It is with overwhelming sadness that the family of Mrs. Nunziatta Maddalena Perna (nee Silvano) announce her peaceful passing at the T.B.R.H.S.C from a lengthy illness on Tuesday December 5, 2017 at the age of 83.
Maddalena, as she was known to her friends, had such a lust for life that was present in everything she did. Born in Roccalinola, Naples, Italy, she met her true love Michele Perna and they married and had three children Maria, Felicetta and, the sparkle in her eye, Nick. In 1966 she boarded a plane with the three young children to come to Canada, a country she had never seen to make a new life with her husband. She got a job to help purchase their first home, not knowing a word of English but watched “The Young and the Restless” and learned. She had such a pleasant outlook on life that she made lifelong friends everywhere she went. She was always smiling, joking around, and the first to want to try new things. She enjoyed going on road trips with her daughters to Duluth or doing a casino run, family parties, bingo with her ladies group at St. Dominic's, baking and cooking traditional dishes and sharing them with friends, or helping Michele in the garden. When her daughters Maria & Felicetta (Phyllis) opened their own flower shop, she was always there to lend a hand to decorate halls for weddings or anything else that needed to be done. Her son Nick became a respiratory Therapist and then a cardiac profusionist at the Hamilton General. She was so proud of her children's achievements and never failed to tell them. She had a great gift with children and she took on babysitting Danielle Thompson, Robert Savela, and Jackson Dubinsky. She reveled in being a Nonna to them until she was blessed with her own grandchildren Alexandra and Matthew. She knew how to spoil them and was amazed at how perfect they were, smart, kind, polite, and so loving. As they grew, so did her love for them - they were her world. She had said that she was so fortunate to meet her great grandson Ethan Bailey this past July and wished he had lived closer so she could have seen him more, maybe making him some of Nonna's special spaghetti & meatballs that all her kids went home with. Her loving nature made her everyone's mom/Nonna, a joy to be around, someone who would do anything for family or a friend, and always saw the good in everyone and everything around her.
Maddalena is survived by her devoted husband of 60 years Michele Perna, loving daughters Maria & Phyllis Perna, daughter in law LeeAnn Rogerson Perna, treasured grandchildren Alexandra and Matthew Perna, and great grandson Ethan Bailey. Brother Carmen and Carmela Silvano (Italy), Sister in law Maria Silvano (Italy), Brother in law Tony and Teresa Perna, brother in law Bartolomeo and Janine Perna, Sister in law Caroline and Antonio Vacchiano, sister in law Immaculata Foglia, sister in law Veneranda and Felice Cavezza and numerous nieces and nephews both in Thunder Bay and Italy also survive.
Maddalena was predeceased by her beloved son Nick just a short 5 months ago, her parents Domenic and Maria Felicia Silvano, brother Domenic and sister in law Lucia Silvano, brother Vincenzo and Giovanna Silvano, brother Bartolomeo Silvano, sister Filomena and Franco Maietta, nephew Renato Mena, and dearest niece Anna Silvano.
Funeral services for the Late Mrs. Nunziatta Maddalena Perna will be held on Saturday, December 9, 2017, with family and friends gathering in St. Dominic's Roman Catholic Church for the Funeral Mass at 10:30 a.m., celebrated by Father Maurizio Maifredi. Entombment will follow in Sunset Memorial Gardens. Visitation will be held one hour prior to service time.
Should friends so desire, donations may be made in memory of Maddalena to the Canadian Diabetes Association or a charity of your choice and would be greatly appreciated.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the Westfort Chapel, 420 West Gore St. At James.