Mary Elizabeth Fontana


Mary Elizabeth Fontana, age 56, found peace on February 17, 2019. Mary was born in Rome, NY on May 2, 1962 to her parents Barbara Elizabeth Fontana and Saul John Fontana. She was the fourth of five “Fontana Sisters.” 

At the age of 18, Mary ventured to Southern California to pursue an education in the travel and tourism industry, and while working at Airspur Helicopters and Corporate Travel she had the opportunity to embark on her own travels. Mary met her beloved future husband Andrew Thomas “Tom” Morba, owner of Paul’s Barbeque in San Jose where she also worked. Mary and Tom returned to Syracuse, New York in 1986 to start a life together. While there Mary worked for US Airways and as a bank teller for the Marine Midland Bank. 

The two were married on March 6, 1993, and in 1994 and 1996, Mary and Tom welcomed daughters Caroline Rose Morba and Catherine Rae Morba. Mary always asserted that her daughters were her greatest accomplishments, and dedicated herself wholeheartedly to raising them as strong, independent women. As her daughters grew, Mary worked in food service for the Westhill School District where she could be around children and still have precious summers off with her girls.

In 2006 Mary’s family moved to Glenville, NY. She worked for Burnt Hills- Ballston Lake School District in food service, as a playground monitor, and as a teacher’s aide helping elementary special education students. She often recounted stories of the children she was helping and the joy she felt watching them grow into their own. Besides a love for children, Mary had a passion for animals, and enjoyed breeding and showing Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. Mary loved politics and closely followed the political and justice system. She valued the quality of honesty above all else, and prided herself on always telling the truth.

In the spring of 2017, Mary and Tom went on a lifelong dream vacation to Italy. Shortly after she was confronted with a cancer diagnosis, which she faced with bravery, persistence, and grace for nineteen months. She still continued to touch the hearts of many, and never lost her sense of humor. She is survived by sisters Jean Fontana, Anne Fontana, Nancy Fliss, and Sally Fontana; several nieces and nephews; and devoted family Tom, Caroline and Catherine, her “heart”.

There will be a gathering in Rome, NY on Saturday, March 9, at St. Paul’s Church, where guests may pay respects at noon and join the family for a 1 p.m. memorial service. 

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her name to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Massachusetts, so that future families impacted by cancer may see a brighter tomorrow. Online condolences may be made at


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