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Obituary: MaryEllen Marques, 51, of Naugatuck

Mrs. Marques was a longtime kindergarten teacher at Maple Hill School in Naugatuck.

MaryEllen T. (Stoponaitis) Marques, 51, passed away at her home on Saturday, July 21, 2012, surrounded by her loving family. She was the wife of Julio P. Marques Jr.

MaryEllen was born on Nov. 10, 1960, in Waterbury and was the daughter of the late Francis and Mary (Gotlibowski) Steponaitis. MaryEllen was a graduate of Naugatuck High School. She went on to earn her Bachelor's Degree from Southern Connecticut State University, and a Master's Degree in education from Central Connecticut State University. She was a kindergarten teacher at Maple Hill School in Naugatuck, where she taught since the school opened its doors in 1990. MaryEllen was an avid golfer and a member of Watertown Golf Club. She enjoyed spending time with the people she loved most and was a communicant of St. Francis of Assisi Church in Naugatuck.

Besides her husband of 29 years, she leaves a daughter, Lauren, and a son, Christopher, both of Naugatuck. She leaves a brother, Douglas, and his wife, Barbara Steponaitis of Kensington, a mother-in-law, Dolores, and her husband, Norman Bouffard, of Seminole, Fla. She also leaves a brother and sister-in-law, Tom and Mary Alice Sullivan, and leaves several nieces and nephews.

MaryEllen was predeceased by her sister, Joan Kaiser, and her father-in-law, Julio P. Marques Sr.

MaryEllen’s funeral will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday July 26, 2012, at , 318 Church St., Naugatuck. All are asked to meet directly at the church. Calling hours will be held on Wednesday from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the , 82 Fairview Ave., Naugatuck. Burial will be at the convenience of the family.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to: The MaryEllen Marques Education Fund, care of Naugatuck Savings Bank, 87 Church St, Naugatuck CT 06770.

To place on line condolences please visit www.buckmillerbrothers.com.

