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Hodges Funeral Home at Lee Memorial Park

12777 State Road 82, Fort Myers, FL

OBITUARY

Mary W. Damm

May 3, 1935July 27, 2020

Mary W. Damm, a resident of Fort Myers, Florida since 2019, formerly of Poughkeepsie, NY passed away on July 27 surrounded in her final moments by her loving family. Born on May 3, 1935 she was married to the love of her life Eugene (Gene) Damm on April 19, 1952. Gene survives at home. Mary was predeceased by an infant daughter, Kelly Jean, her parents Antone and Hannah Reis and an infant brother Anthony Reis.

Mary graduated with honors from New Bedford High School in 1952. Although following high school she became a homemaker, she never gave up her desire to pursue higher education and completed her Bachelor’s Degree, majoring in English at the age of 57.

While her children were growing, Mary, with her husband Gene, developed an avid interest in competitive swimming which became a labor of love. Over the years, Mary went from being parent volunteer to coaching on many levels, including college and was always working on improving her skills and knowledge. She was beloved by all the children she coached, with many continuing to reach out and visit following the end of their own swimming careers. From age group teams to Women’s college teams, Mary was always there developing practices and relay teams and helping young ones to enhance their love and skill of the sport.

Born in New Bedford, Massachusetts, Mary never forgot her New England roots and in particular, the historical significance of where she grew up. From the landing at Plymouth Rock, to the American Revolution historical sites (her wedding anniversary is Bunker Hill day) to enjoying the whaling history of New Bedford and the beauty of vacationing on Cape Cod, Mary loved to revisit these areas.

Although Mary’s major focus for her education was English, she loved history and strongly believed in patriotism. As a second generation American, she recalled and appreciated how hard her parents and grandparents worked to become Americans, but never forgot her Portuguese and British roots.

Not only did she impart to her children and grandchildren the importance of the responsibilities of being an American, she shared with them her love of music and education, teaching them songs, little musical games, sharing with them her favorite books growing up and offering to help and tutor when extra assistance was needed.

Her love of family provided many wonderful hours together vacationing in the New England/Cape Cod area, the Pacific west coast, cruising, and visiting Disney.

In addition to her husband Gene, Mary is survived by her daughters Mary (Thomas) Morris, Erin (James) Viglione, and Kathleen (George) Officer; seven grandchildren: Kimberly (Alberto) Lopez, Christopher (Nicole) Morris, Amy (Amber) Mummert, Matthew (Chelsea) Viglione, Andrew Viglione, Kasey (Mike) Duncan, Hanna Officer and fiancé Josh Clay, and seven great grandchildren: Madeline and Penelopy Morris, Abigail and Logan Lopez, Archer and Hunter Chewning and Stella Viglione.

Mary’s family would like to express their gratitude to Hope Hospice of the Fort Myers area. We are grateful for the aides and nurses that brought her gentle, thoughtful care while at home, and the staff of Hospice House at Health Park that provided such tender and loving care to Mary and wonderful support to her family as she passed on to be with the Lord.

In lieu of flowers, the family would like to request donations in Mary’s name to Hope Hospice at the following: donate.hopehcs.org or checks can be mailed to: Hope Hospice, Attn: Development Office, 9470 Health Park Circle, Fort Myers, FL. 33903.

A visitation will be held at St. John XXIII Catholic Church, 13060 Palomino Ln, Ft Myers, FL 33912 from 845am – 930am with a Mass of Christian Burial to follow. A graveside service will take place after mass at Hodges Funeral Home at Lee Memorial Park, 12777 State Road 82, Ft Myers, FL 33913 at 11am.

For information, please call 239-334-4880.

Services

  • Visitation

    Saturday, August 1, 2020

  • Funeral Service

    Saturday, August 1, 2020

  • Graveside Service

    Saturday, August 1, 2020

Memories

Mary W. Damm

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Richard McHugh

July 31, 2020

Mary wore many hats. She was a success at everything she did. The memories are endless. Praying for Gene snd the entire Damm family.

Candy Flormann

July 31, 2020

Mary always had a smile and an ear to listen. She became a friend as we became the parents of two high school swimmers.
“Family “ was at the heart of all she did, eager to add many to that circle.
She will be missed.
Prayers and sympathies to those close to her and especially the Officer family.
Candy and Ron

Kathy Bastien (Clark)

July 31, 2020

I’m so sorry for your loss. I remember Mary fondly from my years on the CYO swim team. My prayers to the family.

Pamela Giraud

July 31, 2020

Your parents coached my son, Jason Thompson, when your father worked at the West Point swim club. My son chose to attend Mount Saint Mary College because your parents were going to be coaches there. My son was the first captain of your father's first team at the Mount. I have fond memories of your mom treating each swimmer like her own child. Sincere condolences to your family. Respectfully, Pamela Giraud and Jason Thompson

Pat Orr(McGuirk)

July 30, 2020

Mrs Damm (Mary) was such a part of my growing up years from swimming on her CYO team , swimming masters with her husband and volunteering later with her summer youth program. I know she was a good friend to my Mom Roesmary and together they had some laughs . She made a difference in so many young people’s life . I know she will be missed by many

Christine Shilkunas-Harding

July 30, 2020

I have so many fond memories of Mrs. Damm, as she is the person who gave me a chance to become a competitive swimmer. All of my neighborhood friends were swimmers on the St. Mary’s Whalemen and I wanted to be one too. Only trouble was, that I wasn’t a very good swimmer. Mrs. Damm told me she would teach me but I had to stop talking, listen to her and work hard! I hung on her every word, and learned so much, that I still pass on to this very day, as I now have been coaching for over 30 years. I am so grateful to have been blessed with amazing coaches.
Mr. & Mrs. Damm have inspired thousands over the course of their lives. From the bottom of my heart Thank you! Mrs. Damm, thank you for believing in me when others did not, and for creating an amazing path for me to follow in your footsteps, as a coach! Rest In Peace Mrs. Damm your work here is done. ❤️

Terea McGuirk

July 29, 2020

There are way too many memories to share. As I think of Mary now, I picture myself as a teenager, laughing with your family. So many great times. I am so sorry for your loss.

Tanya Pagano

July 29, 2020

RIP Mrs. Damm, Thank you for all the love you showed me in college. I loved swim Team and our Disney trip together.

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

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