Catherine M. “Kay” Ciampa

April 21st, 2013

Catherine M. (Parziale) Ciampa, fondly known as “Kay” to her family and friends, age 84, of Wilmington, formerly a long time resident of Reading, died peacefully on April 20, 2013, at the Lahey Clinic Medical Center in Burlington.

Kay was born on September 11, 1928, in Boston, MA, she was the cherished daughter of the late Carmine and Louise (Demars) Parziale.  Kay was raised and educated in East Boston and Somerville and was a graduate of Somerville High School.

Kay met her “sweetheart” Ralph A. Ciampa at the Oceanview Ballroom in Revere shortly after Ralph returned home from World War II. Ralph had an identical twin brother Fred, which truly meant double trouble for Kay. Ralph mercilessly teased her as they dated, often telling her that it was actually Fred who took her out on many occasions because he didn’t feel like going out those nights. Luckily for Ralph, Kay knew how to take a joke, and the pair were married in 1954.

The couple lived in Somerville and Malden before settling in Reading in 1957. Kay and Ralph had a great life together  They raised three wonderful sons, Ralphie, Michael, and David. The couple traveled the world together, and were always the life of every party.  Kay and Ralph both thoroughly enjoyed family parties, or any party for that matter. Both of them could hardly wait for the next party, holiday, or special celebration. They were truly a “FUN” couple. They would spend 35 wonderful years together before Ralph’s untimely death in 1989.

After settling in Reading, Kay immediately became very active in the community. She was very involved in Reading Little League for many years, was an active communicant of St. Agnes Parish, as well a PTA member of St. Agnes School. She also worked in the kitchen at Austin Prep School in Reading. Because of her Community involvement it seemed as though everyone in Reading knew Mrs. Ciampa.

Kay was always very giving of herself, and for many years also volunteered at the Winchester Hospital as a  Candy Striper .. She also worked for many years as a waitress at the Pewter Pot in Reading, and then as a cashier for Aramark Food Services at Textron in Wilmington. The patrons just loved her. She was always adding “an extra something” to their plates. She always preached that a way to a person’s heart is through their stomach.

Kay’s family was her life, she was a devoted wife and mother, always supporting her “boys” with school and sporting activities. You would always find her at every sporting event in which they played. She rarely, if ever, missed one of her boy’s games.  She was also like a second mother to all the neighborhood kids. No kid ever went over to the Ciampa’s house without Mrs. Ciampa making sure they had something to eat. And EVERY KID in the neighborhood loved Mrs. Ciampa’s meatballs

Kay absolutely loved Bingo  She always played more than once a week for as long as anyone can remember, right up until her last days. She was also a great card player, especially blackjack. Having a sports fanatic husband and three sports fanatic sons in her house, it was no wonder she had to plan every Sunday dinner around some kind of game. She had no choice BUT to be a big sports fan herself, and in fact she still watched practically every one of her beloved Red Sox games right up until her last day.

In 1994 a short time after the sudden death of her beloved oldest son Ralphie, Kay moved to Wilmington with son Mike, his wife Ginny, and their family. She now had a new lease on life, and  lived” for her grandchildren. Kim, Mikey, and Stevie became the light of her life  Nana became the biggest cheerleader for her grandchildren. Once again, just like with her own kids, she rarely if ever missed a game.  She would check the calendar daily, and would give each grandchild 2 dollars before every one of their practices and games, for a snack or a drink. This took place from the time each began playing sports in Kindergarten and continued right through High School. Her son Mike often comments that the kids must be rich thanks to Nana, because they’d always bring their own drinks from home and just pocket the 2 bucks.

In her later years Kay looked forward to her Saturdays with son David and would love to tease him about how bad his “old men” softball team looked at times. So many times she told him the whole team should retire. It was only recently that she couldn’t attend his softball games anymore, which was too bad since she was his team’s only fan.

Kay was known as a social butterfly even on the  Senior Circuit . She loved to attend the Senior centers not only in Wilmington but the surrounding towns as well.  She never missed a bingo game, card game, casino trip, luncheon, or a special event at the senior center.  Kay loved people and they loved her, she was a lot of fun and had countless number of friends throughout the years.

Kay was also a beloved sister, aunt, and sister in-law. Auntie Kay was special to each and every one of her nieces, nephews, great nieces, and great nephews. She will be fondly remembered as kind, caring, and helpful to everyone. Her family, extended family, and longtime friends with whom she had many great trips and parties, and those at the many Senior Centers she frequented will miss her dearly

Kay was the beloved wife of the late Ralph A. Ciampa, devoted mother of Michael J. Ciampa and his wife Ginny of Wilmington, David Ciampa and his wife Mary of Tewksbury, and the late Ralph C. Ciampa, loving grandmother of Kim, Mike, and Steve Ciampa all of Wilmington, and Andrew Bottari of Wilmington, cherished daughter of the late Carmine and Louise (Demars) Parziale, dear sister of Evelyn Belmonte of Stoneham, Dr. Michele DeAngelis of Woburn, Marie Ferrari and her husband Bob of Reading, the late Connie Restani, James Parziale, and Carmen Parziale. Kay is also survived by many nieces, nephews, sister inlaws, brother inlaws, and many dear friends.

