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.