Maria Zarrillo (nee Quagliata)
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July 28, 1928 – June 6, 2020
Our beloved mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother left us this past Saturday to be with her God. Maria was born in Balvano, Italy, and was one of 11 children. Maria and Domenico married in 1948 and had two children while still in Italy, Josephine and Andrew. In 1957 they immigrated to Winnipeg, where they added four more children to the family – Susanna, Viviana, Sonia, and Anita. Maria was predeceased by her husband Domenico in 1968 and raised her six children alone thereafter with the strength, love, and courage that few others could have mustered.
Maria is survived by her children Josephine (Michele D’Andrea), Andrew Zarrillo (Robyn Elsner), Susanna De Luca, Viviana Zarrillo (Jesse Collins), Sonia (Dugane Quon), and Anita Zarrillo (Bella), as well as seven grandchildren – Giuseppe D’Andrea (Catherine), Ryan De Luca (Madelaine), Adam De Luca (Catherine), Jennifer Berard (Taylor Cameron), Nick Berard, Matthew Berard, and Emily Quon – and one great-grandson, Michele D’Andrea. Maria was incredibly proud of her children’s, grandchildren’s, and great-grandson’s accomplishments – yet all of our successes were because of the sacrifices she made so that we had the opportunities she never had – and we always made sure she knew that. Maria is also is survived by two brothers in Italy, Gerardo and Vito, as well as numerous nieces, nephews, their spouses, and their children. We are all heartbroken by her passing, although we are comforted knowing that she has gone to be with her beloved mother, sisters, and brothers whom she deeply loved and missed.
Maria and her children lived for many years in East Kildonan, where she was a good friend to many neighbours and her summer garden was the envy of the neighbourhood. Maria lived at Villa Cabrini for almost 30 years where, as was her nature, she had many dear friends, was very active in the resident’s association, and served as the social convenor for many years. She was always ready to help organize events and was rarely in her suite. Maria was also fiercely independent and always prepared to help others, despite rarely accepting help herself. She was a proud Canadian citizen and always kept on top of civic, provincial, and national affairs, often calling her local representatives to advocate for her community – and when Maria talked, they listened. She was a force to be reckoned with.
Maria was a very spiritual person and a devout Catholic. She gave her time selflessly to her church – especially St. Alphonsus and Holy Rosary churches and the Catholic Women’s League. She also volunteered with countless organizations over her lifetime, particularly in her later years to L’Arche Winnipeg, the supportive community where our dear Anita lives.
Maria both loved and had the good fortune to travel widely – visiting New Guinea, Mexico, and Uruguay, as well as the USA and coast-to-coast in Canada. She spent much time in California with her son Andrew. With her kind nature and sharp sense of humour it never took long for Maria to attain a devoted following of friends. She was accepting of all cultures and peoples, regardless of origin, religious beliefs, ability, or gender expression/orientation, and instilled these beliefs of love and inclusion in her children.
The family is immensely grateful to the paramedics and to the St. Boniface Hospital ER staff who attended to Maria in her final hours with skill and compassion, especially Dr. Gelic who made Maria’s transition peaceful.
Goodbyes are only for those who love with their eyes. Because for those who love with heart and soul there is no such thing as separation.
Mass of the Resurrection will be held on Thursday, June 11, 2020 at Holy Rosary Roman Catholic Church, 510 River Ave. Winnipeg, MB, condolences will be offered at 10:00 am followed by a private funeral mass at 11:00 am, Rev. Father Sam Argenziano presiding. In keeping with COVID-19 health regulations, the number of people allowed in the church during visitation will be limited and we ask that people maintain physical distancing and precautions at all times.
Maria was not a pretentious woman and always preferred to give rather than receive. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in her name to L’Arche Winnipeg at https://www.larchewinnipeg.org/donate/
For online condolences or to light a memorial candle please log on to www.mosaicfunerals.ca