Paul Singley July 23, 2012 at 09:05 PM
So many moving tributes on our Naugatuck Patch Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/NaugatuckPatch?ref=hl Amy Kelly This is so sad! She was a wonderful teacher! Prayers are with her family! about an hour ago via mobile Nora Threlfall I remember her being a wonderful lady and teacher at Maple Hill when I went there. Lots of prayers for her family, god bless her. Amanda Loureiro So sad! She was truly an amazing teacher and person. Melody Ross Prayers to her friends and family Jennifer Hanley How very sad, I remember her being so kind & always smiling, prayers & love to all those grieving! Helen Northrup Miller She was a beautiful, loving teacher. Prayers for her and her family Deb Altiere Mariano She really was such a sweet person, so sad Jill Swanson RIP Mrs Marques. My thoughts and prayers to her family Heide Ruff so sad..too young! God bless her family, friends and her students Stacie Lubanda Bombery My daughter had the honor of being in her class last year. Even though she only had her until Christmas break when Mrs Marques left she made a lasting impression. She was a wonderful teacher, one whose shoes are going to hard to fill. The halls of Maple Hill will never be the same. My prayers to her family and friends. Rest in peace Mrs Marques you will be missed by many. Chrissey Scalzo This is so sad she was such a wonderful and caring teacher!! In my prayers for her and her family
Paul Singley July 23, 2012 at 09:05 PM
More: Laura DeGraffenried Such an amazing woman who touched so many lives so sad for all of the Marques family. You will be remembered forever Mrs Marques Mary Alicia Macchio My youngest daughter was blessed to have this very special woman as her kindergarten teacher. She was full of sunshine and smiles and no parent or child could ask for a better first school experience. My prayers go out to her friends and family. Crystal Pereira She was my kindergarten teacher and I'll NEVER forget her! April Snow-Grey Two of my kids were lucky enough to have Mrs. Marques as there kindergarten teacher and loved her so much, so did we. She was hands down the nicest person and best teacher I have known. I am so very sad and sorry to hear of her passing. Jennifer Reilly-Connan She touched soooo many children, 2 of which were my sons! She was a wonderful teacher and the sweetest person! Rest in peace Maryellen! My thoughts & prayers are with her family!
Nancy Sasso Janis July 23, 2012 at 09:09 PM
Words cannot express the profundity of the loss of our beloved Mrs. Marques. She was a wonderful kindergarten (and fourth grade) teacher and a true friend to the entire Maple Hill family. It was appropriate that she was in charge of our Sunshine Fund because she was just that, a ray of sunshine for the faculty and staff. She touched the lives of so many young children and gave them such a wonderful start to their school experience. Everyone who knew her will never forget this amazing lady. We loved her dearly and shall miss her so very much. Prayers to her family and friends.
Betty booper * July 23, 2012 at 09:54 PM
We are very saddened by the news of mrs marques, she was a wonderful woman and greg & i knew her well through the years of maple hill school,... Our love goes out to the family...
D July 23, 2012 at 10:09 PM
my Grandaughter Had Miss Marques this past year in kindergarten and she loved Miss Marques. Miss Marques made her first year in school such a positive experience.She truly was a great teacher....may she rest in peace.
Glenn Connan July 23, 2012 at 10:38 PM
My two boys were blessed to have Mrs. Marques as their Kindergarten teacher. Needless to say we are all heartbroken; we loved her greatly. Our heart goes out to her family. We will never forget Mrs. Marques, she was a gift to so many children. Our only comfort is knowing Mrs. Marques is now with her father in heaven.
carley barbosa July 23, 2012 at 11:33 PM
So sad, a beautiful woman gone too soon, my heart goes out to her family
Lori Washenko July 23, 2012 at 11:53 PM
Mrs. Marques was such a sincere warm-hearted person and my son was lucky enough to experience the guidance that she offered; she will be terribly missed by my family and our community as a whole.
Kaci Michaud July 23, 2012 at 11:53 PM
I had her as a teach and I will really miss her! RIP Mrs. Marques
Nikki Yanarella July 24, 2012 at 12:00 AM
I was MaryEllen's kindergarten teaching partner for twenty years. Every day was a joy. She was the teacher everyone who ever thought of entering the profession should emulate.. Her caring, her love, her friendship and her enthusiasm made what we did not a job but a wonderful experiences. The children who walked into her classroom in September were so lucky to be with her....they would receive the best......they would walk out in June with so much....with such a strong foundation to carry them through their school years. We are all so lucky to have known and loved MaryEllen I am so proud to say I was her friend. I loved her and she is in my heart forever. Nikki Yanarella
The Cabezas Family July 24, 2012 at 12:59 AM
Mrs. Marques was my son Nathaniel's kindergarten teacher in the beginning of this past 2011-2012 school year. He missed her so much when she went on medical leave and always got excited whenever he heard she would be coming to visit the class. Our family knows all to well the tragedy of losing loved ones way before their time! She will be missed and our heart breaks for her family.
Rocky Vitale July 24, 2012 at 01:09 AM
A lovely woman and a great teacher. Deepest condolences to the family.
Elizabeth Tatroe July 24, 2012 at 01:20 AM
She was my kindergarten teacher! The sweetest women I have ever met.My condolences to her family.
Kristi Pistarelli July 24, 2012 at 01:23 AM
A beautiful woman inside and out. Her smile lit up every room Our prayers are with her family God Bless
Melissa Ackley Borunda July 24, 2012 at 02:38 AM
My daughter started Maple Hill this year and while she didn't have Mrs.Marques as a teacher she was one of the kind welcoming faces she saw on a daily basis. That is huge to a young child starting kindergarten. She truly was an amazing person and she will be missed.
Amy Pomerenk July 24, 2012 at 04:09 AM
So sad to learn of Mrs Marques' passing. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her Family.
DanielleCaetano July 24, 2012 at 10:54 AM
Mrs.marques will be truely missed. I had the pleasure to meet her when my son was in her class for kindergarten. That day I made a friend for life and will treasure the memories forever. RIP we should all have comfort that she is not suffering any longer.
Francisco Maldonado July 24, 2012 at 10:55 AM
When my son first started kindergarten, he did not even want to go the first day because of how different things were. After he came the first day , he could not stop talking about how he loved it and how he had such a nice teahcer, Mrs. Marques. Mrs. marques was very kind and made his first year in school a succesful year with the way she was , such a happy and dedicated person. We thank her for the strong foundation that she has given to so many students in the way that she was . She will be greatly missed Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family. The Maldonado Family
Dorothy Hoff July 24, 2012 at 11:51 AM
