On Saturday, February 27th, 2021 our beautiful, precious mother Carmelina (nee Polillo), in her 88th year passed away peacefully in our arms with dignity and grace. She is now free of pain and suffering, home with her Lord and Saviour, Jesus, and happily reunited with Giovanni, her beloved husband of 60 years.
Carmelina’s greatest source of joy was her family. Her devotion enriched the lives of her children, grandchildren, brothers and sisters and nieces and nephews. Her affectionate and loving ways touched the lives of all those who knew her. Carmelina’s most cherished memories were of growing up and working alongside her grandparents and relatives on the family farm in Spezzano Piccolo, Calabria. She enjoyed sharing her Sicilian cuisine with loved ones as well as singing her favourite Italian songs with that angelic voice for others to appreciate.
Adored mother of Antoinette (Rolf) Schneider, Philip (Sharon) and Frank (Cheryl). Loving Nonna of Jason (Marta), Paul (Jessica), Lauren, Stephanie, John, Julia and Francesca, and great-Nonna to Valentina, Luca, Sienna, Christian and Gia. Dear and special sister to Tonina and Gennarino Lamacchia (predeceased) Gaetano and Caroline Polillo (predeceased), Anna and Manlio Alfano, and Frank and Maria Polillo and by her parents Lucia and Pietro Polillo (predeceased)
Carmelina will be deeply missed by all her cherished nieces, nephews, cousins and friends in Canada and Italy.
Some of the strongest memories of our Nonna are of her kissing the photos of her deceased family members before she went to sleep, as well as Jesus, Mary, and Padre Pio. She would spend at least 10 minutes before bed dedicating herself to the remembrance of these loved ones and how special they were to her. This action says a lot about the person she was: one who loved everyone passionately and unconditionally, with her whole heart.
She was gracious, generous and accepting; quick to show people mercy and give them grace. She was wise and sensitive, and her smile was the biggest and brightest. Her laugh was infectious, and I don’t like to use the word was, because I can still hear it in my head. She loved to laugh and joke, make other people laugh, and was excellent at doing impressions and telling stories. She didn’t take life too seriously, however, that all changed when she had a task to do. She was focused and meticulous- a person of excellence. Everything she did or made, whether it was a meal or a craft, she put her all into it.
She tried her best in all that she did, and even when she could barely walk anymore because of her weak bones and arthritis, she still pushed herself to do things on her own, like walk to the bathroom or fold her clothes on her bed. She suffered many years with pain, anxiety and discomfort but she always had the strength and will to persevere.
Carmelina Polillo was the oldest of 5 and lost two young sisters. She grew up on a farm in Calabria and worked hard on the land her family owned, picking chestnuts, and caring for their animals. When she met her husband Giovanni, she moved to Messina, Sicily and started a family, after 15 years she moved to Canada with her husband and their 3 children, to join the rest of her family who had immigrated there. She worked hard at her job and making a life for her family. She adored her children and grandchildren, animals, gardening and anything and everything beautiful or shiny. She was amazing with her hands and created crafts and meatballs, pizza di Natale, lasagna and polpettone that were the best you ever tasted. She was also the only grandmother I knew that didn’t miss a Friday night WWE smack down.
Singing was her true passion and she wanted so badly to pursue lessons as a child but never got the opportunity which disappointed her deeply. Her voice was unique and beautiful, and she dreamed of being a singer. Unfortunately, she was only able to finish Grade One as her education was interrupted by the war, and she lived through many hardships and difficult times, but her family was her support and her everything.
Our Nonna was so affectionate, and we will miss her big hugs, plump lips, butterfly kisses and angelic voice. As well as her loving and tender touch, and her genuine compassion for everyone. She was short and funny, sassy and cute, and distinguishably one of a kind. Her strength and ability to love unconditionally and always do the right thing came from her total trust in God, and she worshipped him with her every being. She made it her priority to honour Him and do good, and we are comforted knowing she is now free any suffering and enjoying His special place for her in paradise.
A private Funeral Mass was held on Wednesday March 3rd /21 at St. Basils Parish, followed by Interment at St. Joseph’s Cemetery. Arrangements entrusted to the TOLL FUNERAL HOME, 55 Charing Cross Street, Brantford. In lieu of flowers donations in memory of Carmelina Boncoddo can be made to the:
Cancer Society - online - www.cancer.ca or call 1-888-939-3333
Alzheimer Brant - online – www.alzhn.ca or call 519-759-7692