Marianne Rose Henzel | Obituary

Marianne Rose Hensel

Mary Ann Rose Henzel passed away on October 21, 2023, at home, where she wanted to be, with her family. She was just shy of her 90th birthday.
She was born on December 14, 1933, in New Castle, Pennsylvania, to the late Michael and Nicolina Casella.
Mary Ann was also preceded in death by her only brother, Rev. John J. Casella.
She attended public school and New Castle Business College.
Her nickname Cassie was derived from her last name.
She was a drum major in high school, and found joy in twirling that baton in later years. She remained physically active throughout most of her life through sports and dance.
Mary Ann believes in how a positive attitude can impact life, and never give up.
In 1961, she moved to Norfolk, Virginia, with the love of her life and soulmate, her husband, Joseph P. Henzel.
She taught health and physical education at Holy Trinity School and Norfolk Catholic High School in the 1960s and 1970s. Mary Ann also coached the girls basketball team at Holy Trinity. There, she also created a public speaking program for seventh- and eighth-grade students and opened the Little People’s Library, teaching library skills to elementary students, along with story time.
MaryAnn also had a career in the medical field. She worked at DePaul Hospital from 1975 to 1978. After that, she worked as a medical secretary and office manager for several private doctors. She worked at Eastern Virginia Medical School as an administrative assistant, and worked for several doctors over several years.
Her children will always remember the outings to Sarah Constant Shrine Beach in Ocean View, the birthday celebrations with all the neighborhood kids and the homemade animal-themed cookies, the trips to Colonial Williamsburg and to Nags Head and Manteo, North Carolina, and, of course, the joyful, song-filled road trips back to her hometown. In New Castle, Pennsylvania.
Steam live crabs in the avocado-colored kitchen we all grew up with. She preserved the Italian cooking traditions she learned from her parents and immigrant relatives. The Kenmore sewing machine she had saved money to buy and was proud of. So many memories that we can’t collect them all.
In 1996, Marian and her husband moved to Williamsburg, Virginia, to retire and be closer to their grandchildren. She loved her new home and being close to her son and his family. She enjoyed many holidays, celebrations, and school activities with him, her daughter-in-law, and their grandchildren. She cherished watching the grandchildren grow up and have families of their own. She was very proud of them all.
Around the same time, Mary Ann and her husband became “snowbirds” in Florida. They were visiting one of their daughters during part of the cold Virginia winter, where they made new friends and enjoyed dinner, parties, shows, swimming, tennis, and warmth.
Mary Ann was strong in her Catholic faith and active in her religious life, in Norfolk and then in Williamsburg, at St. Olaf’s Catholic Church. She served as a Eucharistic Minister and lecturer. She participated in the Fellowship Hospitality group that met after Mass and also worked in the food pantry alongside her husband.
She had a lifelong love of music and appreciated all genres. She knew all the words and had a beautiful singing voice. As a child, she and her brother (who played the accordion) would play for family and friends in their Italian community. In later years, she became enamored with contemporary country music, sitting at what she called her “station” at the dining room table with her trusty radio.
MaryAnn had an incredible memory until the end. She can remember phone numbers, dates of specific events, names, etc., without fail. Mary Ann’s favorite poems were “If” by Rudyard Kipling, which she could recite, and “Hope” is the Thing with Feathers by Emily Dickinson.
The gardenia was her favorite flower and a few days after her death, a gardenia bloomed in her daughter’s yard, which should not have happened in late October. A wink from Marianne from heaven.
She was a passionate woman who spoke her mind and gave directions very easily. She instilled in her children the importance of family, hard work and doing what is right. Mary Ann was an inspiration to everyone and touched the lives of many throughout her earthly journey.
Surviving to cherish her memory are her husband, Joseph. their four children, Denise (Cliff) Middleton, Victoria Henzel, Joan Henzel and Joseph (Don) Henzel; four grandchildren, Heather (Jonathan), Daniel (Legan), Tori (Savott) and Bridget; and seven great-grandchildren, Olivia, Esther, Daniel, Caleb, Kal-El, Isla and Corbin. Also, the family is still in Pennsylvania, which is Ronnie’s cousin; sisters-in-law Anna, Julie and Amelia; and brother-in-law Johnny (and all their families).
She will always be in our hearts, and we will never forget her. Special thanks to the team at Riverside Williamsburg Hospice for their compassion and support, especially Amanda and Renee.
A funeral Mass will be held at noon on Friday, November 10, 2023 at St. Olaf Catholic Church, 104 Norge Lane, Williamsburg, Virginia, with visitation beginning at 11 a.m. and a luncheon to celebrate her life at the same location. In the church’s social hall. Burial will be in St. Olaf Columbarium.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial donation in MaryAnn’s name to either St. MaryAnn. Olaf Food Pantry ( or (757) 564-3819) or Grove Christian Outreach Center ( or (757) 887-1100).
Online condolences may be shared at

(Tags for translation)Mary Ann Rose Hensel

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