Mary Martere (1908-2015)

OBIT - Mary MartereAt 107, a Valley West Care Center Resident was likely the oldest person in Colusa County, although there’s no way to know for sure.

Born Palma Maria Possella on April 12, 1908 to Dominic and Angela (Possella) Armocido in Salida, Colorado; Mary was one of fourteen children.

Mary passed away on Sunday, July 5, 2015.

In January of 1927, Mary married her husband, Bob Martere and raised three daughters.

After 50 years of marriage, Bob passed away in 1977.

For the last nine years, Mary has resided at the Valley West Care Center in Williams.

“She received excellent care and service,” said Devin Donohue, Mary’s Son-in-law, “she loved all the employees working there and who were responsible for her living a long life.”

At Valley West, Mary earned the nickname of the ‘Energizer Bunny’ or ‘Bunny’ – for short – because she was full of energy quick to roam the halls and visit with her friends.

Before her family had enough of her fender benders, Mary drove a Model T to work, for ten years – without a license.

“We would get phone calls from people saying that mom bumped into something, or busted someone’s water pipe,” said Angie, “and after she was told she couldn’t the Model T anymore, she stopped driving – modern automatic cars were difficult for her to understand.”

Mary worked for the Colusa Prune Plant for over 45 years, while her husband worked as the custodian at Colusa High School.

Mary loved to walk around town and collect cans – and was known by many as the ‘can lady’.

It wasn’t until she fell and broke her hip, and moved into a retirement facility. Until that point, Mary had lived in the home her husband built, 70 years prior.

Mary was a devout catholic and attended church at Our Lady of Lourdes Church every Sunday.

“Mary loved everyone she met, and helped out anyone she could,” said Devin, “

Mary was the niece to Pope Pius X, and sometime before 1930, Mary’s family underwent a surname change. Replacing Possella to Armocido.

“I don’t know why they changed their name from Possella to Armocido,” said Angie Martere-Donohue, Mary’s daughter, “On her baptism certificate it states that the last name is to be known as Armocido.”

Mary’s daughter, Ruth, later traveled to Italy and meet family who were able to confirm the mystery.

“Mary’s father, Dominic was the brother to Pope Pius X,” said Angie.

Mary is survived by her Daughter, Angie Martere-Donohue (Devin); Son-in-law, Clarence “Bud” Johnson; a Grandson, Steve Johnson; and Great Grandchildren, Stephanie Johnson and Andrew Johnson all living in Sacramento.

Mary is Preceded in death by her husband, Bob Martere; her parents, Dominic and Angela Armocido; and a daughter Ruth Johnson.

A Rosary will be held at 10:00 AM on Friday, July 31, 2015, at McNary Moore Chapel, 107 Fifth Street, Colusa. Graveside services to held at Holy Cross Cemetery, 1741 Wescott Road, in Colusa, following the Rosary.

Is the Owner, Publisher, Editor, and Reporter of the Williams Pioneer Review. Committed to publishing the news of our Community, Lloyd has been the owner of the Williams Pioneer Review since 2010. To contact Lloyd about this article or future articles, please email him at