Jean Lucille (Davalli) Martuza
Age 85, passed away peacefully on Nov 26, 2021. She was born June 21, 1936 in Cumberland, Maryland, daughter of the late Mary Anna (Tribut) and Jeno Louis Davalli. She is survived by her children Michael (Nancy), Eric (Stephanie) and Molly (Lawrence), and her grandson Nathan. She is also survived by four of her six siblings; Frances Lee, Margaret Gaughan, Linda Evans and Paul Davalli.
Jean grew up in Cumberland MD and attended Catholic Girls High School, graduating with the class of 1954. Upon graduation she accepted a position with the FBI in Washington D.C. Following her work at the FBI, Jean attended, and graduated from Frostburg State University with a degree in education. In addition to raising a family, she taught school for many years (In Maryland Florida and Delaware). Although she enjoyed all of her students, she most valued her years teaching kindergarten at Ursuline Academy. After retirement, Jean moved into a condominium in downtown Newark. She liked living in the active, downtown community amongst the vibrant student population. She made many friends with her neighbors in the condominium community. She cherished these relationships, and valued them for the rest of her life. She also had the opportunity to travel, visiting, among other places, Italy, Hawaii and San Francisco.
Jean was a strong and independent woman who loved gathering family together. She enjoyed staying connected to her children and her siblings, and hearing about the changes and accomplishments in everyone’s lives. She often hosted holiday gatherings, sharing both stories and homemade bread, cookies and pies. She was proud of her family, collecting her favorite photographs and keeping them prominently displayed in her home. In addition to the pride she took in her children’s accomplishments, she also loved watching her grandson grow up into a wonderful young man and always encouraged, and asked for updates on, his sports and music activities. When her family threw her a surprise party for her 70th birthday the real gift was how amazed and overcome with happiness she was.
A wonderful mother, sister, aunt and friend, Jean formed strong bonds with everyone she knew. She loved gardening, cooking and baking, reading, and watching PBS dramas and mysteries (Columbo was one of her favorites). She was a working mother who made sure her children always left the house with something for breakfast, even if it was cake (better to eat cake than nothing at all, she often said), and she took pride in her home cooked (from scratch) dinners and deserts. Visitors would often be offered fresh baked goods, both to enjoy while visiting and to take with them when the visit was over.
Fierce, independent, and unapologetically herself Jean lived in her home until the end. She would have it no other way. Her many friends and neighbors provided support and assistance along the way, for which we will always be thankful.
A Celebration of Life will be held at a future date. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Cornerstone Health Partners, LLC (920 Justison St, Wilmington DE 19801)- who’s dedicated caregivers allowed her to remain in her home and independent. Her family is truly grateful for all of the amazing people who befriended and assisted Jean throughout the years. To send condolences visit: www.mccreryandharra.com.