Marie (Coppola) Upton
3/27/1930 - 4/11/2022
92 years young
Marie was a caring, loving, funny, and generous woman who left this earthly plane on April 11, 2022 to move on to her next chapter. She leaves behind a legacy that will live on in her adoring children, Virginia M. (Comparone), John J. Upton, and Jane E. Upton, as well as her beloved grandson, Patrick.
It is impossible to capture the essence of someone's life in a few paragraphs, and Marie's life is no exception.
She was a devoted wife to her husband John and cared for him during the lengthy illness that took him from this earth in 2007. She was a fierce advocate about his care within the healthcare system and always made sure that he was receiving all of the services that he needed. She remained by his side, as his voice when he could no longer speak for himself, until the end. She missed him every day since.
Family was very important to Marie and she was always the one who remembered to send birthday cards, Christmas cards, and every-other-occasion cards to extended family to convey all the wishes. She made her children's special days extra special, acknowledging these occasions with gifts, home-made cakes, and lots of love.
Marie wanted very much for her children to nurture and sustain a connection with one another, to remain close throughout difficult times as well as joyful ones. This desire stemmed from her own painful and often estranged relationships with her own birth family. Her children will forever do their best to honor these wishes.
Anyone who knew Marie would tell you that if you ever went to the Upton household, you would never leave hungry. Marie's Italian heritage showed through her extraordinary cooking skills, her need to make sure everyone ate a great meal, and her ability to make people feel welcome. The aroma of home-made gravy ("not sauce….we call it GRAVY!") simmering on the stove is a memory that will never fade. And those meatballs. No others will ever compare.
Marie also worked many jobs throughout her life. From Liberty Mutual Insurance, to Parker Jr High School, to Madico, Inc, to volunteering for many years at the Reading Council on Aging and, up until the pandemic, Lahey Medical Center. She was incredibly social and funny and helpful. In 2020 Covid-19 suspended the volunteer services at Lahey, which unfortunately accelerated Marie's journey with Alzheimer's. With the isolation at home and long hours spent alone, she became more and more confused and less able to differentiate between reality and non-reality.
Music, especially the music of Frank Sinatra, brought Marie much joy. She passed on her love of music and dancing to her children. Music of Sarah Vaughan, Tony Bennett, Ella Fitzgerald, Nancy Wilson, Barbra Streisand, The Lettermen, Johnny Mathis, and Count Basie filled the house. She loved to sing, and when she was young, she had aspirations of becoming a singer, but the circumstances and the culture of the times did not nurture this dream. She was capable of so much more than she was taught to believe.
In school Marie was an avid softball player and often spoke about the good times that she had with her teammates on the field. Later in life she discovered an aptitude for golf and could be found many weekends at the golf course or the driving range. Even as recent as this year she would putt balls in her apartment with her automatic putting green.
You could also find Marie most weekdays attending church at St Agnes. Up until the pandemic she walked the mile or so distance from her house to the daily 7 a.m. mass. Her faith was unshakable and brought her comfort.
Marie was a complex woman with a big heart. She was sensitive and caring and loyal if you were fortunate enough to call her friend. And she had many. People were naturally drawn to her. She had a way about her that just made you want to be around her.
There is so much more to say about Marie. 92 years is a long life to have to condense into a few short paragraphs. If you knew her, perhaps you could think of the good times that you shared with her. Say her name out loud when she comes into your mind. We will not forget Marie and all that she brought to our lives. And she will live on in memories for all of us. Say her name. Keep her spirit in your heart and remember her as she was.
Family and friends are kindly invited to gather and share memories with the family on Tuesday April 19th from 9 am to 10 am in the Doherty Barile Family Funeral Home 11 Linden St. READING followed by a Funeral Mass Celebrating Marie's Eternal Life in St. Agnes Church 186 Woburn St. Reading at 10:30. Interment Charles Lawn Cemetery, Reading.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donations in memory of Marie to an Alzheimer's or Dementia charity of your choice.