Swissvale crossing guard Martha Catone got to know students
Martha Catone's dedication to her family and to the school-age children she watched over as a crossing guard was a cornerstone of a long and productive life.
"My mother was the oldest of seven children during the Depression years," said her daughter, Florence "Flo" Montalbano of Swissvale. "She dropped out of high school to help her parents and her siblings."
During World War II, Mrs. Catone worked for Union Switch & Signal Corp. in Swissvale producing guns for the military.
Martha Rocco Catone of Swissvale died on Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2010, in the Commons At Squirrel Hill. She was 89.
Mrs. Catone was employed as a crossing guard on Monongahela Street in Swissvale for a quarter of a century, in addition to selling Avon Products from her home.
"My mother also crossed my brothers and me," said Mrs. Montalbano, adding that students still asked about her mother years later.
"She had a warm smile and a hearty laugh that the children enjoyed. She not only walked the children across the street, but took the time to talk to them and see how they were doing in class."
In addition to her daughter, Florence, Mrs. Catone is survived by her sons, Robert Catone of Lincoln Place and Joseph Catone of Penn Hills; nine grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; and her siblings, Salvadore Rocco of Forest Hills and Madeline Nuzzo and Samuel Rocco, both of Swissvale.
Mrs. Catone was preceded in death in 2003 by her husband, Robert J. Catone, whom she married in 1942, and her siblings, Jerome Rocco, Katherine Cooper and Rose Marie Rocco Noonan.
Visitation is from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. today in Thomas L. Nied Funeral Home Inc., 7441 Washington St., Swissvale. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. Monday in Madonna del Castello Roman Catholic Church, Swissvale.