Mario Dionise, age 90, of Okemos, Michigan peacefully passed away in the comfort of his home on Friday, November 17, 2023 after an accomplished and fulfilling life. Born Mario Dionisio on November 3, 1933 in Sant’Ippolito (Cosenza) Italy, he was the son of Nicola and Lucia (Spagnuolo) Dionise. He was educated in the Italian school system and later earned a college degree in Lansing. He was a strong believer in education and work ethic as pathways to a better life.
Mario left the old country to start a new life abroad and arrived in New York City on May 2, 1952. He served with honor in the United States Army from 1958 to 1962. He married the love of his life, Emily Giammattolo from Canada, on June 15, 1963. Their blissful marriage lasted over 60 years. In 1964, Mario and Emily opened Mario’s Market grocery store in Lansing, which they operated for 30 years. They also owned other small businesses in the Lansing area.
Mario’s true passion was gardening. He was especially proud of growing several varieties of fig trees in Michigan. He enjoyed sharing the fruits of his labor with family, friends, and neighbors. Mario had a big heart and a genuine desire to give back to the local community and those around him. His remarkable resilience and unwavering faith will continue to inspire and uplift those fortunate enough to cross his path.
Surviving are his devoted wife, Emily Dionise of Okemos; sons, Joe (Sheryl) Dionise of Howell and Paul (Susan) Dionise of Okemos; grandchildren, Nicholas, Nina, and Mia Dionise; brother, Louis (Eleanor) Dionise of Lansing; sister, Assunta Caruso of Italy; and many dear nieces, nephews, cousins and close friends. Mario was preceded in death by his brothers, Guido Paul Dionise, Alfredo Dionisio, Eugene (Mary Jane) Dionise and Albert (Maria) Dionise; sisters, Esterina (Guiseppe) Naccarato and Rosaria (Alfred) Spagnuolo.
As we mourn Mario’s passing, let us also celebrate his life, a life filled with purpose, grace, and an outpouring of love. Let us strive to live as he did, with kindness in our hearts, faith as our guide, and love as our mantra. Rest in peace, dear Mario, you are loved beyond words and missed beyond measure.
The Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, November 25, 2023, at St. Martha Parish, 1100 West Grand River Avenue, Okemos, Michigan. His family will receive friends at the church beginning at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday. Entombment will be in St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, we invite you to make memorial contributions to The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation (www.crohnscolitisfoundation.org). Your gift will honor Mario’s legacy and make a difference in the lives of many. Online condolences may be shared at estesleadley.com .