Ann Maria Cassotti Sylvester, beloved and devoted wife, mother and nonna, passed away unexpectedly on Thursday, Nov. 29. She is survived by her loving husband, Vito; and their sons, Matthew; and Martin and his wife, Rose and grandson, Jonah.
Ann Maria was born on May 1, 1951 in Scranton to Joseph and Anita Fortini Cassotti. She grew up in Old Forge and graduated from Old Forge High where she was drum majorette leading the band at football games and parades. After graduation in 1969, she was a receptionist at Williams Baking Co. Ann graduated from the Barbizon School of Modeling and was accepted into the Models Guild of Philadelphia. Her modeling career included being featured in many advertising campaigns for major department stores among others.
In 1974, Ann and Vito were married at St. Ann’s Monastery and moved to Waverly, N.Y., where she worked as a receptionist, bookkeeper and salesperson. She was active in the Area Jaycees where she made many lifelong friends. In 1977, Ann and Vito moved to Gainesville, Fla., where she worked at the University of Florida as an assistant in the Pharmacology Dept. In 1978, Ann and Vito moved to Sayre and began a family. Matthew was born in 1979 and they built their dream house on Orange Hill where Martin was born in 1981. She was the consummate nurturing mother and made sure her sons were happy and helped them become the outstanding men they are today. She was their unwavering advocate throughout their lives. When the boys were old enough, she worked as the principal’s secretary where she kept an eye on them.
In 1991, the family moved to Williamsport and made a new home in Loyalsock Twp. Ann enrolled at Penn College and graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1996 with an AAS degree in occupational therapy. For most of her career, she worked in the local school districts providing therapeutic services to children with all sorts of developmental issues in both home and school environments. Ann loved working with her students & took pride being able to help them develop their capabilities to the fullest.
Ann Maria truly was the personification of love. She was selfless in helping anyone who needed it and was truly interested in their wellbeing. She went out of her way to encourage people to be their best and tried to positively affect their life in some way. She had a profoundly deep faith and practiced it every day, in everything she did.