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Wet Noodle Posse | Blog

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Remembering Maryanne by Diane Perkins

Today the Wet Noodle Posse received some terrible news. One of our own, Maryanne Cappelluti, passed away.

For the last several years Maryanne has suffered from scleroderma. Scleroderma is a rare autoimmune disease of the connective tissue. It causes thickening and hardening of the skin and organs of the body, and the most serious form leads to death. Maryanne had the serious form. She is survived by her husband, and a teenaged son and daughter.

Maryanne is a member of the Wet Noodle Posse because she was a finalist in 2003’s Romance Writers of America Golden Heart contest. Her category was Short Contemporary and her entry Bachelor #2 was a riotous tale about the reluctant prize winner of a reluctant bachelor in a reality TV show. I had the pleasure of reading it. Maryanne made you cheer for the hero and heroine even while you laughed at their situation.

Maryanne did not attend the RWA conference in 2003, but she did attend in 2001 when the conference was in pre-Katrina New Orleans. She came with her husband, her biggest supporter--a hunky firefighter who turned heads as he walked through the conference floors.

Maryanne was terrified of interviewing with an editor, but, of course, she charmed everyone who came in contact with her. One of the nights Maryanne came to the room I shared with Melissa James (Silhouette Intimate Moments and Romance), Karen Anders (Harlequin Blaze), and Leisa O’Conner, and we wound up acting like rowdy twelve year olds at a slumber party. The poor people in the room next to us begged us to be quiet, but Maryanne had us laughing so hard it was impossible. It was, without a doubt, the most fun I ever had in my life.

Our good cheer continued on to the Awards ceremony, as you can see. (From Left to Right - Leisa O'Connor, Melissa James, me - Diane Perkins, Karen Anders, and Maryanne)

This is how I shall always think of Maryanne, so full of life and joy, before her illness robbed her of her health and her potential to be a really fine romance author. I spoke to her right before Christmas. We had a deal going to attend the conference in Atlanta this summer. She was determined to attend.

She'll be there, too. I know she will.


At 11:46 PM, Blogger MaryF said...

Oh, Diane. My heart is broken for Maryanne, so much left undone. She was a joy to the Posse, so upbeat, so generous.

I'm so sorry I never really met her.

At 12:18 AM, Blogger Trish Milburn said...

Diane, I'm glad that you were able to meet Maryanne in person and that she had such a good time at that conference. My heart just aches for her husband and children and all the people who loved her.

At 7:57 AM, Blogger Colleen Gleason said...

Thank you Diane, for such a lovely tribute to a woman I barely knew...but remembered from her upbeat posts and, yes, Bachelor #2. I had the pleasure of reading the first chapter or so, and from time to time, even now, think about that book and wonder about the story. It made such an impression on me.

My heart goes out to her family and other friends. And I think you're right--she'll be in Atlanta with us when we collect for a toast in her honor.

At 9:12 AM, Blogger bridget said...

I'm holding back my tears. She will be there, Diane. You are a wonderful friend, and your post conveys such a beautiful sense of Maryanne as a friend and a woman and a writer.

I'm praying for her family. Thank you, Diane.

At 10:04 AM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

Sweet post, Diane. What a fun person she was. Thanks for sharing. I remember reading the first few chapters of her 2003 golden heart manuscript and I knew she'd be published soon. She was a wonderful writer and my heart goes out to her family, and to you, because it's clear you were very fond of her. You're lucky to have had the opportunity to laugh with her.

At 11:26 AM, Blogger Tori Scott said...

My heart breaks for Maryanne and her family. She was far too young to go, but I hope she's found peace and freedom from the suffering. She'll always be remembered.

At 9:02 PM, Blogger Jill Monroe said...

Maryanne - I will miss you!

Thanks for the post, Diane - a fitting tribute for someone so special.

At 10:10 AM, Blogger Jennie Lucas said...

