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January 6, 1928-January 26, 2021
It is with great sadness that we announce the peaceful passing of our mother, grandmother and great grandmother Maria Lao on January 26, 2021 at the age of 93 at St. Boniface Hospital.
Maria will be lovingly remembered by daughter Dina LaForges, son Sal Lao(Ibi), grandchildren Annette Loewen, Mark LaForges(Teresa), Dave Lao(Meghan), Amanda Lao (Andrew), Natasha Lao (Joe) Great-grandchildren Ethan, Gavin, Isabella, Rocco and Delle. She also leaves to morn her sister Licia LoVetri, her brother Francesco Catanese (Santina). In-laws Sebastian Lao, Nunzio Lao (Rosa), Gaetano Lao (Vicenza), Santina Lao, Teresa Lao, Salvatore Pagliuca, also numerous nieces, nephews, grand nephews, grand nieces, cousins and friends in Winnipeg, Belgium and Italy. Maria was predeceased by her loving husband Girolamo Lao of 58 years in 2012, her sister Gina Giordano in 1985 and sister Congetta Collerone in 2018.
Maria Lao was born in Calascibetta, Enna, Sicily on January 6, 1928 to Nunzio and Assunta Catanesse. Maria was the second eldest of five children and grew up during World War II. During those stressful times Maria had to make many sacrifices and developed lifelong skills and values that made her an independent woman. She was strong willed and determined to fight through the most difficult situation without any complaints and always relied on her faith in God.
In 1954 Maria married Girolamo in Belgium. Times were difficult with very few economic opportunities. In 1956 they left Belgium and moved to Canada seeking a more prosperous life. Together they worked very hard to build a new life in Winnipeg by overcoming similar economic difficulties, language barrier and managing to learn new skills to provide for their family. Things were falling into place when a serious life threatening work related accident put Girolamo in the hospital for almost eight months. Maria had the strength to overcome this obstacle by arranging to work from home while taking care of her children.
Maria worked in the garment industry most of her life until she retired from Sterling Stall Industries to babysit her grandchildren. Her life revolved around family who she always looked out for selflessly. She enjoyed sewing leather jackets for the family, gardening and cooking traditional Italian dishes and offered food relentlessly to family and friends. Some of the family favorites that she made were ravioli with ricotta, vota vota, banata, pizza and bread to name a few and there was always plenty.
Mom/ Nonna, words cannot describe how much you will be missed. You were the rock, the strength and always gave us all unconditional love. You were our superwoman. As you would say “hard times create strong women and strong women create good times” You lead by example and we thank you for everything that you brought into our lives, and we will cherish your memory until we meet again.
The family would like to thank the staff at Prime Care Misericordia Hospital and Poseidon Long-Term Care Centre for their dedicated care and compassion towards Maria. Mass of the Resurrection will be held on Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at Holy Rosary Roman Catholic Church, 510 River Ave., Winnipeg, MB, Condolences will be offered at 10:30 am, Funeral Mass at 11:00 am, Rev. Father Sam Argenziano presiding. Due to COVID restriction the mass will be limited to immediate family members only. Live-streaming of the mass will be made available on the Holy Rosary https://youtu.be/P1pk1s70p1o. Entombment to follow at Assumption Cemetery, Queen of Heaven Mausoleum, 3900 Portage Ave. on Tuesday, February 2, 2021.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Canadian Diabetes Association.
For online condolences or to light a memorial candle please log on to www.mosaicfunerals.ca