Maria Annita Maccaferri, a 70-year Rye resident, passed away on January 12, a few weeks before her 93rd birthday.
She was born in Serracapriola, Italy on February 2, 1920, the daughter of Vittorino and Antonietta de Leonardis Centuori. While living in Paris, she met her future husband, Mario Maccaferri. They were married on December 23, 1937.
The couple founded the French American Reeds Company and Mastro Industries, with Mrs. Maccaferri serving as production manager, a career that spanned 66 years.
In 2003, she was honored as Businesswoman of the Year in Mt. Vernon.
Her garden was the pride of the Redfield Street neighborhood. As recently as last spring, Mrs. Maccaferri, with the help of one of her grandchildren, planted 300 annuals.
In addition to being an avid gardener, “Nanny”, as her family called her, was a beloved mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, “whose love of life, resilience, independence, and infectious laugh will survive through her family.”
Mrs. Maccaferri is survived by her three children: Eliane M. Reese of Jackson, Tenn., Antoinette Rothballer of Rye, and Marco Maccaferri of Louisville, Ky.; eight grandchildren: Eugene P. Reese III of Atlanta, Maria E. Reese of Chicago, Laura Rothballer of LaGrange, N.Y., Donna Pagliaro of Pawling, N.Y., Denise Reheuser of Haymarket, Va., Michael, Mario, and Gina Maria Maccaferri, all of Louisville; and eight great-grandchildren: Michael Ball, Leigh Anne Patterson, Robert Reier, Annalee Pagliaro, Lauren, Stephanie, and Matthew Reheuser and Mark Maccaferri. Her husband passed away in 1993.
The family will receive friends at Graham Funeral Home on Friday, January 18 from 9 to 10:30 a.m. A mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated afterwards, at 11 a.m., at The Church of the Resurrection.
Donations may be made in Mrs. Maccaferri’s memory to the Disabled American Veterans, PO Box 14301, Cincinnati, OH.
Dr. Michel Slim
Distinguished surgeon Dr. Michel Slim of Rye passed away January 12, after struggling for ten months from complications due to multiple strokes.
In his 52-year career as a professor and pediatric surgeon, Dr. Slim published extensively, trained thousands of residents, pioneered pediatric surgical methods, and initiated the formation of cardiac surgery teams in Lebanon and the Middle East. From 1962-1986 he was a pediatric cardiothoracic surgeon and professor of pediatric surgery at the American University Hospital Medical Center in Beirut.
After moving to the United States, Dr. Slim served at Westchester Medical Center as Chief of Pediatric Surgery and Director of Pediatric Trauma Service. He was one of the founders of Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital and performed the first surgical procedure there.
His career of excellence culminated in New York Medical College honoring him with the title of Professor Emeritus in Pediatric Surgery and Pediatrics. He continued to hold lectures and grand rounds with residents until his stroke.
He was a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons American Academy of Pediatricians and a Fellow Emeritus of the American College of Chest Physicians, American Society of Thoracic Surgeons. Dr. Slim was also a member of the Society of Critical Care Medicine, the American Pediatric Surgery Association, British Association of Pediatric Surgery, International Society of Surgery, and Eastern Association for Surgery of Trauma. He was on the editorial board of Pediatric Surgery International and the Journal of Royal Medical Services in Jordan.
Dr. Slim was an extraordinarily passionate and dedicated doctor who constantly sought to improve his knowledge and skills. He saw himself as a student of life. As a surgeon, he saved thousands of lives and gave care to civilians, soldiers, the young and the old. He was a true humanitarian with passion and determination guided by the belief that we are all interconnected.
His daughters said, “He loved life and saw the humor and fun in any situation, always ready with a good-natured joke. He was always the first on the dance floor with the love of his life.”
His family would like to extend their heartfelt gratitude to those who cared for him so well after he became ill. They would also like to thank the many people around the world who have sent their prayers and best wishes.
Dr. Slim is survived by his wife of 54 years, Norma; his daughters: Julie, Lina, and Nayla; and five grandchildren.
A Memorial service will be held at Resurrection Church Saturday, February 2 at 12 p.m.
Contributions in Dr. Slim’s memory may be made to the Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital through the Children’s Hospital Foundation at https://foundation.westchestermedicalcenter.com, or to the American University of Beirut. Make checks payable to AUB and send to: Ms. Sujatha Vempaty, Associate Director of Development, American University of Beirut, 2 Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, 8th Floor, New York, NY 10017.
Felicity Dell’Aquila-Geyra died peacefully January 10 at Calvary Hospital. The cause was kidney failure. She was 82.
A native of New Rochelle, she called Rye home, having spent over 25 years as the guiding light of performing arts at The Rye Arts Center. She brought the community dramatic readings by acclaimed actors such as John Cunningham and Frances Sternhagen, concerts by Abbey Simon, vignettes by Beverly Penworthy, and a capella entertainment by JQ and the Bandits, among countless other presentations.
Ms. Dell’Aquila-Geyra helped innovate and promote exhibits in the Gallery and arranged a number of programs that took Rye community members to New York City to visit artist studios and to hear actors commentary at the conclusion of a Broadway play.
In her long association with Rye, she was responsible for the Arts Center’s marketing and public relations, establishing its reputation as a center of creativity for the local and surrounding communities. Staff and volunteers who worked alongside her described her as a “free spirit who loved the arts and enriched the lives of thousands of people.”
She is survived by her son, Don Geyra of Bloomington, Indiana.
Donations in her memory may be made to The Rye Arts Center, 51 Milton Road, Rye, NY 10580 or to The New Rochelle Humane Society, 70 Portman Road, New Rochelle, NY 10801.