Remembering Maria Desiderio McEneany

We all lost a great friend and fierce champion for human rights when Maria McEneany lost her fight for life. We miss her greatly and grieve with her family and community.
SAN DIEGO-LOS ANGELES-ROCHESTER -- (August 21, 2020) Maria (Marie) McEneany's gift to humanity was her dedication to making other's lives better. Her genuine love for people, strong faith in God, empathy, giving heart, and a million-dollar smile lit up every room she walked into, making people feel welcome appreciated, and valued.

Maria grew up in Rochester, NY, attending Mercy High School, Buffalo State University and the University of Rochester. Maria dedicated herself to helping those with dyslexia and others learning disabilities serving as President of the BOCES #1 PTA, The Board of Directors of the Monroe County Learning Disabilities and Special Education Chair for the NY State PTA.

In 1984, the family moved to Palos Verdes Estates, CA, where Maria initiated programs addressing drug and alcohol abuse awareness, suicide prevention, and accredited peer counseling. Maria and her husband Paul served as Co-Chairs of the California Chapter of the Neurofibromatosis Foundation.

Maria lived her life vibrantly and worked passionately to make life better for those less fortunate than her. Maria was a natural leader in everything she did. The causes Maria championed are too numerous to list. Highlights include her advocacy for special needs youths and adults, fighting for gender equality, sheltering abused children and eliminating human trafficking. She is also remembered for the warm hospitality and boundless love she shared with family and friends.

Maria bravely fought a 4-year battle against several forms of cancer, in addition to lifelong challenges from neurofibromatosis (NF.) Maria was predeceased by her brother Nicholas and parents Francis and Sara Desiderio. Maria passed away at home in Rancho Santa Fe surrounded by her immediate family: devoted husband of 43 years Paul McEneany, son Bruce Jay Scott, daughter Sara McEneany Orlando, son-in-law Mike Orlando and beloved family boxer Enzo. Maria is survived by her brother Sam and her extended family of Desiderios, McEneanys, Orlandos and Montesantos.

Maria believed each of us can make a difference, particularly in the lives of those less fortunate and that it is our obligation to do so. Maria lived her life as a true humanitarian and steward. If you were blessed enough to meet Maria, your life was changed forever, as was ours.

Maria asked that donations, to remember her, be made to the Children's Tumor Foundation, a cause that was truly dear to her. Thank you.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Rochester Democrat And Chronicle from Sep. 16 to Sep. 27, 2020.

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