MILAZZO, Margherita (née Rizzo) (15 March 1934 – 1 August 2021)
Similitudinem annos singulos, a horrible year: We never thought we would be doing this again so soon. Yet it is with profound sadness and heavy hearts that we declare to the world the peaceful yet unexpected passing of our beloved mother and nonna, Margherita Milazzo, on Sunday midday, August 1st, 2021, at her beloved home with which she wished not to part, with us for 87 years, 4 months, and 17 days, but with great difficulty letting go nonetheless. Beloved wife of 63 years, 5 months to her late dear Carmelo, who passed a mere 74 days prior and whom she missed terribly. Predeceased by her beautiful parents, Calogero Rizzo (1898-1986) and Carmelina Ala (1899 -1983), and in-laws, Gaspare Milazzo (1898-1985) and Maria Tirone (1901-1990). Adored mother and mother-in-law to Gaspare (Laura Vetrone), Calogero (Mirna C. Atempa Morales), Mario (Sandra Muraca), and Maria (René White). Cherished nonna to Marcus (Sophie), Julia, and Olivia; Calogero Michelangelo; Melissa, Elena; Clarissa; and great-grandmother to Nico. Sister and in-law to the late Nicolò (Carmela Manto), the late Salvatore (Maria Cataldo), the late Lucia (the late Calogero Giglia), Calogero (1938-1939), the late Carmela (Bruno Tetto); the late Nicolò Rizzo (Giovanna Sferrazza-Papa), the late Stefanina, Maria I (1926-1927), Francesco I (1928-1928), Francesco II (Gaetana Manto), Maria II (the late Salvatore Petruzzella), the late Benito, and Matilde (1939-1941). Margherita, “pearl” and a flower, will be greatly missed by her remaining in-laws, nieces, nephews, and cousins in Italy and Canada, and above all, her children and their families.
The youngest of her sisters, yet the first to honourably wed, with great difficulty, she left her family in Racalmuto, Italy and came to Canada in the winter of 1958, upon the completion of a 7 month, long-distance betrothal with her beloved Carmelo, whom she proudly married on December 28, 1957, in Racalmuto. As she always recalled to us, it was her dear mother’s prophetic words which helped her to overcome her trepidation over leaving the family: “Sempri America è, [It’s always America],” inferring that Canada was part of the New World and held a promising future. It was this faith instilled in her by her dear mother…a faith in something bigger and better all the time…that sustained her throughout her life. Her first tear-soaked letters back home were written in plain view of frolicking squirrels climbing trees after a substantial snow fall.
Margherita hailed from a good and cultured family – something she was very proud of – where education, honesty, discipline, personal industry, being well-dressed and well-mannered (to cut “la bella figura,” a first good impression), coupled with etiquette, were paramount values, values which she distinctly brought to Canada with her. The epitome of a wonderful, compassionate, caring, mother and wife – like a great many of her generation rarely to be seen again – she was devoted to her children and was a proud, supportive wife to her Carmelo. She will certainly be lovingly remembered for her unconditional love of family, which she strove to keep together, something which she hopefully instilled in her children.
The creation of a traditional oral culture – which is sorely missing today – she imparted much wisdom to her children in the form of useful, didactic sayings, proverbs and riddles. It was wisdom instrumental in the successful navigation of life. If there is one that stands out, it is this: “Fa beni e scordatillu; fa mali e pensaci.” (Do good and forget about it, ie., move on; do bad and think about it, ie., it stays with you.) If her Carmelo was a fount of many family stories and stories of morality, she was a well-spring of a great many family stories and enlightening sayings.
As a person of strong faith, it was inspirational. It was a faith that translated seamlessly into her tireless devotion to her dear saints: La Madonna del Monte, Santa Rita da Cascia, Sant’Antonio Abate, and, as of late, St. Thérèse of the Carmelites. Yet she was more than just a well of faith like many of her generation. She was a seamstress, a baker, and a wonderful gourmet cook who prepared the customary Italian, multi-course dinners, legendary in the minds of her beautiful family as well as in the minds of extended family members. The multiple family, multi-course meals at Christmastime, New Year’s, and Easter are unforgettable.
A good person, a wonderful human being, a beautiful soul, a model citizen, she epitomized motherhood and wife-hood, all in the name of family, and by extension, country. Her spirit dwells in all whom she touched. If there is any consolation for those of us left behind, it is that Margherita and Carmelo are reunited in the grace of the Lord.
“Agnello di Dio, togliacci i peccati dal mondo e dacci la pace.” These words she always uttered for herself and for us in the final few months of her life…
Thank you to the LHIN, which honoured its mandate and provided Margherita’s home care services; and to Dixie, Florence, Cristina, Oury, Lilliana, Mariam, Devi R., and especially, Bintu, Senzy, and Clare of Caring Concepts (CBI) for their mastery as her PSWs.
Visitation at FRISCOLANTI FUNERAL CHAPEL, 43 Barton St. E., Hamilton on Thursday August 5, 2021 from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. A Funeral Mass will be offered on Friday August 6, 2021 at St. Mary’s Church 146 Park St. N., at 10:30 a.m. Entombment to follow at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Burlington. In keeping with COVID-19 precautions there are capacity restrictions at both the funeral home ad the church. All guests must practice physical distancing and wear a face covering at all times.
Sempre nei nostri cuori…Always in our hearts…
Our most sincere sympathies to the family and friends of Margherita MILAZZO March 15 1934 August 01 2021..
Death notice for the town of: Hamilton, Province: Ontario