Mary Ella Mascia Pierpont
October 16, 1945 – August 1, 2020
Age 74, departed from this life on August 1, 2020. She was the daughter of the late Armond V. “Mandy” and Margaret Elizabeth “Libby” Mascia. She grew up in Tarrytown, NY as the oldest of seven siblings. Her memory will be cherished by her husband Gordon Lockwood Pierpont, her two children Daniel McGregor Pierpont and Elizabeth “Rene” Pierpont, and her four grandchildren, upon whom she bestowed endless adoration. She was known within her circle of relatives, friends and colleagues for possessing a warm and welcoming manner, a perceptive mind, and an expansive generosity. Her radiant smile and her delicious cooking inspired by her Italian heritage nourished many hearts and bellies. In the days leading up to her death from progression of brain cancer, Mary Ella was surrounded by her loved ones at her home in Roseville, MN.
Throughout her long career as a physician, Mary Ella devoted herself to caring for children. She held positions as Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Minnesota and as a physician in Medical Genetics at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota. She was known internationally as a sustained and energetic expert in the area of pediatric congenital heart disease. She broke ground by being appointed as the first female President of the Minnesota Affiliate of the American Heart Association in 1996-97. She co-edited a seminal 1987 textbook on the “Genetics of Cardiovascular Disease.” Significant advances in the identification and treatment of a wide-ranging variety of pediatric genetic conditions resulted from her scientific work. Her astute observations led to recognition of a new genetic syndrome now called Pierpont syndrome. She was a generous and productive mentor for students and trainees at many levels. Innumerable children and families benefited from her expertise and skilled patient care.
In consideration of the COVID19 pandemic, there will be no funeral, wake, or other group gatherings at this time. Rather, a vigil will be held in her honor on Saturday, August 15, 9:00am-12noon. In case of severe weather, the alternate date will be Sunday, August 16. Visitors are invited to drive or walk by and pause to greet her family, and perhaps drop off a card, write a note, or place a single flower at her place of rest. This vigil will be located at the Roselawn Cemetery, 803 Larpenteur Ave., Roseville, MN at the Split Rock Garden. Even though this event is outdoors, use of face masks (and/or shields) together with safe distancing is requested. Those wishing to “pay it forward” in her honor could consider donations to one of the following organizations beloved by Mary Ella: CFC International and the Noonan Syndrome Foundation. These two organizations provide family out reach, education, and research to support individuals with cardio-faciocutaneous (CFC) syndrome and Noonan syndrome. Mary Ella was passionate about advancing understanding and treatment of these conditions. Web: https://www.cfcsyndrome.org/donate and https://thenoonansydromefoundation.kindful.com/ . The Louis August Jonas Foundation. This foundation supports Camp Rising Sun, a NY-based scholarship program for aspiring young leaders. Mary Ella and her family have supported this incredible educational organization for decades. Web: http://www.lajf.org/ (Published in the Pioneer Press on August 6, 2020)