MariaLisa Dooley-Watson

MariaLisa Dooley-Watson

1960 - 2024

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Obituary of MariaLisa Dooley-Watson

MariaLisa Dooley-Watson passed away peacefully on January 5, 2024 at her home in Phoenix, Arizona at the young age of 63. Known affectionately as Maria, she was born in South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on November 17, 1960 to Lawton and Viola (DiCredicio) Dooley, who preceded her in death. She was also preceded in death by her close cousin, Linda (Paranzino) Ciocci. Maria attended Saint Maria Goretti Catholic High School and the Community College of Philadelphia, where she earned her accounting degree. She worked at the Internal Revenue Service most of her adult life until retiring from federal service.


Maria is survived by her wife, Kathleen Dooley-Watson; her stepson Anthony (Bill) Watson; her nieces Gina (Jon) Nelson, Dana Ciocci, and Meredith (Shaun) Flateau; nephew John (Tiffany) Ciocci; great-nephews and nieces Danny, Olivia, Emily, and Lucas Nelson, Lilliam, John, Giuseppe, and Victoria Ciocci, and Peyton, Penelope and Oliver Flateau; along with her many friends who she considered family.


While Maria did not enjoy being the center of attention, she would want to be remembered for the warmth and love she exuded as those she loved she did so unconditionally, especially her wife and the life they created together in Phoenix. Her passion was fostering dogs and helping them heal from years of abuse where she took pride in hand-picking families to adopt her fosters and making their families whole. She adored her foster failures cherishing the opportunity to spoil and pampering them for the rest of their days. She valued traveling around the world with her wife and friends to experiencing different cultures. Through their many travels Maria and Kathy were appreciated for their playful spirits. She especially treasured her hometown of Philadelphia and planned to split her time between Philly and Phoenix. Maria’s light will be kept in the hearts of all those who knew her.


A celebration of Maria’s life will be scheduled at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider donating to Breeder Release Adoption Service, an organization close to her heart, at or your local animal rescue.