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Longtime Catholic Charities volunteer Ann Lanzillotta dies

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Ann Marie Gallagher Lanzillotta of Arlington, a longtime volunteer for diocesan Catholic Charities, St. Ann School, Marymount University and other organizations, died Sept. 10 at home surrounded by family after a short illness. She was 90.

She and her husband of 61 years, A. Paul Lanzillotta, were among volunteers who founded the annual diocesan Catholic Charities Ball, which has raised millions of dollars to benefit the community over the past 40 years.

“I have no shyness about asking for money for something good,” she told the Catholic Herald in 2009 after she and her husband received the James J. Matthews Legacy Award for their work on behalf of the charity’s annual fundraising event.

She served as the ball’s historian from 1982 to 2003 and then served as historian emeritus. The historian keeps records to ensure a smooth transition from year to year. She also served on the committee that planned and executed the ball.

“It would be hard to imagine a family more self-giving and generous to the least of our brothers and sisters,” said Art Bennett, president and CEO of diocesan Catholic Charities. “We will miss Ann deeply and will be forever grateful for her generosity and how she lived her faith.”

A native Washingtonian born Nov. 8, 1929, she shared her extensive knowledge of the area as a licensed tour guide running Capital City Guides for more than 25 years. Thousands of students from across the country experienced her tours of the nation’s capital.

She also was an avid tennis player, playing on the doubles tennis team at Washington Golf and Country Club and Bethany West. The Lanzillottas had a second home in Bethany Beach, Del., where they spent their summers with friends and family for more than 45 years.

She graduated from Sacred Heart High School and the Washington School for Secretaries before joining General Motors’ federal marketing department. The Lanzillottas moved to Arlington in 1962.

In addition to her husband, she leaves children: Mary Katherine Lanzillotta (and husband, Lee Becker), Susan Lanzillotta, and John Lanzillotta (and wife, Stacey Lanzillotta); grandchildren, Morgan and Keegan Lanzillotta; step-grandchildren, Michael Becker (and wife, Rachel Becker) and Bryan Becker (and wife, Lara Berenji); and great step-grandchildren, Lindsey, Emmett and Milo Becker.

A memorial Mass was celebrated Sept. 26 at St. Ann Church in Arlington and livestreamed. Memorial gifts may be made to diocesan Catholic Charities. 

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2020