Sara Jane “Sally” DiZinno

Sara Jane “Sally” (Burns) DiZinno, of Milton, died Tuesday, February 11, 2020.

Beloved wife of Richard J. DiZinno; loving mother of Christopher J. DiZinno and his wife Denise of Dorchester; Patrice DiZinno of Milton; Richard E. DiZinno and his wife Sarah Arneson of Washington, D.C.; Peter A. DiZinno and his wife Arlet of Marlboro; and Julie E. Berger and her husband Martin of Chicago, IL; cherished grandmother of Frank and Jack Hawker; Colin and Maya DiZinno; Charles and Sofia DiZinno; and Evelyn Berger.  Predeceased by her parents, John and Mary Burns of Dorchester; and sister, Mary Pauline Atton of Riverdale, NY.

Known to her husband Dick and their many friends as Sally; to her five children as Mom or, lovingly, as “Sally D”; to her childhood friends as Sara Jane; and to her seven grandchildren as Nana; she passed away after courageously battling a series of complications resulting from a stroke suffered last November.  The stroke damaged her mind and rendered the entire left side of her body severely limited, but couldn’t steal away her wit, feistiness, and courage. 

A constant whirl of vitality, she was at her core a social animal who loved to be around family and friends at all times.  She will be remembered for her boundless energy and social engagement by her family; her childhood buddies from Dorchester, where she was born and raised; her adult companions from Milton, where she lived with Dick since 1970; and her Cape friends from Mashpee, where she spent summers with Dick since 2012.

A devoted Catholic and niece to a Jesuit priest, she spent 20 years as a Eucharistic Minister, 15 years as an involved parent of five St. Agatha School children, and her entire adult life as an active member of the Church.  Early in her career, she worked as a teacher in the Boston public school system.  After 17 years of raising five children, she returned to teaching in the Quincy public schools where she worked for 22 years.

Never one to miss a party, she thrived on bringing people together and having fun, whether it was with family, friends, or usually a mix of both.  Her dinner table was the hub of activity for every holiday and special event.  She was especially fond of Thanksgiving and Christmas, when our family gathered along with anyone who needed companionship.  No matter who you were or what your circumstances, you were always welcome over Sally’s house for a good meal and a warm embrace.  She cared for so many others over the course of her life, including her mother, father, sister, and other relatives.  Even as her own health started to fail, she continued to look out and care for her family and friends.

But her proudest achievement was being a loving mom to five kids, and affectionate grandmother to seven.  She spent years shuttling her kids to hockey, baseball, softball, basketball, and volleyball games all over New England.  In her latter years, she doted lovingly on her grandchildren through sleep-overs, play dates at her home and at playgrounds, and gifts she showered upon them at birthdays and holidays.  She was proud of all of their accomplishments and let anyone who would listen know about them.

Our hearts are heavy with her loss.  But we take solace knowing that she is already planning a get together in heaven, sharing fun, laughter, and happiness with her family and friends.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in St. Agatha Church, Adams Street at Brook Road, Milton, Saturday, February 29 at 10:00 AM.  Relatives and friends are invited.

In lieu of flowers, please make a contribution in the name of the Sara DiZinno Scholarship to the Quincy Retired Teachers Scholarship Fund, c/o George Umscheid, Treasurer, 124 Briar Lane, Westwood, MA 02090.