COLUMBIA — Melinda Maiorino was respected for her work ethic, love of family and commitment to gaining financial resources. Her vibrant demeanor and spontaneous, funny songs will be remembered by all.
"She was a woman of wonder, a giver of life," her daughter, Renata Maiorino, said. "She told me to always take care of myself, be strong and that I could accomplish anything."
Melinda Maiorino of Ashland died Sunday, Sept. 25, 2011. She was 91.
She was born Jan. 24, 1920, in Fireco, W.Va., to Leonardo and Biagia DiVita Puglisi.
During the Depression, her family returned to Enna, Italy, to live and work. During World War II, she worked alongside her mother, sister Franca and other family.
She managed sales and handled the bookkeeping in a jointly owned tailor and seamstress business with her sister. She worked hard to bring her daughter to America.
"When I was eight, she took me to the consulate to get my passport. She smiled, looked at me and said, 'You're going to America,'" said Renata Maiorino. "This is when I knew I could do whatever I wanted to do."
Through her mother, Renata Maiorino said she was able to be more confident and more insightful. She was also able to enjoy every moment of her life.
"The night before she passed, she placed a hand on my face and caressed it for a few minutes. This was her way of saying it would be okay."
Melinda Maiorino is survived by her daughter, Renata Maiorino; four nephews, Leo DiVita and Giovanni DiVita, both of Italy, Lucian Guasto and his wife, Maureen, and Lenny Puglisi, all of Florida; and two nieces, Louise Romeo and Jeannie Jaworski and her husband,Craig , all of Florida.
Services will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 1115 Locust St.
Condolences may be posted at parkerfuneralservice.com. Memorial contributions may also be posted through stjude.org or sent to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.