Maria De Lourdes Melo (Silva) Lacey

August 25, 1940 ‒ November 27, 2020

Mansfield, Ohio

MANSFIELD: Maria De Lourdes Melo (Silva) Lacey passed from this world on Friday, November 27, 2020 surrounded by her loving family.  She was 80.

She was born August 25, 1940 to parents Fernando & Hortense (Melo) Silva in Faial de Terra on São Miguel Island (Azores), Portugal.

Maria came from a large family living in an island village where all people helped each other every day.  She felt blessed to have been raised in a place so rich in history and culture.  She often talked about her life as a child, listening to her father play guitar after all the hard work that day was always a fond memory.  When Maria was only 10, she found herself running the home after her father died unexpectedly and her mother was forced to work on an adjacent island to support the family.    She was a hard worker and always made sure to get everything done that was needed for the family (even if she had to bribe her younger brother with bread and cheese).  Eventually, she was led to pursue work as a civilian on the military base in the Azores.  As a young woman, she was enamored by the American lifestyle.  Little did she know the choice she made to work there would lead her on a whirl-wind romance and to a life far from the little remote island in the Atlantic Ocean.  She met Richard Joseph Lacey while he was stationed there with the US Navy.   The two were soon married in Victoria British Columbia, Canada and then settled in Mansfield, Ohio in 1965.  They both always answered “not long enough” when asked how long they were married. She loved her life in the United States and was very proud to eventually become an American citizen.

Maria most loved being a wife and mother.  She was family focused.  She made it a point to make their house a home for the family. She treated everyone in the family with love and respect and was caregiver for many extended family over the years. She liked to garden, growing tomatoes and peppers to use for family meals.  She loved sewing, and reading.  She enjoyed cooking and had many different recipes, especially Portuguese dishes that she was known for but, none as memorable as her kale soup. We will never forget her feistiness, her quick wit and all the things that made her wonderful.

When she did eventually work outside the home, she worked as a clerk at K-mart for over 25 years before ”retiring”.  She then worked another 12 years as a housekeeper in the surgical department at OhioHealth, until she retired again.  One thing is for sure, Maria made friends wherever she worked.

Maria  is survived by her son Joseph  Lacey (Girlfriend, Cassie Perry) of Mansfield, son and daughter-in-law Richard and Mary Lacey of Mansfield, daughter and son-in-law William and Zoraida (Lacey) Turner of Bellville, and daughter and son-in-law Eddy and Michelle (Lacey) Snyder of Mansfield;   She was “Nanny” to her beloved grandchildren Andrew Kopina, Laney and Ethan Snyder, Eden  and Zoe Lacey, Mark Thomas, Phoebe, Ellen, Lucy, and Miles Isaac, Stephanie and Kristi Sazdanoff,  brother Walter Silva (New Bedford, Mass), sister-in-law Fatima Silva  (New Bedford, Mass),   sister-in-law Celadia Silva (New Bedford, Mass), sister-in-law Gloria Gall (Crestline, Ohio). Special Friend and neighbor Bill Fairchild, who was so good to our mom and our family.  She also leaves behind numerous nieces, nephews and extended family.

She was preceded in death by her loving husband of 45 years Richard Joseph Lacey, her parents Fernando and Hortense Silva, siblings Rosa Creviera (Canada), Manuel Silva, Antonio Silva both of New Bedford, Mass,  Dionizia Pachecho (Florida), grandchildren Levi, Mylan and McKala Lacey (Mansfield).

The Family chooses to celebrate Maria’s life in a private gathering.  Although no public services will be held in Maria’s memory, her family hopes that you will remember her in your own special way.

Snyder Funeral Homes is honored to serve Maria’s family and encourage you to share a fond memory or message of condolence to them at

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  • My most heartfelt condolences to the family 🙏🏻
    Remembering her wonderful and gentle soul will forever remain in my heart .It was an have known her🙏🏻
    May she rest in peace 🙏🏻

  • My most heartfelt condolence .
    Remembering her wonderful sweet and gentle soul will forever remain in my heart 🙏🏻
    It was an honor to have known her.
    Rest in peace my dear Marie 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

  • Zoraida and family,
    I am so very sorry about the passing of such a wonderful lady. Even though I only got to know her I short while I can tell how special she was. Feeling the love you guys had for each other was a wonderful sight. Thank you for letting me care for her!

    Angela, Southerncare

  • Though I did not know her the story of her life is quite remarkable and I have no doubt the people who knew her would agree. Peace comes knowing she is in heaven with God…

  • To the Silva and Lacey Families,
    I had the pleasure of knowing Maria when she worked for MedCentral OhioHealth Mansfield surgery department. She was very dedicated to the department and meeting the needs for the turnovers required in this environment. Maria was a very caring person and put the needs of others before her own. Rest in Peace. Please accept our sympathies and prayers for the passing of Maria.
    The Ron Nelson Family

  • Sorry to hear about the passing of your Mom. She was a lovely lady that I enjoyed talking to when she came into the office. Prayers to you and your family.
    The Office of Kevin Brown OD

  • To the family of Maria,
    So sorry for the loss. Maria was always a help in any time of need. ( I worked at the K mart on 4th street a few years when she worked there. ) She was always a cut up, helping in the sometimes long days of retail…. My thoughts and prayers go out to all of you during this difficult time. May He heal the pain of your loss.

    Valerie Stivenson Harritos

  • I’m so very sorry to hear of the passing of Maria. I worked with her at K-Mart and she was always so nice to be around. I never knew her life story before reading it today but it was an amazing story! Prayers for your family!!

  • My dear friend!!!
    I have known Maria for many years, and it hurts to hear of her leaving this world. Her love she gave to me and my family was unconditional. Maria treated us like we were family! I will miss her laugh! I will miss her warm hugs and kisses. I wish all of the world could of had the chance to meet her. As for myself and my family, we were blessed to have had that opportunity. Our hearts go out to all of the family. As for God is keeping her now. We still get to keep her in our hearts!
    With all of our love,
    The Ison Family….

  • I am going to miss my friend. I loved her very much. She always made me laugh and her stories were amazing. My thoughts and prayers go out to you. She will be forever in my heart.

  • I met this ladies through her son Joe Lacey she was a sweet woman
    I have met a few of her children,you can tell she raised a good family.