Cover photo for Marialena DeGennaro's Obituary
Marialena DeGennaro Profile Photo
1956 Marialena 2024

Marialena DeGennaro

July 31, 1956 — January 27, 2024

Albert Lea

Marialena “Marie” DeGennaro died peacefully at home on Saturday morning, January 27, after a short battle with cancer with her husband and a good friend by her side.

Marie was born on July 31, 1956 in Brooklyn, New York to Antoinette and Joseph, joining siblings Anthony, Caroline, and Joseph.  Marie attended elementary school at St. Rita's Roman Catholic School and after the family moved to Queens, New York she graduated from John Adams High School. She attended Hunter College, received an associate’s degree from St. John's University while also working in the university education department. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts from Valparaiso University and a master’s degree in special education at Quincy University.

 Marie met and married the love of her life, Richard “Rick” Mammel, while living in Quincy, Illinois. After marrying on May 3, 2004, they made their home in Albert Lea, Minnesota, in 2007. A lifelong educator, she always said, “a teacher is what I am!”   During her time in Quincy, Marie’s work was dedicated to children with special needs.  After her move to Minnesota, “Miss D” was a popular and much-loved substitute teacher throughout the Albert Lea school district. She enjoyed her “kids” and missed seeing them when COVID closed the schools.

Marie always had a cat or two in her life, often adopting kitties who were down on their luck and in need of her special care. She was an avid doll collector and some are on loan to museums in the area. She was involved with the Albert Lea Audubon Society, Freeborn County Museum, and doll museums in Quincy and Albert Lea.

Marie leaves behind her loving and devoted husband Rick and her two beloved cats, Baby Doll and Stinker Bell.  She was preceded in death by her parents, Antoinette and Joseph, brothers, Anthony and Joseph, and brother-in-law, Pete.  Those left to mourn the loss of their sister, sister-in-law, aunt, cousin, stepmother, and grandmother include Caroline, Maryann, Han, Josette (Rich), Pietra (Jose), Drew, Brian, Anita (Mitch), Shad, Daria (Jonathan), Helene, Esme, and innumerable extended family members and friends.

A celebration of life will be held at Bayview Funeral Home in Albert Lea on Monday, Feb. 19, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m., 1415 Highway 13 North.

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to your favorite charity in her memory.


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Marialena DeGennaro, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

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Celebration of Life

Monday, February 19, 2024

1:00 - 3:00 pm (Central time)

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