Mary Teresa Mullins Pisani Sapienza, a beautiful mother, and a true class act passed away from cancer at home surrounded by her family on Friday, January 6, 2023. Mary was born on June 30, 1948, and grew up in Farmington MO. She graduated from Farmington High School in 1966. Earned her B.S. in Business/English Education from Southeast MO State University in 1970.
Known for her positivity, professionalism, power, warmth, and elegance, Mary forged a path in the business education field. She was a teacher in Parkway School District in Chesterfield, MO. She became Director of Education and then was appointed the first female president of the Hickey School (Bradford) in St. Louis, MO.
Upon moving to Pittsburgh, Mary served as Director for Sawyer School. While working full-time, lovingly raising two children and earning her Master’s in professional leadership from Carlow University, Mary modeled how to “do it all” gracefully and in heels. Mary was also instrumental in building the Pennsylvania Institute of Culinary Arts and was Vice-President of Academic Affairs for the Pittsburgh Technical Institute, Oakdale, PA. Ever the entrepreneur, she transitioned seamlessly into real estate for Howard Hanna. She used her impeccable sense of style to flip and design houses in the South Hills area.
Mary co-founded the Mt. Lebanon Extended Day program and served on the Board of Directors, making a profound influence on the lives of families in her community. She gave time and heart to the many organizations she provided her leadership towards, notably St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and Center for Theater Arts.
Above all, Mary was authentic, accepting, loving and open-hearted towards everyone she met. Her loved ones never doubted her unconditional love and devotion. She delighted in connection and would use her insight to bring out the best in others and reflect it back to them. Mary believed in serving others, especially in times of need and was the ultimate caretaker. She was dependable, selfless, and resilient. As a consummate hostess, Mary threw lively parties turning any black-tie affair or Sunday dinner into a rip-roaring time. Her infectious laugh and Mullins humor lit up the room and invited everyone to join in.
She is survived by her beloved partner, D. Jeffrey Kelly. She was the most loving mother to her son, RJ Pisani (James Medina), her daughter, Lauren Sapienza (Andrew Emig), step-daughter, Elisa Sapienza Livingston (Jason), step children, Justin Kelly (Courtney), Jonathan Kelly (Jennifer). Doting grandmother of Owen, Parker, and Norah Livingston and Everett, Margaret, Gregory, Adeline, Bo, and Anna Kelly. Dear sister of Judy Mullins Lamb (Gary), Sharron Mullins Owen, and Mark Mullins (Loretta). Mary is also survived by many nieces, nephews, and extended family and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents, Russell Jacob Mullins, Jr. and Lyla Lucille Mullins, and her baby brother, Russell Jacob Mullins III “Rusty”.
Family and friends are welcome January 20, 2023, Friday 1-4 and 5-8 p.m. WILLIAM SLATER II FUNERAL SERVICE, (412-563-2800) 1650 Greentree Road, Scott Twp., 15220. Funeral Service Saturday, January 21, 2023, 3:00 p.m. in St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to Compassion & Choices, compassionandchoices.org, or Family Hospice Development Department, 700 Bower Hill Road, Suite 1405, Pittsburgh, PA 15243.