Family and friends will gather at the Nichols Funeral Home, Inc., 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington on Wednesday, April 24th at 9:15 a.m. followed by a Funeral Mass in St. Agnes Church, 186 Woburn St., Reading, at 10:30 a.m.  Interment to follow in Charles Lawn Cemetery, Reading.  Visiting Hours will be held at the Nichols Funeral Home on Tuesday, April 23rd from 4-8 p.m.  In lieu of flowers donations in Catherine’s memory may be made to the American Heart Association, 300 5th Avenue, Suite 6, Waltham, MA  02451.


13 Entries in Guest Book for “Catherine M. “Kay” Ciampa”

  1. Tim Hooton says:

    Mike and Family

    Sorry for the loss of your mom. My thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time

    Tim Hooton

  2. valerie thompson says:

    Dear Ciampa Family,
    Please accept my sincere condolences for your loss. May you find comfort in your loving memories, and in knowing that God is “near to those that are broken at heart; and those who are crushed in spirit he saves.” (Psalm 34;18) Our loving Creator has promised to soon “swallow up death forever…and wipe the tears from all faces.” (Isaiah 25;8) With deepest sympathy,

  3. Mike Gauthier says:

    Mike and Family,

    My heartfelt condolences for the loss of your dear mother and grandmother. I was touched reading her obituary…about this wonderful woman who gave so much of herself to not only her family but the community at large. Truly a
    great legacy.

    All my love and prayers,
    Mike Gauthier

  4. Dianna Crowley Chalas says:

    Mrs Ciampa was a fabulous cook. She would send over all sorts of Italian food when we were skinny little kids. We have wonderful memories of Smith Ave. Dave & Mike – “Death leaves a heartache that no one can heal, love leaves a memory that no one can steal” She is up there with your Dad, your brother, Mr. Callahan and my Dad. xoxo, Dianna

  5. Vin, Linda, Allea, Vin Jr, & Nana Scifo says:

    Mike and Family,
    Sorry to hear of the loss of your mother & grandmother. We have such fond memories spending time with her at all those baseball games, she was a true fan, even if it was for the “Good Yankees”

  6. Thelma Lefavour says:

    Dear Mike and Family and David and Family,
    I was saddened to hear of Kay’s passing. I am so sorry I cannot be there. She was a good person and did so much for everybody. George always felt like the Ciampa house was his second home. I have so many wonderful memories of time with Kay; parties, our boys, Little League, and weddings. We went through a lot together. I will truly miss her.

  7. Garry Beard says:

    Mike and family, sorry to hear about your mom’s passing. You are in my thoughts and prayers. That generation of parents are a special breed, they really set the pace. You know, a day doesn’t go by, when my parents, aren’t in my mind. Keep the happy thoughts with you..

  8. Linda and Larry Lussy says:

    Mike and David,
    My heart is heavy for your loss. I know Kay was welcomed in Heaven by all the people she loved who went before her. I think of Ralph so often and all the fun we had with he and George. The Ciampa family will always hold a special place in my memories of growing up in Reading. I wish I could be there and bring my mom for Kay’s service. She so wants to be there but is unable to travel.
    Larry and I send our sincere sympathy to you both and to your families.
    Our love to you all,
    Linda Lefavour Lussy and Larry Lussy

  9. The Diorio Family says:

    Dear Mike, Ginny, Kim, Mike and Steve,
    We are so sorry for your loss. Please know you and your entire family are in our thoughts and prayers! xoxo
    Stephen, Jean, Nicole, Michael and Matthew

  10. Mary Fallica says:

    My thoughts and prayers go out to the family. My Mom Frances is so sad , she lost her very good friend and she said life will not be the same without her dear friend Kay. Stay strong. With Love Frances Bent And daughter Mary

  11. Mike&Cathy DiPirro says:

    To Mike, Ginny and family–what a funny and touching memory of your mom you have posted here. So sorry to hear about Mother Ciampa. Our prayers are with you and family. God Bless. MIke&Cathy DiPirro

  12. Ms.Jordan says:

    I would like to express my sympathy for the passing of your love one. The Bible states, and you may agree that death is an enemy.
    (1 Corinthians 15:26) But it also assures us that “.. they will certainly return from the land of the enemy.” This will be in the resurrection. (John 5:28,29) Then mankind will live forever for death, mourning, and pain will be no more. (John 17:3; Revelation 21:4,5) I hope these Bible verses will be of some comfort to your family.

  13. Bill Stewart says:

    My deepest sympathies to you on the loss of your mother. She was quite the lady. What a great life, God bless her…

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