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TROY - Maria Giovanna Tassone DeGiorgio, 101, passed away peacefully at home on, January 11, 2024.
Born on April 3, 1922, in Cardinale, Calabria, Italy, she was the daughter of the late Raffaele and Isabella (Marra) Tassone. She was the beloved wife for 67 years of Mariano DeGiorgio, who passed away in 2014. Maria and her children emigrated to America in November 1964 to join her husband who had emigrated earlier to prepare for their arrival.
She was educated in Italy and was active in the church community and her children’s schools. She loved to read and write poetry in her beloved Italian language. In her youth she was a member of the Catholic Youth in her hometown church, a member of the choir, and taught catechism. She often spoke with nostalgia of her youth spent in the small village of Cardinale, especially on her father’s extensive farm where she often helped him in maintaining the electrical grid for the town. As a young wife and mother, she was very creative in sewing her children’s clothes and initiated classes in her own home to teach the making of original patterns. She always had an inventive nature and often found ways to create new clothes from used ones.
For several years upon coming to America, Maria helped support her family by working as a seamstress in several different places. She showed no fear of getting on a bus—before she even knew how to speak English—and going to work. But she always came home in time to cook a sumptuous meal. She was determined to educate herself and to learn English, attending English classes in the evening with her husband.
Maria found great joy in preparing meals for her family, relatives, and friends. She kept all the Italian traditions of the holidays, making taralle and cuzzupe for Easter, zeppole for Christmas, cookies and more cookies, making sure everyone had more than they needed. She found joy in knowing her children and grandchildren looked forward to being in her home and enjoying her food. There was always an abundance of homemade grape jelly, from the grapes in the garden that her husband tended; peach jam from her husband’s peach trees; tomato sauce from the tomatoes in the garden or ones picked at local farms.
Maria lived an exemplary life that had its roots in love of family, in prayer, and in devotion to the Catholic faith. Since 1969 she had been a member of the Third Order of St. Francis, now known as the Secular Franciscan Order, and very active in the Italian parish of St. Anthony of Padua in Troy. She spent her final years for the most part praying for all those in need, and for the world. It was evident that prayer was her main food. When she became homebound, she found great comfort in being able to attend daily Mass through EWTN, and saying all the Rosaries and Chaplets they offered throughout the day. She was an avid reader, subscriber, and supporter for many years of the Italian publications Famiglia Cristiana, Opera Salesiana Sacro Cuore, and La Santa Crociata in Onore di San Giuseppe. She read these publications from cover to cover and joined them in prayer for all their intentions throughout the world.
Maria was in awe of living to such an advanced age, very happy to have been able to be alive to see her great-grandchildren, and thanked God for the graces he bestowed on her. So much has happened to the world and society during Maria’s lifetime, but her faith in Jesus Christ was central to all she was and all she did, and it made her a pillar of stability in an ever-changing world.
Maria is survived by her children, Liliana DeGiorgio, Isabella (Aurelius) Corina, Josephine (Mark) Lanni; her grandchildren, John (Anna) Pishko, Kaelin (Robert) Balonek, Jude Corina, Peter Corina, Daniela Lanni, Michael Lanni; and her great-grandchildren, Abigail, Benjamin, and Elanor Balonek. She is also survived by her beloved sister-in-law, Graziella Tassone in Italy; her beloved niece, Rosanna (Anthony) Costa of Bayonne, NJ; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins with whom she has always kept in touch, both in the US and in Italy.
In addition to her husband, Maria was predeceased by her beloved son, Giuseppino; sisters, Giuseppina (Salvatore) Mugrace, Iolanda (Nicola) Mugrace, Elena (affectionately always called “Assuntina”) Tassone; brothers, Francesco (Ilvia) Tassone, Giuseppe Tassone, Vito Tassone; and two sisters, Elena and Agostina, lost to the Spanish Flu at a young age. Much to her sorrow Maria was also predeceased by her very close and beloved nieces Maria (Vincent) Darrigo, Antonette Mugrace, Maria (Antonio) Bertucci, Isabella (Alberto) Altamonte.
Relatives and friends may call at St. Anthony of Padua Church 28 State Street Troy on Tuesday, January 16, 2024 from 9-10 AM
with a Mass of Christian Burial celebrated at 10 AM with Rev. Richard Donovan OFM , Pastor, officiating.
Entombment will be in St. Mary's Cemetery Mausoleum Troy.
Those wishing to remember Maria in a special way can make memorial contributions in her name to St. Anthony of Padua Church 28 State Street Troy, NY 12180. We recommend using the brycefuneralhome.com website to share or send condolences, light a candle, view videos or for service directions.
St. Anthony of Padua Church
28 State Street, Troy NY 12180