Mario De Somma of Calgary passed away on Thursday, December 20, 2007 at the age of 93.
Mario was born in Monteforte Irpino, Avellino, Italy. World events compelled him to spent much of his younger adult life -nearly eleven years- serving in the Italian Army in North and East Africa, and in Italy. With characteristically indomitable spirited optimism, he persevered the dire economic conditions prevalent in Southern Italy. On April 6, 1967, at the age of 53 he immigrated with his wife Emilia to Canada. Most of his working years were spent with the City of Calgary’ Parks Department.
” O’ Commendatore “, as Mario was widely and affectionately addressed, thrived on the constant ” chiaccherate ” ( chats ) with ” paesani ” or anyone else willing to engage. The gift of a lucid memory made Mario a repository of dates and events. The penchant for colourful and dramatic oratory made him a communicator of some renown. Language was no barrier: even non-Italian speakers seemed to connect with and appreciate his English-infused Italian.
Mario religiously kept alive the customs, traditions and cultural heritage of his native land to the very end of his life which he was fortunate to live out in his own house. Innately gregarious, genuinely hospitable, generous to family and friends, Mario, together with Emilia, created a loving home and passed on a legacy of doing what is just, what is fair and doing it with unflinching integrity.
Mario is survived by two sons and daughters-in-law, Antonio and Mery (nee De Iure), and Luigi and Joyce (nee Torjan), all of Calgary, four granddaughters, Emilia, Silvia, Elisea, and Maria-Giovanna. He is also survived by sisters-in-law, Luisa Fusco and Maria Lombardo (nee Fusco), both of Calgary, brother-in-law, Angelo Fusco of Milan, Italy, sister-in-law Filomena Fusco (nee Valentino) of Portici, Italy, a newphew Antonio (Jackie) Lombardo, nieces Emilia Lombardo and Elisabetta (Fioravante) Buonasorte, all of Calgary, and numerous nieces and nephews in Italy and the USA. He was predeceased by his parents Salvatore and Elisabetta ( nee De Sapio ), and all his siblings: Carolina, Maria ( Sabato Fusco ), Onofrio, Antonio ( Pasqualina ), Onofrio and Luisa.
Relatives and friends are invited to Prayers and Tributes at McINNIS & HOLLOWAYS Chapel of the Bells (2720 Centre Street North) on Sunday, December 23, 2007 at 7:00 P.M.
Funeral Mass will be celebrated at Our Lady of Grace Italian and English Catholic Church (1714 – 14th Avenue N.E.) on Monday, December 24, 2007 at 10:30 a.m. Graveside Service to follow at Queen’s Park Cemetery. Forward condolences through www.mcinnisandholloway.com. If friends so desire, memorial tributes may be made directly to the charity of the donor’s choice. The family extends sincere thanks to the staff at the Foothills Hospital especially Dr. McKenna, the staff in ER and
Unit 82, and to Dr. Savoia for the Special attention they gave Mario while he was in their care.
In living memory of Mario De Somma, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Chapel of the Bells, 2720 CENTRE STREET NORTH Telephone: (403) 276-2296.Print This Obituary & Condolences