Ethel DeMayo, devoted to family, dies at 89

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She was born in Loughborough, England, became a wartime bride to an American soldier and moved to Massapequa Park, where she grew to be a family matriarch known for her devotion to local elections, hockey and knitting.

Ethel DeMayo, who worked for the Nassau County Board of Elections for 53 years, died Friday of lung cancer at her Massapequa Park home. She was 89.

While she was dedicated to her growing family, Election Day was the one event she would never miss. As a precinct chairwoman, she helped set up polls and tally results for village, school and other elections.

"She loved working Election Day," said daughter Marie Winters, 64, who lives in Ontario, Canada, and Savannah, Ga.

"She was proud of her citizenship," said another daughter, Ethel Schmitz, 66, who lived with her mother in Massapequa Park.

Ethel DeMayo was married to Anthony DeMayo for 45 years before he died in 1991. They met during World War II when he served with the Army's 82nd Airborne Division.

The couple were avid fans of the former Long Island Ducks hockey team, and had served as fan club presidents. But devotion to family was paramount.

"There were five of us and we all grew up loving our family, loving our parents, loving each other," Winters said.

Family gatherings were always at the same Massapequa Park house the family moved into in 1954.

Other survivors include children Frank DeMayo, 55, of Seaford, Tony DeMayo, 58, of Massapequa Park, and Ann DeMayo, 63, of Dallas, N.C.; 12 grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren.

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Viewing will be from 2 to 4 p.m. and from 7 to 9 p.m. Monday in the North Chapel of Massapequa Funeral Home, 1050 Park Blvd., Massapequa Park.Burial will be private.

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