Cover photo for Bernice E. Mazzella's Obituary
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1939 Bernice 2024

Bernice E. Mazzella

February 8, 1939 — January 28, 2024

Youngstown

Bernice E. Mazzella, 84, of Austintown, passed peacefully into the arms of her Savior, Jesus, on Sunday, January 28, surrounded by her loving family, after a courageous battle with cancer.

She was born February 8, 1939, in Erie, PA, a daughter of Charles and Eufemia (Cutri) Bongiorno. Her Italian-American family and church community were an important part of her formative years. She eagerly served as Sunday School teacher, youth group director and on the cleanup crew for spaghetti supper. As a child, she excelled in schoolwork and was always very interested in any activity where she could learn more.

Teaching was a natural choice for Bernice. Following high school she continued her education at Penn State University, graduating Magna Cum Laude, first in the College of Arts and Sciences, second in the entire university and was also nominated to Phi Beta Kappa. She completed additional studies at universities in Rome and Florence, Italy. Bernice taught Italian and Spanish with passion and excellence for more than 30 years, first in Erie and then at Boardman High School.

On July 11, 1970, Bernice married Julius Mazzella of Youngstown. For 31 years they loved and were devoted to each other and to their two sons, Michael and Marc, who were their pride and joy.

Bernice’s life was anchored by her strong, unwavering faith. Upon moving to Youngstown, she became a member of First Christian Assembly, in Liberty, and for nearly 40 years was a member of Highway Tabernacle, serving in various ministries, including the choir, missions, children’s church, visitation, and greeting.  She loved people, and perhaps her greatest ministry was the ability to encourage others.

Her family meant the world to her. One of her greatest pleasures was spending time with family and friends, and her grandchildren brought her happiness beyond measure. She enjoyed hosting others and was known for providing enough food for an army. She was a loving wife, mother, nana and friend, strong and courageous in the face of adversity.

She is survived by her sons: Michael (Kristine) Mazzella, of Canfield, and Marc Mazzella, of Austintown. She also leaves behind two sisters, Mary Jane Brasco, of Glassboro, NJ, and Charlene (William) Stephens of Smyrna, DE; a brother, Dr. Charles (Cara) Bongiorno, of Philadelphia, PA; her beloved grandchildren, Anthony and Ava; as well as dear extended family and friends.

Bernice was preceded in death by her parents and by her husband.

A Celebration of Life service will be held at noon on Friday, February 2, at Highway Tabernacle Church, 3000 S. Raccoon Rd., Austintown.

Friends may call from 10 a.m. to noon Friday at the church.

Bernice will be laid to rest next to her beloved husband in the Green Haven Cemetery, Canfield.

Bernice had recently been a resident of Hampton Woods Nursing Center in Poland.  The family thanks the staff there for the excellent care they provided.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Highway Tabernacle Church Missions Fund or to the American Cancer Society, in Bernice's memory.

Arrangements for Mrs. Mazzella are being provided by the Lane Funeral Home Austintown Chapel, 5797 Mahoning Ave., Austintown.


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Bernice E. Mazzella, please visit our flower store.

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Friday, February 2, 2024

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Friday, February 2, 2024

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