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In Loving Memory of Francesca Serrano Spinella, 101, of Mineral Ridge, passed away on Thursday July 20, 2023 at her residence surrounded by her close family and caregiver, Victoria.
Francesca Serrano Spinella was born in Girard, Ohio on November 28, 1921, and moved to Reggio Calabria, Italy with her family at nine months old. She was raised on a farm with her loving mother, father, and eleven siblings.
Francesca was not only a mother and grandmother to her own family but a beloved Nonna to everyone she encountered. However, before embracing this cherished role, she lived a life filled with remarkable experiences and accomplishments.
As a young girl, Francesca was determined to pursue an education, which led her to a Catholic convent. There, she enhanced her intellectual curiosity and developed a deep spiritual connection that would guide her throughout her life. This foundation of faith and knowledge laid the groundwork for her future endeavors.
During the tumultuous years of World War II, Francesca and her family personally experienced the devastating effects of the war. However, even in the midst of their own suffering, Francesca's compassionate heart remained steadfast. Despite enduring hardships themselves, Francesca tirelessly sewed for the war-stricken people of Italy and fed the starving, offering them much- needed warmth, comfort, and a glimmer of hope. Her selfless actions during this dark period exemplified her unwavering dedication to supporting those in need, even when faced with her own struggles.
In search of new opportunities and a better future, Francesca made the brave decision to migrate to the United States. Leaving behind her familiar surroundings and loved ones, she embarked on a journey filled with hope and dreams. With resilience and determination, she embraced her new home.
She pursued a career as a professional seamstress, sewing customized clothing of her own designs. In the summer of 1952, she was introduced to her future husband, Vincent Spinella. They were true partners. They had three children and six grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren together while growing a real estate business.
While her role as Nonna brought immeasurable joy and love to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, it is important to remember the incredible journey that shaped her into the remarkable woman she became. From a young girl seeking education to a teenager sewing and feeding the war-stricken to a courageous immigrant building a new life, Francesca exemplified resilience, compassion, and the pursuit of a better future.
Francesca Serrano Spinella, Nonna to all, your spirit and determination will forever be etched in our hearts. May you find eternal peace, and may your memory continue to inspire us to live a life filled with love, kindness, and compassion.
She is survived by her three children, JoAnn (Joe) Natoli (Ohio), Mary Spinella (New Jersey), Carmen (Sherry) Spinella (Florida), her daughter-in-law Adella Spinella (Florida), her five grandchildren Christa Natoli Washington, DC), Dr.Angela Natoli (Ohio), Gina (Dan) Jones (Ohio), Francesca (John) Boot(Florida), and Nicholas Karalexis(New Jersey), her great-grandchildren Gianna and Alivia Jones (Ohio) and Waydin Boot(Florida), and her brother Guiseppe Serrano(Italy).
She was preceded in death by her parents Carmello and Antonella Serrano, her husband Vincent Spinella, her grandson, Vincent James Spinella, and siblings Victoria Serrano, Rose Serrano, Frank Calucci, Carmella Beggs, Lawrence Serrano, Pete Serrano, Anthony "Nino" Serrano, Catherine Ambrigio, Catherine Serrano, and Anna Ambrigio.
The family would like to thank Traditions Hospice (Joe, Christine, Cara, Heidi, Paula, and Demetria) and our amazing team of healthcare workers who stayed at Francesca's side working with the family. We are forever grateful to Victoria Wolverton, STNA; Marlin Gelonese, STNA; Lisa McGeary; and Paula Akin. True angels on earth. And a special thanks to Jonathan Cila-Faro, Italian opera tenor, who will sing at the funeral.
Friends may call from 9:30 to 10:30AM Wednesday at The Joseph Rossi and Sons Funeral Home in Niles. Mass of Catholic Burial will be held 11AM Wednesday at St Stephen Catholic Church in Niles. Burial will be in Niles City Cemetery. Friends and Family may join for lunch at Vernon’s café in Niles at 1:30 PM.
In her memory, the family kindly requests that in liu of flowers donations be made to Antoniano Institute of Fathers Rogazionisti, an organization close to her heart dedicated to supporting extremely poor, orphaned children in Italy.
Donations can be made online at https://www.antonianopd.it/la-tua-offerta/per-le-nostre-opere/ or by international mail at Via A.M. Of France, 32, 72024 Oria-BR.
Rest in eternal peace, Francesca. You will forever be cherished and remembered.
Arrangements handled by The Joseph Rossi and Sons Funeral Home in Niles.