In Memory

Mario Lamorte

go to bottom 
  Post Comment

12/19/19 09:43 PM #1    

Jim Gross

I did not know Mario very well at Piedmont, but I certainly knew of his incredible sense of humor.  I got to know Mario better at the reunions.  I remember one reunion where he came up to me and was making a great effort to make sure I saw his name tag.  I looked at it and it said Bruce McSwain.  I laughed and said 'your name may be Bruce McSwain, but you look more like Mario Lamorte to me'.  At another reunion I was listening to what seemed to me to be very accompished piano playing.  I wandered around looking for the piano, and there was Mario providing the reunion with delightful melodies.  He told me at another reunion that he had taken up the cello.  Mario was a very intelligent human being with many talents and a wonderful sense of humor.  My heart goes out to Suellen, and family.

12/20/19 11:14 AM #2    

James A. (Jim) Stehr


Suellen's photo of the wish to Mario written in stones is perfect - on a beach, uttery natural, as was he himself!  Losing Mario is another deep sadness for our class.  I've been following all of them and counting.  Tick-tock.  I really enjoyed seeing Mario at our reunions.  His nametag gags were the best:  My favorite was the one that said, "Your Friend in the Diamond Business."  He always reminded me of life's absurdities, many of which were part of me.  He was such a vivid character, that when I was building the Killian video, and knowing that JDK was somewhat "irritated" by Mario, I commemorated Mario in the video:  On a photo of Glen Ford (as Killian) admonishing a student in a clip from Blackboard Jungle, I added the caption, "Mr. Lamorte, YOU WILL LEARN SOMETHING in this class, OR ELSE!!"  An early memory of Mario was when I was up against him in the election for student Commissioner of Entertainment at PHS.  I sure as hell could draw better looking posters, but Mario certainly projected a far, far better sense of "entertainment," than I ever could.  Yes, he won - by a landslide, I expect.  I always joked with him at reunions, that I was going to "demand a recount."  When he said, "Don't waste your time," we both laughed!  In more recent years, as I got more and more into video production, I wondered about doing one with Mario and some of his friends, acting as if they were reincarnated as PHS pom-pom girls.  We'd show it at a reunion.  I could write it; I could shoot it, but only Mario could act it!  I should have moved faster on that idea.  RIP indeed.  - JAS


01/30/21 10:42 AM #3    

Matt Lifschiz

Mario's Obit.


Mario E. Lamorte Mario Eugene Lamorte, musician, writer, actor, therapist, and an innovative educator who created unique learning environments, passed away on December 16, 2019 in his San Anselmo home. He was 77 years old. Mr. Lamorte was born in Oakland on August 10, 1942. Both his father, Benny, and his mother, Angelina, emigrated from Italy to the United States. Mario was Angelina's first and only son. Little Mario grew up with his four older sisters and attended Piedmont High School, where he met Suellen Thomas, his future wife. After a year at Chico State as a music major, playing the piano for the debut of Bernstein's West Side Story, Mario joined Suellen at UCLA. After graduating from UCLA, they spent two years together in the Peace Corps in Brazil and returned to San Anselmo where they started a family. Mario started his career as a teacher and went on to become principal of Lagunitas School. He later taught Educational Psychology at Dominican University. A loving husband, teacher, therapist, and friend, Mario kept in touch with his family in Italy. His authentic love and unique humor touched our lives. He took the time to get to know people on a deeper level. When Mario went out to dinner, he'd often engage the staff as only Mario could. For example, when he was seated at a table in the back of a restaurant, he'd thank the host, "I'm so glad you saved this table in the back so no one asks me for autographs and selfies." When he bumped into his former students from the San Geronimo Valley, they would give him a hug and exchange jokes. They called him "Mars." Mario was the all-time quarterback at school; he knew how to throw the ball with just enough speed to make it easy for kids to catch. After a career in teaching, Mario went back to school to obtain his Masters and serve the community as a licensed Marriage Family Therapist. In addition to being an accomplished pianist, Mario's love of music led him to take up the cello in his 60s. He eventually joined the orchestra at College of Marin. When performing his music, his humorous introductions were appreciated almost as much as the music itself! He combined his yo-yo skills, stand-up comedy, and his cello to invent a unique series of performance as "Yo-Yo Mario." Mario had dozens of experiences in show business ranging from taking on the role of Rudolph Valentino at private parties to acting in live theatre and even appearing in movies such as Condom Sense and Alcatraz the Rock. He wrote and directed his own short plays and monologues, and he will always be remembered for doing that. Mario enjoyed sports as a player and a coach throughout his life. In his later years, he enjoyed riding his bike with a great group of friends known as the "Over-The-Hill Gang." Mario is survived by his wife of 55 years, Suellen Lamorte; his sister Louise Lyons; his two children, Ben Lamorte (Ariana) and Allegra Lamorte (David); and his four grandchildren, Tobias Lamorte, Lizzie Lamorte, Simon Kolek, and Eleanor Kolek. Mario was an active member of the healing group at CCC in Tiburon for 20 years. A memorial service with beautiful music celebrating the life of Mario will be held at CCC on Feb 29th at 2 p.m.

10/01/21 10:41 AM #4    

James A. (Jim) Stehr

Suellen:  I'm trying to find your email address.  The one I have for Mario bounced back.  I have a pix of you that you should see!!  Pls reply.  Thanks,  —Jim Stehr


go to top 
  Post Comment