It is with deep sorrow that we announce the sudden passing of Josephine Leone on August 18, 2023. Loving Wife to Ludovico (51 years). Beloved Mother of Daniel (Tricia) and Alaina (Paulo). Treasured Nonna of Michael and Matthew. Dear Sister of Mario (Maria) and John (Tina). Cherished Aunt to Frank (Nancy), John, Liz (Bryn), Alcina and GianLuca and Great Aunt to Matthew, Dario, Evan, Ryan and Ethan. Predeceased by her parents Giuseppe and Enrichetta and her in-laws Giovanni and Antonietta.
Josephine was born in Pignataro Interamna, Italy to Enrichetta Cardillo (nee Azotini) and Giuseppe Cardillo. She emigrated to Canada in 1954 with her parents, arriving through Pier 21 in Halifax. Josephine grew up with her two brothers Mario and John on Chalmers Street in St. Catharines.
As a young woman, Josephine was proficient in four different languages and planned on embarking on a career in translation before determining that her true calling and passion was teaching. She was the first person in her family to attend and graduate University. After attending Brock University, she was immediately hired by the Lincoln County Separate School Board and had a long and decorated teaching career for what became the Niagara Catholic District School Board. Josephine was proud of being a teacher and of all of the students she taught at Canadian Martyrs, Michael J. Brennan and St. Denis schools in St. Catharines. She also taught Italian for the Board in the summers. She was extremely grateful for all of the friendships and working relationships she developed over her career. Josephine retired from the Board in 2003 after more than thirty years, in time to welcome her first grandchild.
Notwithstanding her devotion and commitment as a teacher, her true pride and greatest joy was her family. Josephine was a selfless leader in her family, who spent countless hours ensuring that everyone around her were taken care of. Her kindness and generosity were some of her most exceptional qualities. Josephine never lost an opportunity to spend time with her children, grandchildren and extended family. She loved her children and grandchildren dearly and enjoyed her time with them immensely. We will always remember her daily conversations and her direct and sage advice.
Josephine was an exceptional cook. Nonna’s homemade pasta dishes and cookies were unmatched. She also loved tending to her flowers and maintaining her perennial garden beds and vegetable garden. Josephine regularly attended mass at St. Alfred’s Catholic Church and was both a strong supporter and avid participant.
The family will receive friends at George Darte Funeral Home at 585 Carlton Street on Tuesday August 22, 2023 between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. and 6 pm. and 9 p.m. A funeral mass to celebrate Josephine’s life will be held on Wednesday August 23, 2023 at 11 a.m. at St. Alfred’s Catholic Church at 272 Vine Street, with the Rite of Committal at Victoria Lawn Cemetery at 431 Queenston Street. As an expression of sympathy, those who wish to make a memorial donation can make it to the Heart and Stroke Foundation or to McMaster Children’s Hospital in Hamilton.