Obituary of Elia Aref
AREF, Elia. (nee Mainolfi)
On December 26, 1954 Elia, at the age of 26, left her hometown, Cervinara, Italy to travel to England to meet her brother-in-law’s best friend, Anisim Aref. Anisim couldn’t speak Italian and Elia couldn’t speak Romanian. Three months later, on March 19, 1955, they were married. They started their family with the birth of their first son, Andrew in 1956, followed by Anthony one year later. On April 15, 1960, Elia and Anisim immigrated to Canada to start a new life. In 1961, Elia gave birth to twin boys, Philip and Joseph. Together, Anisim and Elia faced the tremendous challenges of raising a family of four boys in a new country. Anisim found permanent work at Brown Boggs Foundry on Sherman Street North, while Elia worked at E.D. Smith in Stoney Creek and Glendale Cotton Spinning Mills in Hamilton.
As immigrants, their road was filled with countless sacrifices and new hardships. But together, they managed to successfully raise four boys they were extremely proud of. Elia would go on to be a “nonni” or grandmother of 8 children and a great-grandmother of 4 children. She had an active role in raising all of her grandchildren. Although she was a no nonsense individual, the love, sacrifice and level of commitment she gave her four boys was shown to each and every one of her grandchildren. She adored them and was always the happiest and most content when they were around.
Our mother was an outstanding cook. Friends, family, and strangers were always greeted with many wonderful aromas coming from her kitchen. Food and family were an inseparable priority. No one could sit at the table without being asked, “Have you eaten? or “Are you hungry?” There always seemed to be something delicious cooking on her stove. In her later years, her grandchildren would request their favourite dishes, which always included her outstanding sauce, pasta and homemade meatballs. Nonni was always so happy to oblige.
Elia passed away on December 20, 2020 at the age of 92. Beloved wife of the late Anisim Aref (1992). Predeceased by her parents, Antonio and Carmela, and by her sisters Angelina Vaccariello, Pasqualina Fierro, and brother Gennaro Mainolfi. Loving sister of Giuseppe Mainolfi (Francesca) from Rotondi, Avellino, Italy. Cherished mother of Andy and Karin Aref, Tony and Sue Aref, Joe and Danila Aref and Phil. Nonni will be forever missed by her grandchildren Jordan Aref, Nathan Aref, Tanya Mallia (Matthew), Vanessa Meulendyks (Marinus), Marco Aref, Joseph Aref, Leanna Aref (Jovan), Genna Aref. Great Nonni to Sienna Mallia, Sophia Mallia, Aria Meulendyks, Marinus Meulendyks. Elia will be missed by her sister-in-law Maddalena Mainolfi and her nieces and nephews, Tony Mainolfi, Tony and Liliana Coccurello, Vincent Coccurello, Vanessa Coccurello, Rick Furlic and Vanessa Mitola. Elia will be missed by Cass and Kathy Fierro, Joe and Maggie Fierro, Dave and Isa Payne, Angela Fierro and their children in the U.K. Thank you to Dr. Duan and the nurses Abby, Karen and Riley for their exceptional care and compassion in Elia’s final hours. Thank you to the entire staff and personnel on the CTU central ward at St. Joseph’s Hospital. Nonni’s passing has left a huge void in our family that cannot be filled. We will cherish and continue her legacy. That would be her greatest wish.
Nos plus sincères sympathies à la famille et aux amis de Elia
Aref 1928 2020..
Décès pour la Ville:Stoney-Creek, Province: Ontario