Mother to All: Lucia D’Ambrosio It is with sadness that we announce the passing of Lucia D’Ambrosio (b Vendittelli) at 9 am on Saturday October 9th , 2021, in St. Catharines at the age of 95 Years.
Born on January 1st, 1926 in the village of Castellino del Biferno, Campobasso Province, Italy, Lucia emigrated to Canada with her husband Lino D’Ambrosio (who pre-deceased her in 2001) and their first son in 1954, arriving at Pier 21 in Halifax and then settling in St. Catharines where she lived the rest of her life.
One of 13 children of Anna-Emilia Nero and Nicola Vendittelli, Lucia grew up in the village and was a practicing Roman Catholic all her life. She was raised with her siblings in the countryside growing food, raising goats, and learned to knit and weave. Lucia was known for her exquisite wool sweaters and linens, with commissions for these helping support the family through WW2. After the war she brought these skills to Canada where her gifts of children’s clothes and blankets are prized possessions of countless relatives and friends.
Her resilience, dedication to family and her formidable organizational and domestic talents were the backbone of the extended family that grew over the decades. She was a confident matriarch and extended her mothering and generosity to everyone with whom she, her husband, children and relatives came into contact. Her home was a refuge and her kindness was support for family, friends and acquaintances. She has often been called ‘Everybody’s Mother’ by friends and family alike.
Always ready to feed and counsel whoever walked through her door, Lucia loved gardening, cooking and baking, both daily and, with her sister and cousins, for numerous religious and family celebratory feasts. With her sister Esterina and sister-in-law Maria, cousins and later her daughters-in-law, she was the team leader for group cooking and the annual canning and preserving of foods.
As a life partner with her beloved Lino, her thrift and management were essential to his success as an auto mechanic, his auto repair business extending in the 1980’s to her son and now to her grandson. She was proud to be Italian and an emigre, learning to speak English, driving her own cars and running her household in a succession of new homes they built in different north-end neighbourhoods of St. Catharines over the years.
Lucia, or Lucy as she was often called, is survived by her sons and their families: Francesco, wife Gwenyth Howey and Lucia’s Grandsons Max (partner Isabella Laird) and Rem (partner Mia Vandenschrick) and Giovanni/ John, wife Cindy Jacob and children; Lucia’s Granddaughter Lisa, husband Gary Demeo, Lucia’s great-granddaughter Veda and Great-grandson Remy; grandson son John Jr. (partner Alexis Nagy) and grandson Bobby (partner Megan Jewell). In Canada, she is survived by her sister Esterina De Lisio (husband Lucio, Lucia’s nephew Luigi De Lisio (wife Louise) and children Michael and Amanda; and her brother Enrico Vendittelli, wife Maria, Lucia’s nephews Lain (children Nicola and Siena), Gino and Bruno Vendittelli, wife Jane and sons Henry and Jack; nephew Angelo Persichilli, wife Lina and children Nicola and Tina.
In Italy Lucia also has numerous in-laws, cousins, nieces and nephews, who knew and loved her and with whom she maintained relationships over the decades during her and Lino’s numerous trips back to their homeland. Her legacy of guidance, diligence, determination and love have positively influenced all who knew her, and she will always be loved and remembered.
In lieu of flowers, donations made to The Canadian Cancer Society would be appreciated.