Mary-Anne Szabaga of Montauk died on May 30. She was 70. Born in Astoria on August 22, 1942, she attended Queens College and taught Spanish in the New York City Public School System for 31 years before retiring to her favorite vacation destination, Montauk.
An avid traveler, Ms. Szabaga spent many vacations and sabbaticals traveling the world. After graduation from college, she spent weeks touring Europe with her best friend, Norma Giorgetti. Throughout her life, she appreciated and supported the arts, took etching and painting classes and, most recently, completed three icon paintings. A season ticket holder to the Metropolitan Opera, she enjoyed the classics and seldom missed a performance, survivors said.
Ms. Szabaga was also known as a wonderful cook. Survivors said she was happiest sharing a meal with close friends and family, whether it was a simple dinner for two or a large gathering. She was also the keeper of the family recipes, eager to prepare and pass down the culinary heritage of her Polish ancestry.
In retirement, she was very active in the community. She served as president of the local AARP chapter, on the East Hampton Senior Advisory Board and was a member of Guild Hall in East Hampton and the Friends of the Montauk Library. She could often be found organizing a lecture, a book sale or volunteering at Guild Hall during a performance, her family said.
Survivors said Ms. Szabaga had a special love for all living things, caring for many plants, animals and pets generously throughout her life.
Ms. Szabaga is survived by her best friend, Norma Giorgetti; two brothers, Stephen Szabaga and wife Jo and Michael Szabaga and wife Debbie; two nieces, Allison Szabaga Cassese and husband David and Stephanie Szabaga Pedersen and husband Rodney; a great-niece, Sophia Cassese, and a great-nephew, Tyler Cassese. She is also survived by many friends and acquaintances.
Funeral arrangements were under the direction of the Yardley and Pino Funeral Home in East Hampton. A funeral took place on June 3 at St. Therese Catholic Church in Montauk. Memorial donations may be made to the church, P.O. Box 5027, Montauk NY 11954.