Mary Connie (Marino) Cash was born Oct. 21, 1936, in Varapodio, Reggio Calabria, Italy. The daughter of Dominick and Maria Concetta (Falleti) Marino, Connie graced our world for 83 years until her re-birth on Aug. 9, 2020.
Connie became a naturalized United States citizen on April 3, 1957. From that time, Connie proudly referred to herself as an American. Her father settled in Westfield, New York, and this became her permanent home. Connie married Anthony “Tony” Cash on Sept. 1, 1956, and the couple raised four children.
Connie devoted the first 17 years of her marriage to her family as a stay-at-home mother. During this time, she also became very active as a community volunteer; two that were of most importance to her were volunteering at the Westfield Memorial Hospital as a Gray Lady and Westfield Academy and Central School as a classroom assistant for her children’s teachers.
Connie was a graduate of WACS, majoring in business, and a graduate of the Bill Hixon Floral Design School. In 1976, she opened her own floral business: Flowers By Connie. She became a strong business in the Westfield community for 32 years, providing her lovely floral arrangements to patrons in all areas of Chautauqua County. She took pride in being the Chautauqua Institution president’s personal home decorator for the holidays.
Connie was a great believer of giving back to her community and donated her time, talent and materials to beautify one home, place of business, or church each year. She dedicated a lot of her time decorating St. James/Dominic Catholic Church, of which she was a member, giving the church the touch of floral radiance as they celebrated Easter, Christmas and other special events. Her flowers encapsulated the glory of the Mass. Her flowers presented happiness, love, joy and thankfulness to all that were customers at her flower shop. Many came into the shop not only for flowers but for her great conversation, and one could not leave without being affected by her tender smile and uplifting energy.
Connie was a member of the American Florist Association, Women of the Moose, the Westfield Hospital Auxiliary and the St. James Altar and Rosary Society, serving as vice president and chaired several committees within that organization. She was also a member of Zonta International, an organization that ambitiously raised money for several charities, area schools, scholarships and aid for the empowerment of women. Most recently she has volunteered her energy to the Bereda Children’s Memorial, working and participating in the annual 5K run/walk.
After her retirement in 2008, she began working at Chautauqua Institution as an Amphitheater usher, greeting and welcoming summer guests for the next 11 years. Connie loved this retirement job and the dear friends she met and worked with while enjoying the beauty of the stage she once decorated every Sunday for most of her floral career.
Connie will most affectionately be remembered for her love and dedication to her family. She was a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and aunt. Her family looked to her for strength and her ability to make any situation happy, happier or glorious. Connie enjoyed baking and taking cookies and pies to friends and family. She enjoyed knitting and crocheting, and all of her wonderful scarves and blankets were given away to family, friends and donated to the nursing home in Westfield. Connie loved the outdoors and, at age 80, joined the Chautauqua Hiking Club, adventuring to such places as the Chautauqua Gorge, the Portage Trail and the Trolly Line Trail. Connie loved gardening in the spring, and winter snow shoveling was considered “a very good workout.” She seldom accepted help with this task.
Connie and her husband enjoyed traveling around the country and Canada, and visited Europe several times. Her walks with family and friends will be unforgettable. Her devotion to family will forever be cherished. Mom touched this world like the glorious ray of light that she followed: “I know a woman of beauty and strength. She is my Mother.”
Connie is survived by her four children: Denise Williams-Stebbins, John (Joann) Cash, Andrew (Anne) Cash and Michael (Tara) Cash; her grandchildren: Jennifer (Nick) VandeVelde, Vincent and Willow VandeVelde, Christina (David) Bereda, Jorden, Asher and Eden Bereda, Stephanie (Adam) Williams-Thomas, Anthony and Dante Williams, Isaac (Katlin) Williams, Simon Williams, Matthew Cash, Rebecca Cash, Sarah Cash, Jessica Cash, Meaghan Cash, Emilea Cash, Keara Cash, Mea Cash; brother, Vincent (Nancy) Marino; and several loved nieces and nephews.
Connie was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Tony; great-grandchildren, Brennen and Finley Bereda; and sister, Carmela Gugino.
Connie will have a joint funeral and burial with her husband on Sept. 1, 2020, their 64th anniversary.
Donations may be made in her name to the Bereda Children’s Memorial, Westfield Memorial Hospital or Chautauqua County Hospice.