When our first child went to the newly opened Maple Hill School, MaryEllen Marques was there to welcome her. Any doubts or fears we may have had as we watched Jessica leave on the school bus were quickly relieved as we knew MaryEllen would be there with a song and a smile! This past October we lost my mother to ovarian cancer. It is never easy to lose a Mom. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Marques family. Know that she touched the lives of many students and their families. Mother Teresa said "I never will understand all the good that a simple smile can accomplish." MaryEllen knew this! May all the good work she did be multiplied through all of her students, family and friends - God Bless!
Bob Mezzo July 24, 2012 at 01:08 PM
Our family was also blessed to have Mrs. Marques as our son Jay's first teacher. She was a kind, intelligent and compassionate educator who cared deeply about each and every student who came into her classroom. Our thoughts and prayers are with Julio, Lauren, Chris and the entire Marques family. Thank you for sharing this beautiful person with so many students and parents throughout Naugatuck.
Darlene Lopes July 24, 2012 at 01:08 PM
Such a great loss - my daughter was one of the lucky ones who had her in Kindergarten......she adored her and would always speak fondly of Mrs. Marques even as the years went by. I also had the pleasure of working with MaryEllen for 4 years at Maple Hill. A true sweetheart....a real friend.....and inspiration. My thoughts are with the family. Darlene Lopes
Jo-Anne Pallacovitch July 24, 2012 at 02:26 PM
Thank You Mrs Marques for starting my son Mark's education. The patience and kindness you showed every child and parent ,especially on the first day of school. A child's Education is one of the most important experiences in life. What a way to begin, having Mrs Marques as a kindergarten teacher. I have such wonderful memories, as well as Mark(Evan). So very hard to loose a love one. My heart goes out to your family and friends. Jo-Anne Pallacovitch
Sarah Babineau July 24, 2012 at 04:38 PM
My son had Mrs. Marques and he loved her. She gave him one of the best gifts ever....the gift...a love for learning. It was so important as parents that his first year of elementary school be a positive and successful one...it was!!!! I could never have thanked her enough I just hope that she knew how how much she meant not only to her family and friends but to the children and parents whose lives she touched as well. We will miss you and think of you often. Our prayers are with the Marques family.
Raymond W. Powell July 24, 2012 at 04:46 PM
Raymond Powell I had the pleasure of working with MaryEllen for 10+ years at Maple Hill School. She was loved by all - students, teachers, administrators, parents and anyone who ever came in contact with her. She was a kind, considerate, positive, and loving person who cared deeply for others. MaryEllen touched many lives and will be truly missed by us all. My wife, Janet, and I extend our deepest condolences to her family and friends.
carol debernardis July 24, 2012 at 06:31 PM
Carol DeBernardis, My grandson Nathaniel had the honor of being one of Mrs. Marques students at the beginning of this school year. I had the pleasure of meeting and talking to her several times. What a wonderful, understanding and compassionate person/teacher. Nathaniel missed her from the day she left. My heart felt sympathy goes out to her family and friends. She will be truly misses and always remembered.
Dave and Barbara Lucas July 24, 2012 at 10:10 PM
MaryEllen was a wonderful person with many outstanding qualities. She was a friend and our daughter's spiritual advisor. She had a zest for life and a beautiful smile that brightened your day. She made the world a happier place. She leaves a legacy that few can match. Her wonderful family, friends and her many students. She touched us all. We send our heartfelt love and prayers. We pray that you find the strength during this difficult time. Sincerely, Dave and Barbara Lucas
Kayla Greer July 26, 2012 at 05:35 AM
I remember having Mrs. Marques as my Kindergarten teacher about eight years ago . She was the best teacher I ever had and could ever ask for. She was such a wonderful woman to me and to others and she was always there for me and the other classmates when we needed help with something and always made us grow smiles upon our faces. She was such a fun teacher and made Kindergarten one of the best year I have ever had at Maple Hill Elementary School. I will miss her dearly and she will never be forgotton. Prayers go out to her family and friends.
Wendy Curulla July 27, 2012 at 03:32 AM
My daughter Susi had the pleasure of having Mrs. Marques as her kindergarten teacher. We could not have asked for a better teacher or friend. Susi was my first child to go off to school, so naturally i had many concerns. When I had the pleasure of meeting Mrs.Marques, i was instantly put at ease by her kind smile and words. During our first parent/teacher conference I thanked her for everything she was doing for our little one. " Don't thank me," she said. "I will only have her for a year, but you were her first teacher." Those wonderful words will always remain with me...but although my daughter only had her for one year, she learned so much from her. She constantly spoke of her beloved Mrs. Marques, and couldn't wait to go back to school after school breaks. She was a wonderful person, very loving to her students, and so kind to everyone around her. To her husband, children, and loved ones...i hope you may find peace knowing that Mrs.Marques made a difference in this world. So many walk around today, with a little piece of her in them. She will be greatly missed by so many! The Curulla Family
Shana Santana July 28, 2012 at 06:28 PM
This woman touched and influenced so many people. It is amazing to me still how many people knew and loved her and who have a special history with her. My boyfriend, Chris, of 8 years is this extraordinary woman's son, who in every way is his mother... I say all the time that it was meant for us to meet because of her! Mrs. Marques' first kindergarten class at Cross Street was my older sister Cassie's class! Years later, Chris and I were in kindergarten together in 1995 at Maple Hill with one of her best friends, Nikki Yanarella, as our teacher! I then was fortunate to have her as my fourth grade science teacher. She made science so fun and interesting; it was my favorite part of the day! As the years went on, I was blessed with reuniting with my old friend Chris and at the young age of 13 &14, Chris and I started dating. By 16, we were inseparable and have been ever since. His mother took me in as family so fast and I will always be so grateful for that. While starting out in college, I would volunteer in her classroom, because I too wanted to one day become a teacher. There was no better way for me to start learning than through the best teacher I knew! I know many other former Maple Hill Alumni who did the same because they knew just as well as I did that she was one of the best.
Shana Santana July 28, 2012 at 06:29 PM
Mrs. Marques became a second mother to me and will forever hold that place in my heart. The love I felt and will always for this woman is indescribable. I will be eternally grateful to her for giving me the best thing in my life and for being the best second mother a girl could ever want and hope for. I am so glad though that her legacy will live on through her husband, Chris, Lauren and the foundation that was created in her name. This is exactly what she would have wanted because caring for and giving to others was what this woman was all about! She never asked for anything in return and did it all with a smile on her face! I hope to be half the woman she was and hope to make her proud. I love you Mama Marques! Forever!

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