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16 Pleasant Street
Augusta, ME 04330
Phone: 207-622-9311
Fax: 207-622-9313
Marie Ardito

Marie Elena Ardito (Ronzio)

Saturday, August 19th, 1933 - Tuesday, May 11th, 2021
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Marie Elena Ronzio Ardito - age 87, of The Mooring, a Scarborough assisted living facility and formerly a longtime resident of Augusta, Maine, died May 11, 2021 in Scarborough after a brief illness and with her family by her side. She was born in Italy in August of 1933 the daughter of Eugenio Ronzio and Anna Leone Ronzio. Fondly known as “Nonna”, she was the matriarch of a close-knit family whom she adored.
In 1939, at the age of six, Marie and her mother emigrated from Sant’ Apollinare, Italy to Providence, RI where her father moved previously. She and her family fled Italy before World War II ravaged her birth home. While her parents never spoke English, Marie blossomed in her new world and received the Anthony Medal for Academic Achievement at Mount Pleasant High School. She met her future husband, Ralph Ardito, by happenstance while she was a senior in high school, and he was a sophomore at Providence College. It was love at first sight, and they have been together ever since. In 1953, Marie and Ralph married a week after he graduated from Providence; next month they would have celebrated their 68th wedding anniversary. It is rare to see such a love affair. To the end, Ralph held her hand and called her his girlfriend and the love of his life.
Ralph was drafted by the Army a week after they were married and was sent to Austria to run an enlisted club. They had their first child while he was serving in Europe, but Ralph was able to send for his wife and newborn son, Ralph Jr, to live with him while completing his assignment in Europe. When they returned to the US, Ralph accepted a lead auditor position with the US Department of Transportation in Augusta, Maine where they lived since 1961. Marie worked from home raising her five children, Ralph, Eugene, Gregory, Ann Marie and Mark. True to her heritage, Marie was a fantastic cook, making all meals from scratch before that became trendy. Her Italian dishes and baked goods were the envy of all who experienced them. Marie and Ralph added a second kitchen in their basement and added a large dining room to their home so they could regularly host family and friends to elaborate dinners she and Ralph prepared. Preparing fabulous food was their way of connecting with people who may have been without family and to introduce new families to the community. Marie and Ralph befriended families moving to Augusta from all around the world and from different ethnic, racial, and religious backgrounds. They became godparents to a child whose parents were from India; became mentors to a black family from Alabama; and hosted inner city children from Boston for several summers. With about a day’s notice, Marie and Ralph were asked to host a high school exchange student for an entire school year. Marie happily agreed, and Matteo became part of the family. Their bond became so strong, his parents even visited Ralph and Marie in Augusta, and they, in turn, visited them in Italy.
Anyone who met Marie would have immediately recognized her warmth and gentle nature; she was known to extend her hand to both family and acquaintances alike, always with an endearing smile. Much like her sweet and compassionate character, she was a model of her faith. She had a kind and empathetic soul that made for a loving environment for her children and grandchildren. Often referred to as “saintly” by her family members, she cherished her faith life and celebrated it with her family. Marie was like a mother to anyone she met and opened her home and kitchen to those who needed assistance or a good meal. There was never a holiday meal without someone joining them who did not have family in the area.
Consistent with the theme of food and hospitality, in 1984 Marie and Ralph opened Ardito’s Family Restaurant which they operated for thirteen years. They treated their customers as if they were dining in their own home. Because Ardito’s was located at the Augusta Airport, they met people from all over the world, including many celebrities who were vacationing in the area. Marie charmed Arnold Schwarzenegger when he was on the airport tarmac in need of good food for his next destination. Her desserts, in particular, were always in demand at the restaurant, on display right upon entering the restaurant. Christmas Eve dinners served seventy-five family and friends, and Marie hosted all gatherings with ease and grace.
According to her son Gene, one of his best memories was escorting his mother to her hometown of Sant’ Apollinare in October of 2011 where they met her other son Mark for a week of grape harvesting and wine-making at Marie’s cousin’s villa. While in Italy, Marie was treated like a celebrity. They celebrated a week of fabulous food and delicious homemade wine and lived as if they were part of the community. Her story and presence resonated with everyone they met. Family was always first with Marie. She dearly loved her husband, her children and grandchildren and their spouses, and her great grandchildren.
Surviving is her husband of 68 years, Ralph W. Ardito of Scarborough, ME; four sons: Ralph Ardito, Jr. of Belgrade, ME, Eugene Ardito of Portland, ME and his wife Barbara, Gregory Ardito of Augusta, ME, and Mark Ardito and his wife Jenny of Belgrade, ME; one daughter, Ann Smith and her husband David of Augusta, ME. Her grandchildren are Anthony of Cape Elizabeth, ME and his wife Katie, and their children Vincent and Carolina; Elena Neuts of Cumberland ME, who last year lost her husband John unexpectedly, and their son Easton; Amelia of San Diego, CA; Ava and Joseph of Belgrade, ME.
The family would like to thank Dr. Karen Saylor, the nurses and staff at Compassus Hospice and the nurses and staff at The Mooring for the extraordinary and loving care they provided to Marie over the last year.
Family & friends may visit, with CDC guidelines, from 4-7 pm on Friday, May 21, 2021 at Plummer Funeral Home, 16 Pleasant St., Augusta, ME. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:00 AM on Saturday, May 22, 2021 at St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church, 41 Western Ave., Augusta, ME. Burial will follow in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Manchester.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Friday, May 21st, 2021 | 4:00pm - 7:00pm
    Friday, May 21st, 2021 4:00pm - 7:00pm
    Plummer Funeral Home
    16 Pleasant Street
    Augusta, ME 04330
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Saturday, May 22nd, 2021 | 10:00am
    Saturday, May 22nd, 2021 10:00am
    St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church
    41 Western Avenue
    Augusta, ME 04330
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Interment

