Mary Petnel
Friday
15
December

Visiting

2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Friday, December 15, 2023
Oakland Memorial Home
330 Ramapo Valley Road
Oakland, New Jersey, United States
201 337-6161
Friday
15
December

Visiting

7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Friday, December 15, 2023
Oakland Memorial Home
330 Ramapo Valley Road
Oakland, New Jersey, United States
201 337-6161
Saturday
16
December

Funeral Liturgy

10:30 am - 11:30 am
Saturday, December 16, 2023
Our Lady Of Perpetual Help R.C. Church
117 Franklin Avenue
Oakland, New Jersey, United States
Saturday
16
December

Entombment

12:00 pm - 12:30 pm
Saturday, December 16, 2023
Maryrest Cemetery
25 Seminary Road
Mahwah, New Jersey, United States

Obituary of Mary Grace Bernadette Petnel

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Mary Grace Petnel, beloved wife of Bruce Michael Petnel, devoted mother to Christina Marie Behrins and her husband Jonathan Bruce Behrins, sister to Eileen Marchese Cohen and her husband Steven Cohen, aunt to Noelle Contento, Michael Cohen and Kerri-Lynn Herrick, passed away peacefully on December 10, 2023 at the age of 65.

In 2004, Mary founded and grew her own technical recruiting agency, Talent Select Inc, to become a formidable player, serving numerous Fortune 100 companies.  

For as gifted a professional with an encyclopedic mind, Mary was a truly a spiritual powerhouse. Her life was filled with non-stop music, love, joy, creativity, compassion, religiosity and boundless generosity.

Mary's love for music bloomed early in life as concert accordionist Al Marchese’s “daddy’s little contessa”. She developed a deep affection for classical works and the works of her beloved Stephen Sondheim, whose witty lyrics and complex melodies resonated deeply within her. Opera also held a special place in her heart, and Mary would often fill the home with the soaring voices of her favorite singers. Classically trained, her own coloratura soprano voice was a source of joy for all who heard it, and she loved nothing more than belting out arias, show tunes, classic ballads and religious hymns while at church.

Beyond her musical talents, Mary possessed a gift for generating warmth and happiness in her home, most especially from her kitchen. She cooked organically, which is to say that she cooked with love. She nourished both body and soul with bountiful spreads that were not mere sustenance; they were celebrations of life and love that brought her family and her countless friends together.  Mary and Bruce's home was always open and welcoming to all; strangers quickly became friendly and familial... with love.

Mary's commitment to helping others stemmed from a deep well of empathy and compassion, and she touched countless lives with her kindness, saint like generosity and support.

Mary's legacy continues on in the lives she touched so pervasively. She lived as if her unstated mission was to uplift every soul she encountered, unconditionally and with complete purity of heart. On that score, Mary was fabulously successful.

Mary was genuinely and eternally optimistic, happy, vivacious and took immense pleasure in treating her loved ones to an opera, Broadway show, or dinner.  On one memorable occasion last September, all three in one day! Aida, followed by Sweeney Todd, followed by dinner (and champagne throughout!). Mary is undoubtedly now serenading whilst the angels strum their lyres.

Her vibrant spirit and unwavering kindness will continue to inspire those who were fortunate enough to know her... and to love her.

Mary was predeceased by her parents Alfred John and Doris Catherine Marchese, sister Teresa Rose Contento, brother John Alfred Marchese and niece-goddaughter, Shaina Danielle Cohen. Masses for the repose of Mary's soul are appreciated.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Our Lady of Fatima Parish, Highland Lakes, New Jersey, the Society of the Little Flower and/or Shaina’s Wish.

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