Elizabeth Anne VanderPutten
Friends from College

Mary Jo (
nee Santangelo) Nocero

Christmas 2004 - A Letter from
Mike and Mary Jo Nocero

Dear family and friends,

It is hard to believe that another year has come and gone. But this last year was one we are truly happy to see go. It was the Year of the Hurricanes, in more ways than just weather And we are most grateful to God to have survived.

This was a year of Weddings. In May, all of our family attended the beautiful wedding of Jennifer Simone in St. Petersburg, Florida. She is the sister of our son in law Frank, so Meg, Frank, and baby Michael (1 years old wearing a tuxedo) were honored by being in the wedding party. In July, Mike and I also attended another beautiful wedding in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. This one was the wedding of the daughter of our dear friends from college- Joanne and Peter Borchetta. It was a splendid affair and a great time of reminiscing for the four of us. As both of us are celebrating our 40 Wedding Anniversary this July 2005, we have decided to celebrate together in Italy!
During the first week of August, we were blessed with a great family vacation once again in North Carolina. Beside our immediate family with their 8 dogs driving up from Florida, my sisters and brother came. Eileen Hult flew in from Houston, Texas, Charles and baby Charley (1 year old) came from Washington DC, Betty and young Tom Egan and Patricia Santangelo arrived from New York. It was wonderful being together with everyone!

Just before we left for our Family vacation, we learned that our grandson Ryan Scanlon (6morith old) had had a stroke while in his mother’s womb, As a result, he was having seizures and the right side of his body was affected. Being in the Medical field, our daughter Mary and my husband Mike could imagine the worst case scenarios. Nevertheless, we all turned to our Loving God and prayed for the best! Mary and her husband Tim Scanlon, living in Coral Springs, were referred to doctors who specialized in this problem in Miami and Ryan was put on a 6 week regimen of steroids. While it was a terribly frightening time, we all experienced the grace and presence of God in our lives. We were surrounded by the love and prayers of friends and prayer partners throughout the world. Mary and Tim were beacons of faith and courage. In the meantime, our next door neighbor Larry Carroll took Mike and me to a Healing Service to be prayed over “in Ryan’s place”. It was an unbelievable moment of faith. We came home filled with peace and trust in God. When the time came for Ryan’s EEG and re evaluation six weeks later, the doctors were totally amazed that the seizures had stopped so completely and the scarring on his brain was minimal. It was indeed a miracle of God bestowed on our baby. Lindeir the care of many good therapists, Ryan is strengthening his right side and has even started to crawl. Please pray for his continued healing. As things are improving for Ryan so beautifully, Mary has been able to begin her practice of Family Medicine two days each week.

August and September were months of tremendous stress and chaos here in Florida. Hurricane Charley came and went very fast but was truly devastating to our Central Florida area. Long standing 40-50 foot oak trees in Winter Park and Maitland’s beautiful neighborhoods were tragically upended. While we lost two 25 ft trees, we were fortunate they did not fall on our house. When we thought we were safe, along came Hurricane Frances. This one was agonizingly slow in coming and going. And it was so huge that no area in Florida was unaffected. For some people, electric power was out for over three weeks. In our neighborhood, debris was piled high everywhereand it was difficult just getting down the main streets. Just as we breathed a sigh of relief that Ivan had passed us by, along came Hurricane Jeanne. Again we were out of power, streets were flooded, and more trees were felled. But what hit us most was the damage done to our Central Florida Beaches by this storm. No one can get down to the beachfront from their homes these days as there is a 12 foot drop. It is incredible to see, much less believe. Nevertheless, as we fell to our knees in prayers of gratitude to have survived, we all agonized learning of those in Haiti, Jamaica & Grenada suffering from these same storms. So many lives were lost there and their islands totally devastated. As a result, many of us in Central Florida have taken part in efforts to reach out!

As far as the rest of the family is concerned, all are fairing well. Meg and Frank Simone in Miami, just below Palm Beach, were fortunate to escape the brunt of the storms. Their law practices are demanding but they have reveled in watching their baby Michael, 2 years old this December, growing so fast. They and we all were saddened by the passing of their beloved sheltie “AIfredo Luigi”. We will miss him dearly. On the other hand, we all have found great joy in watching our grandson Patrick Scanlon (3 years old) getting along so well with his younger cousin Michael. They are inseparable! Our Irish and Italian grandchildren have been a blessing to Grammi and Popi.

Aimee, our youngest daughter who lives in Orlando, spends her time busy with her career as an insurance defense lawyer, refurbishing her home, and caring for her boyfriend Rodney Lewis and her sheltie, Salvatore. Her claim to fame this year is dislocating her collarbone two times while playing touch football. It was not a good feeling getting a call from the Hospital Emergency Room two times and told to come fast! And we thought we were fortunate just having girls.

Mike and I”survived” the 2004 Presidential election having strong passions different candidates. Thank God it is over! Mike continues to practice cardiology, albeit on a more limited basis these days. I continue to be busy doing my volunteer work at our parish of St. Mary Magdalen. This summer, we attended a five day Smart Marriage Conference in Dallas, Texas and were trained in teaching PREP-a national program to help couples with Marital Communication Skills. We plan on offering this course in our parish in the spring.

As this year comes to an end, we want to extend to all our family and dear friends a blessed holiday season and a healthy and happy New Year 1905. We remember you at this time of year because, somewhere in time, you have touched our lives and we are better and grateful for it. May the Lord God continue to bless and keep you in peace!


Mike and Mary Jo Nocero and our 3 “boys” (shelties)