    St. Mary's Cemetery
    Outer Western Avenue
    Manchester, ME 04351
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Private Condolence
Chris and Donna Van Dyck, Tom, Sue, Jordan and Joanna Linscott, and other have sent flowers to the family of Marie Elena Ardito (Ronzio).
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Chris and Donna Van Dyck

Posted at 06:43pm
Gene and family - we're so sorry for your loss. What a wonderful foundation she and your father built for your family - like Maine quarried granite.
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Robert Fuller

Posted at 03:02pm
Years ago, when I was a lawyer practicing in Augusta, I often had lunch at Ardito’s Restaurant which at the time was across State Street from the Kennebec County courthouse and the closest place – indeed, the place of choice - to have lunch. Ardito’s was on the first floor. Its seating capacity was severely taxed for the size of the usual lunch crowd. It was invariably crammed full and one often had to wait until a table or booth emptied out. Most patrons were lawyers who either were prosecutors, advocates representing clients in civil or criminal cases before the Superior Court, others who were filing wills or had some other business in the Probate Court or, like me, were examining the titles to real estate upon which one of Augusta’s banks was planning to take a mortgage. Many a case was settled there between opposing counsel and many discussions were had and opinions exchanged by the real estate lawyers on such arcane subjects as boundary locations. These all took place over flavorsome meals cooked to perfection by Marie.

No one was a stranger to Marie or Ralph, only a friend they hadn’t yet had the pleasure of meeting. Ralph and I are diehard Red Sox fans, together bemoaning the losing years and that unforgettable October day in 2004 when the Sox won the World Series for the first time since 1918, finally vanquishing the so-called “Curse of the Bambino” that had plagued them for 86 years. Ralph taught me how to say ”Red Sox” in Italian – Calzini Rossi!

Marie, I discovered, had a passion for Italian opera. I’m an opera fan as well. Occasionally I’d let loose with a few lines of the tenor aria from the first act of Puccini’s La Bohème – “Che gelida manina! se la lasci riscaldar / Cercar che giova? al buio non si trova…” Marie would then clap her hands over her ears and tease me – “You’re no Pavarotti!”

Arrivederci, mia cara Marie!

Heartfelt Sympathies Store

Posted at 12:39pm
We cherish the fond memories of our dear Mrs. Ardito in our hearts. Love and prayers, Goddaughter Simi(Elizabeth), Savio, Sophia, and Lauren Rebello
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Stephen Curtis

Posted at 12:24pm
I am very sorry to learn of Mrs. Ardito's passing. You all will be in my thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. It is with great fondness, I remember living across the street from the Arditos on Windsor Ave. for 13 years. It was like having another family at your doorstep. RIP Mrs. Ardito 🙏🌷🕯

Theresa Underwood Posted at 11:31am

We were saddened to hear of the loss of a beautiful soul. Marie Ardito and her wonderful family were an extension of ours. Our parents, Connie and Mike Piselli and Mr. and Mrs. Ardito were best of friends with similar backgrounds. I remember many happy/fun gatherings of the two families; and yes, lots and lots of the best foods. Mrs. Ardito has left her legacy on this earth. She will be remembered always for the bright light she was. "The one who was dearly loved will be deeply missed." With Our Sincere Sympathy to Mr. Ardito and the entire family. Chuck and Terri (Piselli) Underwood xo

Kevin Walker

Posted at 08:56am
I'm sorry to hear about the passing of Mrs. Ardito. The entire family is in my prayers. I have many fond memories from hanging out at the Ardito household and also going to the restaurant while growing up. Both Ralph and Marie always so nice to me and the rest of the neighborhood kids.

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