Mary Arancio Manuguerra grew up in the fishing community. She was born in Monterey on June 20, 1948 to Diego and Francesca (Chicchina) Arancio. Her parents were born in Isola di Marettimo, Sicily. Her father immigrated to Monterey in 1918 for what was then the biggest fishing opportunity. My father, husband and brother also fished in the Alaska water in Bristol Bay. Her Father Diego went back to the island many times and married the love of his life in 1929. Her siblings include brother, Peter who was born in 1930 and deceased in 2015. As well as her sister Vitina Pironi who was born in 1935 and currently resides in Monterey.
The family was reunited from the homeland to Monterey in 1946 when Francesca, Peter and Vitina came to the United States. It was a little after that when Diego and Peter build the "Vitina A" in 1947. They were a fishing family who fished everywhere including Monterey, San Pedro, Port Hueneme and the San Francisco waters.
It was fate when Mary met Ventura Manuguerra who was in the same industry as her family and worked on the Vitina A just like her father and brother from 1967 to 1997. They both wed in 1969 at our local church of San Carlos.
Her love for volunteering flourished over the years. For over 16 years she has volunteered and helped coordinate events for ICF Lenten dinner, AT & T, US Open, Bronco World Series and Foothill PTA. It all began when she started volunteering at her children’s schools. Once all the children were a bit older, she began working full time for Foothill School then after, Monterey High School. Her three beloved children all live locally. The eldest, Cristina lives in Monterey and works as a caregiver. Francesca Singh (Michael) lives in Toro Park and works as a Massage Therapist and assists her husband at Singh Real Estate. They have three children, Korissa Mussumeci (Vincent), Sabella Mary Singh and Michaela Francesca Singh. Their son Joseph Manuguerra specializes in hospitality work at the Hyatt in Monterey.
Community is in Mary’s blood. In fact Mary's mother was one of the original ladies that had a St. Joseph altar in her home. They had a 10 days novena in honor of St. Joseph. On the 10th day there was a mass and festivities that many attended at her home on Spaghetti Hill.
Mary continues this honor to St. Joseph together with Beatrice Bonanno. For the past 38 years the committee has held a special event after the Italian mass officiated by Father Peter Crivello accompanied with Orazio Aiello and Elaine Miller. This group of hardworking women make the traditional pignollo and cumbarta for everyone to enjoy after the mass, followed by dinner dance. This event would not be possible without the help of the ICF and many people from our community. Throughout the past 38 years St Joseph’s has donated to San Carlos Cathedral, Loaves & Fishes, St. Vincent de Paul, Salvation Army and a nun in Trapani. St. Joseph is the patron saint of many families throughout the world and of the Isola di Marettimo.
When Mary isn’t volunteering you can find her with her granddaughters or traveling. She enjoys being their biggest cheerleader at the social activities and volunteering at their school whenever she can. She enjoys attending all of their soccer, softball, volleyball, basketball games and their track meets.
Mary is a natural leader with many friends. She meets her friends daily for a morning walk on the bike path and cherishes all the social activities with them too.
Mary and Ventura love going on cruises and vacations with their Compares & Commares. In January they celebrated 50-year Wedding Anniversary which encouraged them to take a European trip with their family this past summer. They got the chance to visit their families home in Marettimo, Italy. It was a summer filled with new and old memories. They both truly care about their local community and will continue this passion for volunteering, travel and love for their community.
Mary is extremely grateful and would like to thank the Italian Heritage Society for this honor.