Mario Dionise

Mario DioniseMario 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 ( Your gift will honor Mario’s legacy and make a difference in the lives of many. Online condolences may be shared at .

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9 Messages to “Mario Dionise

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L&J Prusinski
November 18, 2023 at 6:31 pm

Dear Zia Emily, Joe, Paul & Families,
Please accept our deepest and sincerest heartfelt condolences. Kind and sweet Uncle Mario has endured a long life and his ongoing battle with illness. He was a trooper to pull through every time. May he finally rest in peace. He will be truly missed.
Sending love, hugs, and prayers, as you journey down this next road in life.
With love,
Laura & Jeff

Ida Tavano
November 18, 2023 at 6:49 pm

Dear Zia Emily, Joe, Paul & families,
Our deepest condolences….remembering the many visits to Holt over the years fondly:)…..Uncle Mario would tell us about the various vegetables in the garden, the beautiful fig & apple trees and would feed his many varieties of birds….the colorful peacocks in all their glory were incredible! We had lovely conversations in the kitchen & living room…my parents & Nonno & Nonna enjoyed many chats together also during our visits…he was blessed to have 90yrs amidst health complications….may he rest in peace….thinking of you all with love & prayers…
Ida, Joe & Joey xox

Rosanne Sunny Orban
November 18, 2023 at 9:00 pm

Our sincerest sympathies to Zia Emily, Joe , Paul & families. We are grateful we were able to visit with uncle Mario this summer . It’s not been an easy road for him & you all , he no longer is suffering . I appreciate you taking me in and providing guidance & love many years ago when I would spend many months living with you. Uncle was welcoming & grateful for the help I was able to provide when the boys were young. We all have fond memories , especially as I was one of the flower girls at your wedding . May the encouraging words of many provide you comfort during this difficult time .
With love
Sunny , Denis, Alexandra & Daniel ,
Toronto , Ontario , Canada

Anna & Victor Garisto
November 18, 2023 at 9:04 pm

Dearest Emily & family
We wanted to send our condolences as we learned of Mario’s passing . May you find strength & support in your extended family , especially those Giammattolo’s that are a rare breed

Victor & Anna Garisto
Woodbridge, Ontario , Canada

Curt Napier
November 22, 2023 at 10:59 am

My name is Curt. I was a route salesman for RC Cola of Lansing and I called on Mario and Emily at their store on Logan St. I recall what wonderful people they were and how pleasant it was to know them both. Rest in peace, Mario

Lorraine canavan
November 25, 2023 at 7:22 am

Aunt Emily and family,
We are thinking of you and your family and looking forward to celebrating the kindest and loving Uncle Mario. We remember so many fun times at your home in Holt with your beautiful garden, pond and great family get togethers.
Your love for my Mother was so great and the birthday parties for his big sister Rosaria for 98,99 and 100 was so kind and she loved it.
Rest in peace Uncle Mario.
Love, Lorraine, John, Jamie, Anthony, Clare, Lucia, Eleanor, Michelle, Aaron, Connor, and Reagan.

Glena Iantria and Andrea
November 25, 2023 at 9:31 pm

Emily, Joe, Paul and families,
Sending our sincere condolences on the loss of our cousin Mario. We will miss all of Mario’s stories and conversations we shared.
Sending you all so much love and prayers. May the support of family provide love and strength during this difficult time.

With love,
Glena and Andrea xoxo

Heather (Moore) Place
November 27, 2023 at 9:50 am

Sending our family’s condolences to the entire Dionise family. I have so many fond memories of Mario (and Emily) from my childhood and all the dinners and evenings playing cards when I would spend the weekend at my grandparent’s house (Ted and Maisie Downey). Love and prayers to you all.

Jean-Francois Veaux-Logeat
November 28, 2023 at 11:40 am

Sending my deepest condoleances to the whole family. Courage in these difficult times, will be thinking about you.


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