(nee Rigoli) Our mother, nonna and bisnonna entered eternal life on November 8th, 2017 at the age of 96 and is reunited with her husband, Salvatore of 43 years, her mother, Maria and father, Vincenzo, brothers Vincenzo, Cono, Bastiano and Salvatore, and sister Nina. She is survived by her children, Antonino (Nancy), Vincent (Nancy), Cona (James) Bahr and Mario (Patricia). Also survived by grandchildren, Paul (Nichole), Nicole (Michael) Vichich, Maria (Ryan) Wilhelm, Jennifer (Andrew) Meyer, Dominic (Coral) and Diana (Scott) Doxtator, and great grandchildren, Milo, Abbey, Isabella, Joseph, Evan and Gianna. Survived by her sister Giuseppina of Siracusa, Sicilia and other relatives in Sicily, Australia, Racine and Boston. She dearly loved many other dear friends, especially, Mary Grace and Angel Gonzales.
Born in the tiny Nebrodi Mountain town of Ucria, Sicilia, she came to Milwaukee from Capo d’Orlando, Sicilia in 1950. A longtime active member in her religious communities on Milwaukee’s East Side at Our Lady of Pompeii Church, St. Rita of Cascia Church, St. Joan Antida High School and later at St. Mary Czestochowa Church. She worked tirelessly in the garment industry as a seamstress for 29 years, and loved making clothes for her children and grandchildren. She loved to bake her Italian cookies and cook her pasta and meatballs, her ‘Carmela Beans’ and ‘Carmela Potatoes’, especially for Sunday family feasts. She tended to her own vegetable garden, and every year looked forward to canning peppers and her own special tomato sauce. She enjoyed crocheting blankets and booties and loved taking long walks well into her 80’s. Her deep faith in God sustained her throughout her blessed life. She prayed the rosary nearly every day and was deeply devoted to the Venerable Maria Carmelina Leone, St. Francis of Assisi and St. Anthony of Padua. She cherished her annual religious pilgrimages to Chicago and Kenosha.
The family would like to thank the staff at Hales Corners Care Center for their compassionate care for her these last few years. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Wednesday at St. Mary’s of Hales Corners, 9520 W. Forest Home Ave, at 11AM. Visitation from 10AM-10:45AM in the church narthex until the time of the services. Private burial for family at Holy Cross Cemetery. Una Mamma Italiana E’Una Benedizione Di Dio.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests having a Memorial Mass held in Carmela’s name.