In memory of
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In memory of
CAVASINA DR. MARY M. Age 88, passed away peacefully on October 16, 2016 in ManorCare, McMurray. She was born on December 26, 1927 in Canonsburg the daughter of Joseph and Rose Steffen Cavasina. Dr. Mary's mother died when she was nine and she was raised by her beloved grandmother, Magdalene Steffen and her father, Joseph. A lifelong resident of Canonsburg, "Dr. Mary" as she was affectionately called by her patients, was a graduate of Canonsburg High School Class of 1945 and was valedictorian of her senior class. She graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 1948, and attended the Medical College of Pennsylvania graduating in 1952. At a time when few women were doctors, even fewer were surgeons. She completed an internship and residency program at Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh. In 1957 she joined the Medical staff of Canonsburg General Hospital, the only female doctor and only one of two surgeons. Her entire career was at Canonsburg General Hospital where she served as President of the Medical Society and twice served as Chief of Surgery. When it came time to build a new hospital, Dr. Mary went to Harrisburg to appeal for state funding. She was successful and a new hospital was built in 1983. Dr. Mary believed in giving back to her community. She volunteered her services to the residents of the former Western Center School and Hospital for many years. She was Physician and Assistant Chief of the Canonsburg Volunteer Fire Department from 1962 to 1989. She was instrumental in establishing VFW Post 191 Ambulance Service. Her volunteerism extended to missionary work in Kenya and the Dominican Republic. Honored many times during her career, Dr. Mary was recognized by the Pennsylvania Medical Society, American Red Cross Community Service Award, Canonsburg Business and Professional Women where she was a member since 1954 and Woman of the Year in 1999, McGraw-Edison Local 3968 Retirees, Italian-American Cultural and Heritage Society of Washington County, Greater Canonsburg Area 4th of July Grand Marshall, YWCA Woman of the Year, Elks distinguished Citizenship Award, American Association of University Women, Mt. Olive Baptist Church Humanitarian Award, listed in the Who's Who of American Women numerous years and Who's Who International Directory for numerous years. She was a lifelong member of St. Patrick Roman Catholic Church, Catholic Daughters of America, Christian Mother's and Women's Guild of St. Patrick Church. In addition, she found time to obtain her pilot's license and had her own Cessna plane at Finleyville Airport. She also loved to travel visiting six of the seven continents. She spoke six languages. She also loved animals and raised German Shepard dogs for 35 years. Dr. Mary was definitely a woman ahead of her time. She is survived by her half-brother, Joseph Cavasina and two step-brothers, Ralph and Gilbert Dadowski. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by a brother, James Cavasina, grandmother, Magdalene Steffen and stepmother, Sophie Dodowski. Friends are welcome from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, October 20, 2016 in SALANDRA FUNERAL AND CREMATION SERVICES, INC., Joseph P. Salandra, owner/supervisor, 304 West Pike Street, Canonsburg where departing prayers will begin at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, October 21, 2016, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10:00 a.m. at St. Patrick Catholic Church, 317 W. Pike Street, Canonsburg. Interment will be at St. Patrick Cemetery, Canonsburg. To view or leave condolences, please visit:
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Salandra Funeral and Cremation Services, Inc.
304 West Pike St, Canonsburg, PA 15317
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All arrangements are locally delivered to Salandra Funeral and Cremation Services, Inc. by a local Canonsburg, PA florist.
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