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Lisa A. Marsey passed away at her home in Napa, California, on September 23, 2023. She was born on July 12, 1959, to Elizabeth (Boylan) Manning and William Busarello in Dania, Florida.
In the early 1970s, Lisa and her mother moved from New Jersey to San Francisco. She graduated from Tamalpais High School, Mill Valley, CA, in 1977. Lisa later moved to Napa, where she and John Marsey raised their daughters, Sarah and Lauren. Although divorced, Lisa and John spent their holidays together as a family and they remained close until her death.
Lisa relished dinners with her daughters, sons-in-law, grandchildren, step grandchildren, beloved mother and aunt, and friends. There was always room at her table. She was steadfast in her dedication to family and friends and loved being a sounding board, problem solver, or offering a shoulder to lean on.
Lisa was a very successful real estate broker in Napa Valley. She started her career at Crown Realty before founding Fieldstone Real Estate in 1996. During the course of her career, she sold homes to a good share of the population of Napa County and made lifelong friends with many of her clients. She was an active member of the Napa community, serving as president of the Napa Realtors Association, as well as a member of the Napa Parks and Recreation Board. Lisa also volunteered at numerous events throughout Napa Valley.
And if that was not enough to keep her busy, Lisa enrolled in flight school at Napa County Airport. Her interest in flying was sparked by her uncle Bobby, a pilot. But after passing that difficult pilot's exam and making a few solo flights, she decided that aviation was not for her. Nonetheless, Lisa instilled in her daughters a pilot's mentality--that they can make any flight so long as they arrive at the airport 18 minutes before the gate closes, much to the chagrin of anyone traveling with them.
It is without exaggeration to say that Lisa lit up every room she entered--not because of her beauty but because she was the life of every party. A gifted storyteller with a wicked sense of humor, Lisa would have everyone within earshot in tears laughing after hearing some of those stories. Which is why, as kids, a "short trip" to the grocery store inevitably became an all-evening affair, because with each turn down an aisle Lisa would run into one of her many friends and stop to catch up.
Lisa was an exceptional cook. Unfortunately for her daughters, her cooking skills improved dramatically after they left for college but not before they endured years of her infamous burnt chicken. She strongly believed that a home-cooked meal could solve any of life's situations, going so far as to ship an entire Thanksgiving dinner to Sarah while she was at graduate school in New Jersey. Thankfully, Lauren inherited her mother's love for cooking. The family will continue to enjoy Lisa's meals together while sharing memories of her.
Lisa was an animal lover, and over her lifetime was a pet parent to snakes, turtles, a rabbit, a chicken, cats and dogs. She was the proud owner of sweet golden retrievers. Her last golden, Annie, was always, and is now, by her side. The only exception to her golden retrievers was Muffin, a mutt that "some a-hole" left behind when he sold his house (her words, not ours). A voracious reader and avid golfer, Lisa took her grandchildren to the driving range as soon as they could hold a golf club. She loved the San Francisco 49ers and was a proud member of her bocce ball team, "On the Mark."
Lisa also enjoyed home renovation projects. She performed nearly all of the improvements herself, including the remodel of her master bathroom that she started more than 17 years ago. She had a green thumb, and every year lovingly picked tomatoes from her garden. She then spent days making marinara sauce to give to family and friends. When not at bocce ball, the golf course, or in her garden, Lisa was likely entertaining friends and loved ones at her home. The consummate host, Lisa welcomed everyone into her home, which was filled with lots of laughter and the music of Tower of Power or Boz Scaggs.
Lisa was predeceased by her grandmother and grandfather, Frances and Harry Boylan, her father Robert Manning, her uncle Bobby Boylan, and uncles-in-law Byron Lawson and Charles Haynes. She loved and adored them and is now resting in peace with them.
Lisa is survived by her mother, Elizabeth Manning (Novato, CA), daughters Sarah Marsey and Lauren Nicholsen, former husband John Marsey, son-in-law Ronald Nicholsen, Sarah's fiancé, grandchildren Jack Henry, Georgette, Charlotte and Theodore Nicholsen, step grandchildren, aunts Frances Lawson (Napa) and Patricia Haynes (Oaklyn, NJ), uncle Jack Boylan (Tucson, AZ), and sister- and brother-in-law Mary and Randy Marsey (Napa).
A Memorial Mass will be held on October 21, 2023, at 1:00 p.m., at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church, 6404 Washington St., Yountville, CA 94559. In lieu of flowers, we know that Lisa would greatly appreciate donations to Napa Humane Society.