Mona Lisa DeCristofaro, a former secretary at the East Hampton Middle School who went on to work for 30 years with Kevin Fitzgerald at ARK Construction, died at home in Springs on Aug. 21. She was 70 and had a family history of Von Hippel-Lindau disease, a gene mutation that causes tumors and cysts.
Ms. DeCristofaro volunteered with Maureen’s Haven, which provides services for the homeless. She enjoyed sewing and was a member of the Eastern Long Island Quilt Guild.
“She loved to bake her grandmother’s ‘boiled cake,’ which she made at holiday time to give as gifts,” her family wrote. She would make beach plum jelly with her daughter, again using her grandmother’s recipe.
“She loved her cat, Sly, loved dragonflies, the color blue, hydrangeas,” and “going to St. Peter’s Chapel on Old Stone Highway in the summer and making something for the potluck supper after the service,” her family said. She also attended St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in East Hampton.
Most of all, she loved her daughter, Francine Muller, her son-in-law, James Muller, and their 15-year-old dog, Rascal, who she referred to as her “grand dog.” She had spent a long weekend taking care of Rascal, while her daughter was out of town, before she died.
Born on Sept. 13, 1952, to Chester Harris and the former Thelma Betkin, she grew up in Springs and graduated from the Springs School and East Hampton High School.
She married Daniel DeCristofaro on May 18, 1968. The couple had one child together. They divorced in 2003.
In the 1980s before working for the school and ARK Construction, she worked at Sears on Pantigo Road in East Hampton.
Ms. DeCristofaro had been diagnosed with her first brain tumor in 1972, in connection with the disease that ran in her family.
“Mona remained independent, with a smile on her face until the day she died,” her family said.
A graveside service was held on Aug. 26 at Green River Cemetery in Springs. The Rev. Dr. Benjamin Shambaugh of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in East Hampton officiated.
Her family has suggested donations to the VHL Alliance at vhl.org/donate.