In Our Care

DeGregorio, Maria Grazie (Rapa) was born September 15, 1932 in Venticano, Province of Campania, Italy and passed December 11, 2022 in Cambridge, MA, USA.

Maria immigrated to USA from Italy in the Spring of 1956 from Naples, Italy to NY, NY on the next-to-last trip of the Andrea Dora. Soon after the Andrea Dora sank off the coast of Nantucket in July of 1956.

Maria married Umberto DeGregorio in 1961 in Venticano, Italy after returning to Italy to visit her family. They settled on Putnam Ave, moved to Allston St, and ended up on Chestnut St. They lived in Cambridgeport for the rest of their lives. Our father passed in 1995 and Mom continued to live in the house on Chestnut St until her passing.

Mom first worked as a seamstress in downtown Boston where she worked with other immigrants and would walk to Cambridge Latin High School for evening English classes. Later Mom worked for Advent Corporation on Sidney Street and spent 20+ years as a housekeeper at the “Fenway Hotel” (currently Marriott Courtyard) on Memorial Drive.
Our mother enjoyed her “city garden” and was often seen working in her yard & walking up to Central Square to catch the Red Line to go shopping in downtown Boston “because all the good stores left Central Square a long time ago”.

All of 5’0’’ and 105 lbs, she was a powerhouse and a dynamo who was one of the strongest, smartest people you will ever meet. She had a great sense of humor and wasn’t shy about sharing her opinions.

She is survived by her twin sister Tardina Rapa of Pietra Santa, Italy, son Robert of Cambridge, MA, son Albert & Daughter-in-Law Regan and grandchildren Allison Maria & Anthony Umberto of Vienna, Virginia as well as nieces and nephews in Massachusetts, Florida, North Carolina & Italy.

She passed peacefully at home as was her wish. She was a great Mom & Nonna, great cook, and enjoyed working in her yard and chatting with her neighbors. She adored her Grandchildren who likewise adored their Nonna. To us she was larger than life and will be forever missed and in our hearts.

Funeral from the DeVito Funeral Home, 761 Mount Auburn St., WATERTOWN on Friday at 9 am followed by a funeral mass at 10 am in St Paul’s Church, 29 Mt Auburn St., Harvard Square, Cambridge. Relatives and friends are invited to visit in the funeral home on Thursday from 6pm - 8pm. Please visit to view an online guestbook.

The family has requested that attendees wear face masks.