying her rosary, and when she couldn’t get to church on Sundays, she watched the daily Mass on TV.  She was famous for her words of “Always love one another!”  Even nurses and short time acquaintances, who stopped by the house to check on her, would be given God’s blessing and told “I love you!” before they left.


Prayerful, Full of Laughter, Joking Around Even In Her Physical Pain, Sharing, Caring, and most of all, Love of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. This is the Mary, whose love will remain in our hearts and souls, and who will be with us till we are blessed to join her. Mary committed her live to faith, family and friends.


Mary’s service will be on January 24th with a Mass at Holy Family Parish in Kirkland, WA. Both John and Mary will be entombed at the Tahoma National Cemetery in Kent, WA this same day, the day of their wedding anniversary.


Mary’s favorite charity was St. Jude’s and had requested that in lieu of flowers, please send donations to: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital – Tribute Account #30003273 – PO Box 1000, Dept. 142 – Memphis, TN 38148-0142 – Phone: 1-800-822-6344.  She was always thinking of the children!

3 Responses to “MARY CORMANA”

  • Joni Nye says:

    Remembering my Mom: I was the “baby” of the Cormana girls. The story I remember hearing is that my parents wanted all boys. After having five girls, when my mom was pregnant with me, they were hoping for a boy and would call him John after my dad. I surprised them so they quickly changed the name to Joni.

    While growing up, I hated being the youngest and could never understand why my older sisters got to do things that I couldn’t do. My mom would always tell me, “Just wait until you have kids of your own.” When she said those words to me, I believed that she didn’t understand, or that she didn’t really know.

    It wasn’t until I was well into my adulthood, and three children later, to fully understand that my mom DID know what she was talking about. I had two boys and one girl and it wasn’t until my own daughter went through pre-puberty that I fully appreciated what my mom went through raising six girls! And, it wasn’t until I had my own kids that I fully comprehended exactly what my mom meant by, “Wait until you have kids of your own.” Some things cannot be fully explained until you experience them yourself – and my mom knew that.

    Not until I was a mother did I realize what a truly amazing woman my mom was in raising us. She was a very loving mother; sacrificed a lot and asked for little. Her love for God was apparent in the way she raised us and the way she treated others. And, it wasn’t until I became a mother that I really thanked God for giving me the mother He gave me, and the example she set for me. There are several Bible verses that come to mind when I think of my mom:

    “Jesus replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 23: 37-39

    “And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
    I Corinthians 13:13

    “Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all. Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears (has reverence for) the Lord is to be praised. Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.” Proverbs 31:28-31

    Dear God – Thank you so much for blessing my life with Mary, my mom. Thank you so much for her love; and thank you for the love You showed us by sending Your Son to be a sacrifice for our sins so that we have the opportunity to spend eternity with You. Although I have sorrow now and miss my mom, I have hope in knowing that one day, I will see her again. Amen.

  • Mary Larson says:

    Happy Anniversay Dad and Mom!! This was your day!! We celebrated Mom’s life today and tears were definitely shed, not just for the wonderful spirit you are, but for how very much you will be missed. For anyone who is reading this, I have only one thing to say…Don’t put off for tomorrow what you should do today! I have so many regrets for not taking the time to really sit down and talk with my mom. Sure, I would come in and ask how she was doing, help her with the things she needed help with, get frustrated when she would be persistent with wanting her squirrels fed, or some other little thing, but would always say to myself, one of these days I need to sit and just talk with mom. I knew that she would really like that because she did enjoy conversation. Well that day never really did come and now I am left with that feeling of why didn’t I just take the time. I truly was amazed at her strength for someone who suffered daily with her arthritis. When she would walk down the hallway, even though her arms, neck and legs would hurt, she would pray to Jesus, Mary and Joseph to help her, along with her Guardian Angel. If that were me, I would be swearing!! Not Mom. She lived for every day and made the most of her time giving thanks to God and our Lord Jesus. Her example is what I will take with me, no matter how hard the times, no matter how bad I might feel physically, I will pray that her strength and perseverance will run through my veins. I love you so much and I truly am happy that you suffer no more and are in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ and all of His Glory!! Till we see each other again!! Darlene

  • Margie Luna says:

    Being the oldest daughter in the menagerie of 6 girls(yes, we were wild animals at times) came with a few privileges but I was also the “go to” blame person when trouble was stirred and brewed. The oldest is expected to show and lead the younger siblings down the good and rightous path so now, I can honestly say, I failed my parents somewhat in that department when younger. Now fast forward to the past 10 yrs. when I came to live with my parents in order to help with their care. As their caregiver I didn’t understand at the time how it would come with plenty of high craggy peaks but all in all there were many more plentiful lush beautiful valleys. When sister Lillie died in 2002 and daddy died in 2009 it created holes within the fabric of our family but mom showed strength and caring for her remaining family during those times even though physically she had become weaker. A few days after mom passed, I came to the realization that I really hadn’t been taking care of her all these years but, in fact, she had been taking care of me. She cared about my health, she cared about my feelings, she cared about my well-being, she cared about safety and most of all she cared about those things I cared most about and she prayed for me. So thank you mom for taking such good care of the oldest of the bunch. Thank you for your love and unselfish nature which has made the hole within the fabric of your family even greater and is felt each day. Take care mom and keep taking care of me.

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