Assunta Mary Palumbo, 91, cook, McCrory's manager

August 22, 2002

Assunta Mary Palumbo, a former McCrory's dime store buyer and manager who enjoyed preparing Italian specialties for family and friends, died of sepsis Friday at St. Agnes HealthCare. She was 91.

Mrs. Pal- umbo, who was known as "Sunny," was born Assunta Mary Pannone in Cumberland and was a graduate of St. Mary's Parochial School there.

After her 1935 marriage to Frank Palumbo, they moved to Baltimore and settled first on Paca Street and later in Catonsville. Her husband, a shoemaker, who worked at the old O'Neal's department store and later at a shoe repair shop in Lexington Market, died in 1982.

Mrs. Palumbo, a buyer and manager of the downtown McCrory's at Lexington Street and Park Avenue, retired in 1971 and returned with her husband to Cumberland to care for her parents.

In 1984, she returned to Catonsville and lived with her daughter. Mrs. Palumbo moved to the Little Sisters of the Poor's St. Martin's Home in Catonsville in 1999.

An accomplished Italian cook, Mrs. Palumbo loved surrounding her dining room table with guests who had hearty appetites. "We never knew who would show up for dinner but she always managed to have enough," said her daughter, Mary Jo Hutson.

While living in Cumberland, Mrs. Palumbo was an active communicant of St. Mary Roman Catholic Church, where her culinary abilities were put to good use.

"She cooked many spaghetti dinners for the parish and because they were so popular, she gave the church her recipe. ... After her Mass, they're serving our family a spaghetti dinner using her recipe," Mrs. Hutson said.

A Mass of Christian burial is to be offered at the Cumberland church at 10 a.m. today.

Mrs. Palumbo also is survived by a son, Frank E. Palumbo of Bel Air; two brothers, Franklin Pannone of Cumberland and Arthur Pannone of Boulder, Colo.; 10 grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.

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