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MARY VANNOZZI Mary Norma Vannozzi died in her sleep early Sunday morning, Feb. 10, 2013 after a lengthy battle with Alzheimer's disease. She was 89. Mary was born in Manhattan, N.Y. in 1923 to Lena and Tony Messina, but has been a permanent resident of Las Vegas since 1961. She married Isidor Vannozzi in New York City Nov. 2, 1947. He preceded her in death in 1996. She met Isidor just after World War II. During the war he was the baker in charge of feeding the personnel on the aircraft carrier the USS Ranger and she was working in her father's stores and sewing Navy Pea coats and other items for U.S. servicemen. Isidor Vannozzi is a descendent, and the namesake of the man who discovered the Etruscan Chariot of Monteleone (the Golden Chariot) in Italy, that is now on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Following the war, the family moved west in search of a better life, eventually settling in Las Vegas. During the 1950's Mary's father Tony worked selling authentic Italian food from the BondAire Club on what's now Tropicana, to the construction workers building the Tropicana Hotel. In the late 1950's the family opened the first Italian restaurant in downtown Las Vegas, Tony's Come "N" Eat in the 800 block of Fremont Street. Mary and Iszy then opened The Fremont Delicatessen next door to the restaurant, becoming among the first to bring authentic Italian delicacies from Italy, New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco to Las Vegas. Both were active in the Catholic Church and created the Catholic Youth Organization in the 1960's for kids here in the valley. They also volunteered in the construction of St. Christopher's Church in North Las Vegas, The Guardian Angel Shrine, Our Lady of Las Vegas, and helped maintain the St. Joan of Arch Church and Bishop Gorman High School. Both were involved in the Sons of Italy and the Italian American Club. Mary is survived by her four children, Patrick of Dallas, and Thomas, Michael and Sandra of Las Vegas; and eleven grandchildren. Services will be 9-11:30 a.m., Thursday, Feb. 14, at Desert Memorial, 1111 Las Vegas Blvd. N. Interment will be at Bunker Eden Vale Cemetery, 1216 Las Vegas Blvd. N. Flowers may be sent to the Desert Memorial Society in her name.


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