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Maria Baldacchino, 89, of Carrolltown, passed away at home on October 5, 2023, surrounded by her daughters. Born December 22, 1933, in Portopalo Sicily Italy, the daughter of Paolo Francesco and Guiseppina (Lupo) Scala. She was preceded in death by her parents; first husband, Salvatore Scala, who died in 1962; second husband, James E. Baldacchino, who died December 22, 1993; son, Corrado "Charlie" Scala; and siblings, Gaetana Campisi (Gaetano), Sebastiana Scala (Corrado), Vincenzo Scala, and Corradina Cernigliaro (Guiseppe), nephews Frank Cernigliaro and Salvatore Scala, Philip Baldacchino, Vincent Baldacchino, and Joseph Mezzelo, great-nephew Guiseppe Cernigliaro, parents-in-law Guiseppe and Dina (Guarnieri) Baldacchino, brothers-in-law Dr. Joseph F. Baldacchino (Sarah), Dr. Philip Baldacchino (Margie), Anthony Baldacchino, and sisters-in-law Cettina Scala and Josephine (Baldacchino) Mezzelo.
Survived by daughters, Salvatrice Kelly (Mark), Murrysville; Dina J. Micco (Gary), Ebensburg; Marialena Hervert (Frank), Pittsburgh; Francesca Mavridis (Savas), Johnstown; Corradina "Corry" Baldacchino-Harker (Ian), Cypress, TX; grandchildren, Mark Kelly Jr. (Emily), Madeleine Kelly-Midler (Chase), Gabriel Corrado Kelly, Vincenzo Micco, Domenico Micco, Isabella Hervert, Gabriella Hervert, Angelina Mavridis, Natalia Mavridis, Sofia Mavridis, Giada Harker and Luca Harker; great-grandson, Finn Roman Midler, brothers Gaetano Scala (Teresa) and Sebastiano Scala, sisters-in-law Turina Scala, Mary Lou (Columbus) Baldacchino and numerous nieces and nephews.
Family and friends will be received from 2:00 - 8:00 p.m. Monday, October 9, 2023, at Moriconi Funeral Home, Inc., Northern Cambria. Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday at St. Benedict Catholic Church. Fr. Michael Gabler, OSB, celebrant. Committal, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Cemetery family mausoleum.
In honor of her niece Sister Marita Cecelia “Dina Marie Baldacchino”, donations can be made to Carmel of St. Thérèse of Lisieux Discalced Carmelite Nuns, Loretto, Pa by navigating to the following link: Carmel of St. Thérèse of Lisieux Discalced Carmelite Nuns, Loretto, Pa.
Maria was born in Portopalo, Sicily, Italy and was one of seven siblings. Fashion was her passion. After completing only the 3rd grade, she was an apprentice to a couture seamstress, where she learned how to create clothing based on the shape of individual body types. She immigrated to Canada by boat in 1957 with her first husband, Salvatore, and her infant son, Charlie. In Canada, she worked for Creative Sportswear and Carriage Trade Fashion LTD, where she sewed the Pendleton label, among other famous brands. After becoming a widow, she immigrated to the United States when she married her second husband, Jim. Maria worked tirelessly from her home in Carrolltown as a seamstress and at the former Carol-Ann Fashions in Hastings, Pa, where she sewed the Liz Claiborne line and other famous American clothing lines. She was a member of the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union (ILGWU) in both Canada and the United States. Maria was well known for her hard work ethic and her amazing sewing skills. She could create any outfit you asked of her, usually without a pattern. She sewed complete outfits for all of her family (brothers, sisters, children, extended family) and friends. She made perfect alterations and could completely take apart a garment and put it back together the “correct” way. She was never afraid to share her honest opinion with you about what looked good on you. While raising 6 children, she also ran a successful rental company, where she would manage and lease out apartments and a rental house.
Maria loved to cook, bake bread, and keep a clean house. You couldn’t leave her house without a full belly and some food or fresh baked bread to take home with you. Even if you weren’t hungry, you were still going to eat! She had a green thumb for growing vegetables and, every August, she would can a huge crop of tomatoes for making her delicious spaghetti sauce. Not only did she love to grow vegetables, she became passionate about flowers as a young girl, which was apparent in the many flower beds that adorn her home and the vases of flowers inside her house.
She enjoyed cake, ice cream, cookies and a good cup of hot coffee, especially when sharing them with family and friends. She was always complimenting others and telling them how beautiful and good they were. She had a knack for turning a name into an Italian one, if it wasn’t already Italian! In her free time, she loved to watch Dr. Oz, The Price is Right, Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune, and many cooking shows.
But above of all of these things, she had a strong and unwavering love for her family and devout belief in her Catholic faith. She was a long-time member of St. Benedict Catholic Church in Carrolltown and loved to volunteer her time to the church. She was always praying for family, friends, and strangers alike. With lipstick on and her purse clutched in hand, she looked forward to riding the CamTran bus several times a week to see “the kids.” She lived a simple and frugal life to provide for her loved ones. Maria was always worried about her family and friends, and now that her job on Earth is done, she can rest in peace.
We are grateful that she had wonderful care and support at the end of her life provided by Courtney and Michelle with Asera Care Hospice and by the caregivers in her home: Amy, Aubri, Christina, Marie (aka Yolanda), Kayla, Martha, Sherri, Stephanie, Susie, and Tina. We would also like to say a very special thank you to Eileen Graham for coordinating all of Maria’s caregiving needs, Mark Jr., Emily and Domenic for going the extra mile as grandchildren and helping caregivers when the need arose, and Niccola Henry for always going out of her way to make sure that mom’s hair was looking its best.