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Marguerite Ann Cassidy D'Onofrio, known to her many friends as Maggie, died in Jupiter, Florida on Saturday, September 24, 2016, following an auto accident. She was 82.
Maggie was born on March 3, 1934 in Ridgewood, Brooklyn to Loretta Rolland and James Joseph Cassidy. She was one of seven children. Married to Salvatore D'Onofrio in 1952, Maggie and her husband started bringing up three kids in Brooklyn, but after the fourth one was born they moved out to Freeport, Long Island to continue raising their growing family. They had five children altogether. After a divorce in the 1960s, Marguerite decided to become a nurse in order to rear her children as a single parent. She earned degrees from Farmingdale University and Malloy College. This was quite an accomplishment since she also worked full time and went to school at night while raising her five kids. Her primary career was working as a Public Health Nurse. For many years she worked for the Five Towns Visiting Nurse Association. When she moved to Dania, Florida in the late '70s she worked in a Broward County Health Center. During the latter part of her career she became a Rehabilitative Nurse assisting injured workers to gain re-entry into the work force.
After work she loved to stop at Carvel for a banana split. Her favorite ice cream flavor was strawberry. Maggie loved to dance, she really had rhythm. She was very gregarious; she talked to everybody. She had a great sense of humor and loved to tell jokes. Maggie loved to hunt a bargain and shop thrift stores. Her favorite drink when she was out was a glass of white Zinfandel but at home she loved her Schmidt's beer! She enjoyed eating prosciutto and a piece of semolina bread. Her favorite entrée was grilled lamb chops with mint sauce. Maggie was an avid reader, and, as a kid, after "lights out", she used to read under the covers with a flashlight. She remained so; not a day went by without her reading the daily newspaper at breakfast. She also clipped articles to send to her kids and relished retelling newsworthy events.
In the '80s, Maggie returned to Long Island and set up residence in Islip. A relationship flowered between her and Henry Behr, the owner of Behr's Baby Furniture. In 1982, the two were married . . . briefly. Nonetheless, the two of them stayed together and in the mid-1990s she and Henry decided to make Florida their permanent residence. She bought a home located in Jupiter Farms. She wanted a place where she could have farm animals. This was not new to Maggie. Back on Long Island, when her children were small, she kept chickens, ducks and rabbits. Her favorite was Henrietta, a little black Bantam hen. She loved her farm animals and in Florida she was able to raise ducks, chickens, turkeys, goats and pigs. Goldie, the turkey, was her "watch dog" and her goats Peggy and Cracker were also always on guard. Maggie had two parrots and she loved dogs, particularly poodles and Chihuahuas. She and Henry Behr both cherished their doggies and the two remained close until his passing in 2002.
Maggie was a member of four local service organizations, the Loyal Order of Moose, the American Legion, the Fraternal Order of Eagles and the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks. At age 76, she served as the Grand Exalted Ruler of the Jupiter Elks Lodge #2469 in Jupiter, Florida. Maggie was a staunch advocate for education and helping those in need.
Marguerite is survived by her five loving children: Denise D'Onofrio-Zizzo (Christopher), Michael D'Onofrio (Mary Pat), Salvatore D'Onofrio (Joy), Louis D'Onofrio and Peggy D'Onofrio-Moran (Walter, a.k.a. Gator). Maggie has six grandchildren; Brian, Kenneth, Terrence, Lauren, Caleb and Gavin and six great-grand kids; Lilith, Harlen, Salvatore, Luciano, Gianna, and Juliette. She is survived by two of her sisters, Loretta Meserole and Linda Dixon of Long Island and one brother, Francis Cassidy of Maine. She is also survived by one parrot, Lucy, and her oldest Chihuahua, Mimi. She is also fondly remembered by all her loving nieces and nephews, who never called her Maggie. To them, she was always "Aunt Peg"!
>Funeral Services are to be held at Taylor and Modeen, 250 Center Street, Jupiter, Florida 33458 on Saturday, October 1, 2016 from 10 AM thru 12 PM.
>Memorial Celebration will follow at 1PM thru 4 PM at the Jupiter/Tequesta Moose Lodge #2237, 185 E. Indiantown Road # 210, Jupiter, Florida 33477.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in memory of Marguerite D'Onofrio to Farm Sanctuary (farmsanctuary.org) (607) 583-2225, whose mission is rescue, education and advocacy for the ethical care of farm animals.