Mary Jane Pignatelli, 63, of Lenox died Sunday, July 9, at Berkshire Medical Center surrounded by her family after a courageous battle with cancer.
Born December 5, 1953, in Pittsfield, she is predeceased by her parents, William and Mary Conry Heaphy, of Pittsfield and her sister Joan Heaphy of Troy, New York.
Mary Jane grew up in the beautiful Berkshires, graduating from St. Joseph High School in 1971. After high school, Mary Jane attended Winthrop Community Hospital School of Practical Nursing where she received a certificate in practical nursing in 1972. She continued her studies at Laboure’ Junior College in Milton to pursue an associate degree in nursing in 1977. While raising three children, she received her bachelor’s degree in nursing in 2002 from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
Mary Jane worked as a registered nurse at Berkshire Medical Center for over 20 years in several different capacities, establishing herself as a true leader among her colleagues. She taught the LPN program at Berkshire Community College for eight years, where she had a profound impact on students and their educational achievements. For the past eight years, Mary Jane worked as the school nurse at Lenox Memorial Middle and High School and Morris Elementary School in Lenox where she was loved by all the faculty and students. Mary Jane was extremely passionate about nursing and taking care of others. She especially loved working with all the children in the Lenox school system.
Mary Jane was a communicant of St. Ann’s Church and volunteered on several committees and boards including the Lenox Board of Health, Lenox Bullying Prevention & Intervention Community Task Force, Lenox Safety & Wellness Task Force, Tri-Town Health Department, Salvation Army board and was the class advisor for the class of 2018 at LMMHS. She enjoyed gardening, traveling, sports–especially the Boston Celtics–and was an outstanding cook. She took great pride in her family and was a devoted mother and a loving wife to her husband, Gary F. Pignatelli. They would have celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary this October.
Mary Jane is survived by her husband and her three children: daughter Andrea and husband John Simons of Manhattan, New York, son Mark and wife Daniela, and son Dan of Lenox; her siblings Barb Heaphy of Lenox and Bill Heaphy of Pittsfield; and her niece and nephews. She is also survived by her beloved dog, Manny, and her grand-dogs Bailey, Russell and Larry.
Calling hours will be hosted at Roche Funeral Home in Lenox on Thursday, July 13, from 4 to 7 p.m. Funeral services for Mary Jane will be held on Friday, July 14, at 10 a.m. at St. Ann’s Church in Lenox with a Liturgy of Christian Burial celebrated by Monsignor John Bonzagni. Burial will follow at St. Ann’s Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to St. Ann’s Church in care of Roche Funeral Home, 120 Main St., Lenox, MA 01240 or to the Mary Jane Pignatelli Scholarship Fund in care of Lenox Public Schools, 6 Walker St., Lenox, MA 01240. To share memories and stories, visit www.rochefuneralhome.com.