Mara Beth DeBilio, 90, passed away on Monday, February 8, 2021. She was born in Brooklyn to the late James and Elizabeth Park and lived in Brooklyn until her family moved to Largs, Scotland during World War II for a couple years before returning to Brooklyn.
Mara Beth was an avid reader, she read everything, always had the New York Times every Sunday, pouring through the Book Review. She loved her writers, Ernest Hemingway, Dylan Thomas, Oscar Wilde, Marcel Proust, William Safire, T.S. Eliot, Ayn Rand, and many more. She gobbled up books. She would find herself reading fiction in the bookstores, or even in the lobby of where she worked when people donated books. She read through fiction so quickly, she thought it was a waste to buy them. She loved going to bookstores, when there were more of them. She’d spend her hours after work in Borders in Bridgewater. When that closed, it was trips to New York City to The Strand bookstore on Broadway or the multi-level Barnes and Noble on the Upper West Side. You’d have a hard time dragging her out the store, it was her comfortable space.
Mara Beth loved going to the museums, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Natural History in New York City. She thoroughly enjoyed her recent trips to Washington DC and going to the National Art Gallery, just spending a day or two there, wandering around and just taking in all the beauty. She loved art, design, architecture, fashion. She had aspirations of being a clothing designer and an architect, she just loved making things beautiful. She’d always go to a store and be able to tell you what clothing was crap and what was made well. She knew how to find all the great clothing, and never pay retail.
She loved walking through the furniture stores, especially ABC Carpet & Home in NYC, finding pieces to add to her home, which was very eclectic. Leather, steel, African sculpture, Korean dragons, screens from India, lion sculptures around in every room, always kept it interesting.
Mara Beth was also a wiz at math, just a natural with numbers. She could always figure out complex problems and be able to explain it to anyone. She just had a knack. She was a real, renaissance woman.
She loved her animals over the years, her red Doberman, Dante, her cats, Zeus, Genghis, Sam, and Mac. All who were rescue animals, that people just abandoned.
In her earlier years, she loved riding horses, she still loved just looking at them when she’d go for car rides around the New Jersey farmland. She said, “is there anything more beautiful?”
She liked just doing the little things, sitting at the bar down at Bahr’s in Atlantic Highlands, having fried shrimp and a vodka tonic and just listening to the chatter around her. She really learned to enjoy that in her later years.
And one of the best things, she’d love to tell you bits of information, things she just learned, things she’d read in the past, quote poetry, or how much she’d enjoyed reading about technology. She always stayed current, knew what was happening, stayed connected.
She could inspire people, pick them up when they were down. Impact strangers in the weirdest way, a good way, without even trying. She helped many people throughout the years who were dealing with difficult situations and guided them through their darkest times.
She was just beautiful in so many ways, even if she didn’t think so. She never looked her age and could be a bit of an enigma at times, but for the people who knew her and got to know her, they knew she was an amazing woman, a force of nature, ahead of her time, never to be forgotten, MBD.
Mara Beth was predeceased by her husband, Francis DeBilio; daughter, Donna Ossandon; son, Steve Ossandon; and brother, Jim Park. She leaves behind to cherish her memory her beloved children, Craig Ossandon of Piscataway, James Ossandon of FL and Lisa DeBilio of Highland Park.
A celebration of Mara Beth’s life will be celebrated from 6-7PM with words being shared at 7PM on Thursday, February 25, 2021 at the Bridgewater Funeral Home, 707 East Main Street, Bridgewater, NJ 08807.
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