I've tried 4 times to think of what to say in the last two days. Looking at that photo, with all of your faces so bright and happy (and young!), it's heartbreaking. I didn't know Maryanne, but so many Noodlers loved her that I almost feel I did. Her poor family. She left too soon for all the people who loved her, and like Mary said, for all the things in life left undone.

Next month's Superheroine article will also be a tribute to her memory, because she's like all of us -- a wife, a mother, a writer. Losing her is really losing a part of us. Thank you, Diane.

At 4:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mary was also a sister, my sister. I am happy to read your comments and kind words for her. I was a bit curious, as to who notified you of her passing? My name is Sandy. Thank you.

At 4:58 PM, Blogger Diane Perkins said...

The news came through the romance writing community. I assume originally from Maryanne's husband. That is all I know.
I'm so sorry for your loss. She was such a special person.

At 5:07 PM, Blogger Stephanie Feagan said...

Diane, think you for writing about Maryanne. It's just so sad - feels so wrong.
I am praying for her family.

At 5:09 PM, Blogger Stephanie Feagan said...

Uhm, clearly I meant *thank* you.

At 5:20 PM, Anonymous Melissa James said...

Maryanne was more than friend to me, more than my critique partner. We were soul sisters, shared our lives and hearts, and talked regularly from across the Pacific by computer and phone, and I stayed with them 4 times. I'll always miss her.

I know she was glad you and she talked so recently, Sandy. She spoke of it to me when I was there staying with the family 6 weeks ago. She was so ill, in so much more pain than she told people.

I'll always be glad I had that time with her. It was special, spending time with them all.

At 5:21 PM, Anonymous Melissa James said...

Tony called me, Sandy. He knew how close we have always been for the past 6 years.


At 9:24 PM, Anonymous Sandy said...

Diane and Melissa James,

Thank you for your responses. I don't meen to do this through all your posts, but don't know how to reach you other wise. She LOVED to cook, and she loved to eat cold left overs directly from the refrigerator in the middle of the night, she loved instant mashed potatoes! She called me "San" I was remembering these things today about her.....

At 11:37 PM, Anonymous Melissa James said...

We ate all sorts of stuff while I was there, Sandy - her non-banana splits were the best (she couldn't eat bananas, so used walnuts). She was so funny, so cute about her illness and she had a way of making people adore her.

She'd lost a lot of weight this past year and didn't eat quite so much, but she still cooked, all right - she cooked for the entire neighborhood, helping the firefighters' wives and others! Anyone who needed a hand, she was there, despite her illness. She made a spectacular soup and jambalaya, and Tony's barbecue is always fabulous.

I'm calling tony and the kids tomorrow again. I can't imagine how they all are right now. Even sick, Mar was the centre of the family, its heart and soul.

At 1:53 AM, Anonymous Sandy said...

There is going to be a memorial service for Mary on Saturday @ 2:00 PM at the Chapel of the Roses in Atascadero, CA. My husband and I will be flying down on 'Friday. We live in Oregon.

At 2:49 PM, Anonymous Melissa James said...

Thanks, Sandy. Tony sent me the notice - but I live in Australia, and just came over 6 weeks ago. I so wish I could be there.

I will always miss her.


At 8:13 AM, Blogger bridget said...

I wish we could all be at the service!

At 11:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello. I just came across this today and i say Diane thank you for doing this for my mom. Plus, I got to know more about my Aunt Sandy. For all who don't know me, I am Julie Cappelluti, Maryanne's daughter. I'm 13 years old and attend middle school. Oh, I can remember how much she loved to talked to you guys. She spent who knows how many days a week on the computer. Lol I will miss her much. We will all miss her. But my family has been better about it within this period of time. My dad still finds joy as a firefighter and my brother moves headstrong playing football. But I feel I am the only one that hasn't moved on. I can't seem to get over it. But I guess I will just learn to have to. But thanks to everyone who has posted on here. Thank you so very much!


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