Mary E. Fricker

November 27, 1946 - January 15, 2023

Visitation: Thursday 2-4 PM 6-8PM at DEVLIN Funeral home 806 Perry Hwy

Service: Friday 10:30 AM at St. Theresa of Avila Church, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish

Mary E. Fricker, age 76, of McCandless Twp, passed away on January 15, 2022. Mary is survived by her husband of 52 years, Joseph A. Fricker, Jr., daughter Bethany (Eric) DiLucente, granddaughters Grace and Madelyn Zavidny and son-in-law Ron Zavidny. She is preceded in death by her daughter Alison Zavidny and parents Leo and Donna Hoffman.

Mary believed in living large. She was the first person in her family to attend college. She graduated from Carlow University with a degree in education and went on to teach elementary school. Her ardent belief in the value of education and desire to help others achieve their dreams led to her establishment of the Mary Hoffman Fricker Nursing Education Fund at Carlow University. She also created a charity to provide new tennis shoes to first graders called Just for Kicks.

Mary loved the adventure of travel and spent 52 years exploring the world with her husband Joe. They went to Spain on their honeymoon and every year after found a new nook of the world to experience.

Mary was often critical of what she considered her youngest daughter’s (Bethany) overindulgence of life. Her holiday decorations were “too much”, celebratory meals were always “over the top” and she often said that if Bethany had her way she would spend her life just hopping from party, to vacation to holidays. She wasn’t wrong. The part Mary missed though was that she raised her that way.

On Christmas Eves presents were stacked as high as the star on top. Every birthday party was filled with games, prizes and surprises. She once strung yarn across the entire first floor of the house for a game that nearly killed her husband when he had to walk the birthday cake through that maze! Each kid got a pencil with a string attached and they rolled the yarn up to see who was the lucky one who got the prize she had dangling in the fireplace (it was the 80’s, don’t judge).

Bethany and Alison were the only kids in their grade school classes whose mom would randomnly show up with Wendy’s at lunch time then sit and eat with them. Even when she went on vacation without her daughters, she would be thinking about them and bring back the most amazing souvenirs, like beaded tennis shoes with satin laces from San Francisco or silk pajamas from NYC Chinatown.

She spent hours stitching the Halloween costumes of her daughters’ choices, days substitute teaching at their schools (she always let them line up first for lunch) and weeks showing Bethany how to ride that purple and pink Huffy bike that her daughter found birthday morning at the end of a string that was tied around her big toe while she slept.

Mary may have been critical of living too big, but she lived the biggest life of all. All her grandiose gestures however, were nothing more than an exhibition of how much she loved her family. She taught all of us how to live and love like there was no limit.

Friends received Thursday 2-4 PM & 6-8 PM at DEVLIN FUNERAL HOME, 806 Perry Highway, Pittsburgh, 15237. Mass of Christian Burial will be held Friday at St. Teresa of Avila Church, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish, 1000 Avila Ct, Pittsburgh, Pa 15237 at 10:30 AM.

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  • Lauren Ward Morrow

    Bethany and Joe,
    I’m almost at a loss for words. Mary was so close to my heart. I was introduced into the Fricker when her late daughter Alison and I became best friends in freshman year of high school. Mary always treated me as if I was one of her own. She was so kind, generous and loving.. Mary was a detective to say the least. She always found out when Alison and I were in places and boyfriend’s houses in the middle of the night, We’d here a knock at the door and yes it was Mary. Mary, Joe and my late mother would be in the car waiting for us. She was the best. She treated Alison and I to a getaway at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort. She loved me for me. You and Alison were the most important things in her life. As I have tears running down my cheeks I’m so sad and devastated by her passing I’ll always refer what an amazing woman she was and the mark she left on all she loved and loved her!

  • Dennis & A.B. DiLucente

    Bethany & Eric, Our sincere condolences on the loss of your Mom. Wishing you and your family the peace of happy memories with her. May you continue to “live large” in celebration of her influence. Hugs and comfort, Dennis & A.B.

  • Lisa and Vinny Cicchesi

    Bethany, Eric and the Fricker family we are so sorry for your loss. Hopefully your good memories will help with your grief. Much love


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