Marianna Pileggi (nee Cina)
Marianna was born on March 13, 1936 in San Nicola da Crissa, Vibo Valentia, Calabria (Catanzaro), Italy. She was the second child born to 10 children. Her parents were Domenico and Felicia Cina. Marianna came to Canada on December 18, 1953 and landed at Pier 21 in Halifax along with her cousin Vicenza Cosentino and 18 other villagers at the age of 17. Her father Domenico had called for her to come to Toronto and she was one of the first of his children to arrive here, hoping for a better life. She often talked about those early years – themes were around how cold it was here, how isolated and lonely she felt at first, how hard it was to learn English, and how she missed her home-made food and vegetables from back home. She learned to adapt to life in Canada, but she always said she missed the simple farm life she had at home. When she left Italy, many of her siblings were much younger, and she missed seeing them grow up.
When she arrived in Canada, she got a job at a peanut factory at Christie and Dupont and learned English from the ladies she worked with. She married her husband Vito Pileggi on April 7, 1956, then had two children Lorenzo and Rosa. She became a homemaker and her world revolved around the church and her family. She enjoyed gardening, listening to music and cooking. She also loved canaries and owned many of them over the years. She loved dogs too and in her last months of life, enjoyed petting and playing with Rosie, her granddaughter’s beagle. She didn’t have much formal education, but could banter and debate with her doctors or others who had far more education than she did.
She did have many health-related issues over the years, but she always maintained a strong faith that God would see her through all those challenges. She defined success as having a home, a family, food on the table and health above all else. She was the family’s rock and anchor. She lost her beloved husband Vito to cancer on January 29, 2007. She always missed him, and she had a hard time coping in the first several years after his death. Her son Lorenzo took care of her for many years, tending to all her needs. Marianna found strength in her strong faith in God and learned to live her life without him. She developed signs of dementia and memory issues into her 80’s and she lost the ability to do some things for herself, but she was always upbeat, calling her daughter and granddaughter every day to see how they were doing.
In early October 2021 she fell and broke her arm. Several days later, she broke her hip. She fell again once in a nursing home and broke her leg. After two major surgeries to repair all the damage, along with being confined to her bed, she continued to lose her strength. She eventually developed sepsis, an infection from which she could not recover. She died peacefully on Friday April 8, 2022 at approximately 10:24 PM, surrounded by her family, who gathered to hold her hand at the very end.
Marianna was a wonderful mother and grandmother and is survived by her son Lorenzo, her daughter Rosa (Bryon), her granddaughter Sophia.
April 18, 2022
Cardinal Funeral Home Bathurst Chapel
02:00 PM - 04:00 PM
Prayers 2:30 pm
April 18, 2022
Cardinal Funeral Homes - Bathurst Chapel
06:00 PM - 09:00 PM
April 19, 2022
St. Francis of Assissi Catholic Church
April 19, 2022
Burial time is approximate