Maria Fiorenza of Thornwood, New York formerly of Valhalla passed away on Sunday, May 10, 2020 in her 85th year.
Born February 25, 1935 in Corleone, Sicily, Italy, she was the daughter of the late Gaetano and Gioacchina Castro. She was predeceased by her three brothers, Joseph, Carmelo and Giovanni Casto.
She is survived by her loving husband of 63 years, Gaspare Fiorenza. She left behind three sons, John Fiorenza of Bronx, NY, Gaetano Fiorenza and wife, Brigida of Thornwood, NY, Anthony Fiorenza and wife, AnnMarie of Hawthorne, NY and only daughter Maria Corrao and husband Christopher of Thornwood, NY.
Maria leaves to cherish her memories to 11 grandchildren; Gaspare (Rino) and wife, Nicole, Victoria and husband, Kevin, Mariangela, Ashley, Annie, Gaspare, Anthony, Joseph, JonPeter, Francesco and Gaetano and one great grand-daughter, Mila Fiorenza. She leaves behind loving moments with her many nieces and nephews.
Maria was a devoted wife and mother. She enjoyed gardening, making arancinis and was an avid seamstress.
As if saying goodbye to a loved one isn’t difficult enough, Grandma’s passing unfortunately
had to come during a time where a proper wake and burial isn’t allowed. However, I take
comfort in knowing that the people here today are the ones that meant the most to Grandma.
Grandma meant many things to many people. She had a few different names; Maria, Ma,
Grandma, Great Grandma and Mamma Maria, but for me, it was simply Grandma. She will
forever play these roles in our lives but now from up above as she watches over all of us.
I think about this often and think that it is important to remember that Grandma and Grandpa
come from a different time; a time where taking a chance or making a sacrifice was an absolute
life altering decision. Grandma took a chance to leave all that she knew and got on a boat to
come to New York, without Grandpa mind you, for a chance at a better life for herself. For this,
we are thankful to the both of you!
Grandma loved taking care of her house and her family. She spent so much time in her
garden and was proud of her fresh vegetables and herbs. I remember when I worked with
Grandpa, Grandma always made sure to stop us for lunch. She would make us a simple turkey
sandwich but it was of course topped with the best slice of tomato from her garden.
When I was younger, Grandma always made sure that I had enough to drink and to eat.
Whether it be making me countless English muffins or pouring me a glass of ginger ale, she
never hesitated to do it. Anytime my dad and I went to grandma and grandpa’s house to shovel
the snow, I would sneak upstairs to warm up and, oddly enough, I would drink a fresh glass of
orange juice filled with ice that Grandma had made me.
Who could forget Grandma’s famous arancinis that she would always make for us? I never
personally took part in making them with Grandma, but I know many of you have. They were
always delicious, and I enjoyed eating them at every party. Every time we had a party or an
occasion, Grandma loved seeing us all together. She especially loved watching Mila grow over
the past two years. Mila was always someone who could put a huge smile on Grandma’s face.
Grandma has left behind a close knit family, which I know was important to her and
Grandpa. I will never forget every Sunday visit with Grandma and every birthday that she
celebrated with me. Grandma, I know that you will forever be with all of us in everything that we
Rest In Peace.
Private family funeral services will be held on Saturday, May 16, 2020 at Pleasant Manor Funeral Home, Inc. 575 Columbus Avenue Thornwood, New York 10594. Entombment in her family crypt at Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, New York will follow on Saturday. A memorial mass will be held in Maria’s honor and will be announced at a later date.
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