Renata Mazzarino

Obituary of Renata Mazzarino

Renata Mazzarino passed away September 11, 2017 at home, four days before her 100th birthday. She was born Renata Cimoli in Massa, Italy on September 15, 1917, where she lived until coming to Santa Cruz, CA in 1950 as a young mother and fisherman's wife. She survived the Influenza epidemic of 1918 as an infant and lived in war torn Italy during World War II. She left a loving extended family in Italy when she came to join her husband Sam (Salvatore) Mazzarino in Santa Cruz, She joined his large extended family in California. In the early days, Renata worked in the kitchen of Mary Carniglia's Riviera Restaurant, near Santa Cruz's Fisherman's Wharf. She also worked many years at the old Birds Eye Frozen Foods, now site of the Swift Street Courtyard. Later, Renata would accompany her husband on his early morning fish marketing excursions. Sam and Renata owned the fishing boat, the Vita Marie, with Sam fishing the Monterey Bay for many years.

Renata had a loving and generous spirit and shared that love with those who had contact with her. She had friends everywhere she lived. Renata was known as mamma or mamma mia to those lucky enough to be in her circle of love. She never hesitated to say "Love you" or offer a sweet kiss or hug or a jar of homemade jam. She loved to feed family and friends and was especially renowned for her incredible homemade raviolis, fresh pasta, focaccia, as well as her cioppino made with the freshest fish and crab. Everyone who ever sat at Renata's table heard "Mangia, Mangia" ("eat, eat" in Italian) as an encouragement to enjoy and take extra helpings.

In her later years she was able to travel back to her beloved Massa, Italy where she spent quality time with her family and old girlhood friends. She was treated like a queen, as she liked to say.

Renata or Mamma will always be remembered for her inner beauty and simply stated wisdom. She was an inspiration and role model for all. She is survived by her daughter Vita Hall (Charlie), son Frank (Sally Shea), son Ermino (Delana Phillips) and two grandsons, Sean Mazzarino (Catherine) and Kyle Mazzarino, as well as many cousins, nieces, nephews, grandnieces and nephews in California and Italy. She was also surrounded by a most loving and loyal circle of caregivers in her last years.

There was a celebration of her life for family and friends. In lieu of flowers, the family prefers that contributions be made to the very helpful Hospice of Santa Cruz 940 Disc Dr., Scotts Valley, CA 95066.

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