Obituary: Mary Jane De Genaro

December 4, 2020
By Olivia Cameron

Former Boca Grande resident Mary Jane De Genaro died November 21, 2020 in Rowayton, CT with her daughters caring for her. She was 85.  
Mary Jane was born in Jersey City, N.J. on June 10, 1935, growing up in Brooklyn and Queens, NY. She and George lived in Greenwich & Roxbury, CT; Manhattan, Boca Grande Florida moving into Bay Plaza in 2000. In 2019, she relocated to Stamford, CT to be near her children. She is predeceased by George De Genaro.  
Mary Jane and George joined the Boca Grande Club in 1985 and moved permanently to the island in 1990. They were active members of the Boca Grande community from 1990 to 2001.
Mary Jane lived life her way, described by many as “an original.” A childhood friend described her as “a unique treasure, brilliant, funny, amazing in her approach to life.” 
A pioneering music educator, Mary Jane was an early adopter of the Pace Piano Method, teaching hundreds of children to make music, while also starting several arts organizations in Connecticut. In 1985 she created MusicShapes software for the Apple computer. 
In 1998 she composed a musical called “Rajah,” performed by the Royal Palm Players in Boca Grande, Florida. In Sarasota she helped establish Pierian Spring Academy for lifelong learning, teaching the operas performed at Sarasota Opera while also leading tours. She wrote non-stop: poetry, novels, stories and memoir.  
Mary Jane is survived by three daughters, Sarah Bloomer, Gail Connell and Leslie Lawrence, three stepchildren Sara De Genaro, Matt De Genaro and Paul De Genaro and 12 grandchildren plus one great-granddaughter. 
A virtual memorial will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020 at 3 p.m. Please visit the memorial page for details: