It is with heavy hearts the family of Maria Celisa DaRosa of Thunder Bay announce her passing at St. Joseph’s Hospice on March 11, 2018 at the age of 65. Born in Algarve, Portugal on November 14, 1952 to Maria Guiomar and John Martin Graca. Maria immigrated with her family in June of 1958 to Sarnia then moved to Thunder Bay two years later. It was here that she met the love of her life Henrique DaRosa whom she married on December 31, 1967. They enjoyed 35 year together before the tragic loss of Henrique.
Maria attended Gron Morgan High School before moving on to several jobs which included Bamboo Gardens where she worked for 25 years. She then set aside her job to help raise her grandchildren before returning back to work at Aramark (Lakehead University Campus) until 2011 when she retired. Maria absolutely enjoyed cooking and baking and would spend hours preparing meals for her family and friends. When Maria wasn’t in the kitchen she would enjoy watching cooking shows, gardening and watching her children and grandchildren grow.
She will be sadly missed by the members of the birthday club which she found great comfort and friendship amongst her closest friends. In her later years she fell in love with cruising the Caribbean Seas as well as visiting cities such as Toronto, St. Catherines and Las Vegas. Maria dealt with many difficulties in her life including the loss of a husband but it was her struggle with cancer that ultimately led to her death. Her battle with cancer lasted a short six months but in that time she fought courageously and never lost her faith. She was a long time member of St. Anthony’s Roman Catholic Church and the Portuguese Association of Thunder Bay.
Maria will be sadly missed by her mother Maria Guiomar Graca; children Elizabeth Pavao, Nancy (Tom) Giesen and Rosemarie Long; grandchildren Stephanie Pavao, Jessica Giesen, Kodie Long, Christopher Pavao and Karlie Long; great grandchild Colton Giesen-Racine; brothers and sisters Cidalia (Adrian) Alves, Albert (Ruth) Graca, Tony (Samatha) Graca, Irene (Germain) Cuartas, Sullivan (Catharine) Graca and Mario (Michelle) Graca; sisters-in-law Maria Costa and Oldlia Machado; numerous nieces, nephews and other relatives survive. Maria was predeceased by her father John Martin Graca; brother Dennis Graca, brothers and sisters-in-laws Luis & Paulina DaRosa, Manuel & Aldina DaRosa, Joe and Gilda DaRosa, Jamie Costa, Joe Machado and Olivia & Joe Reis of Portugual; nephew Mario DaRosa.
Funeral services for the late Mrs. Maria DaRosa will be held on Wednesday, March 14, 2018, leaving the EVEREST FUNERAL CHAPEL, 299 Waverley Street at Algoma, at 9:30 am for the Funeral Mass at 10:00 am in St. Anthony’s Roman Catholic Church celebrated by Fr. Luigi Filippini. Interment will follow in St. Andrew's Cemetery. Visitation will be Tuesday evening in the EVEREST FUNERAL CHAPEL, 299 Waverley Street at Algoma after 6:00 PM, with Vigil Prayers offered at 7:00 PM in the Chapel. If friends so desire, donations made to the Northern Cancer Fund or St. Joseph's Care Group-Hospice would be greatly appreciated.