Orlandina (Giovanna, Nina) Di Maio (nee Vendraminetto). long and wonderful life ended on January 31st 2020, in Toronto, at the age of 86. She passed away due to complications from Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) following a fall in early January where she had fractured her pelvis.
Orlandina was born in a small town outside of Venice named Quarto D'Altino. Venice is where she grew up and was the setting of all of the stories and parables she often told.
Having lost her father, Costante, at the age of 19 she remained very close to her dear mother Concetta (Aurelia) until her death in Toronto in 1990. The second of 5 children she took care of her elder brother Armando, younger brothers Severino and Mario, and most beloved, the youngest child, her sister Erminia. She was the last of her family having lost all of her siblings by the year 2019.
A very modern thinker and independent young woman she worked in Venice in shoe sales where, in the summer Olympics of 1960, she would meet and fall in love with a very dashing Sicilian barber, Antonio Di Maio. Six months after meeting they married and were together for 59 years!
In their early lives they lived in Lucerne, Switzerland to be close to family and this is where they welcomed their first dearest daughter Sabrina. Antonio having dreams of owning his very own barbershop and took his small family to Canada in 1967 where they lived in Toronto, Corso Italia for many years. They greeted dear daughter Sonia in early 1968 who was soon followed by lovely twin girls Giovanna and Giuseppina. You could find the young family in and around St. Clair and down town Toronto exploring their new home city every Sunday. Orlandina said that she was like a mother goose looking after her little chicks, constantly counting 1, 2, 3, 4 in her mind. The family moved several times but always lived within the GTA. She was fluent in her Venetian dialect and was not fond of learning English.
In Toronto she had worked as a cashier in a grocery store Darigo's. She is better recognized as a very talented seamstress and connoisseur of shoes; she exuded her own style from a young age. She'd always be the last one in the car at family outings and will always be remembered for the scent of Chanel N*5 that would envelope her. A very doting mother, she made clothes for all of her daughters and could create magic with scraps of fabric. Often she would stay up the night before just to complete a dress for the next day of school.
She was an incredible cook and avid gardener. Absolute in her choice of ingredients and recipes, her lasagna and biscotti are legendary. A great reader and very religious woman. She felt very close to Pope Giovanni XXIII and would often pray to him for guidance saying he was like a personal Saint for her. She was the keeper of stories, so many stories, about her childhood, siblings, parents, grandparents, cousins, and friends.
Orlandina is survived by her loving husband Antonio. Antonio's siblings Franco, his daughters Maria Giovanna and Rosanna. Her sister in law Anna Maria, her husband Enzo and their children Manuela and Filipo. And finally, her brother in law Paolo and sister in law Silvia.
The daughters she adored, Sabrina, Sonia, Giovanna (Joanne) and Giuseppina (Josie) and dear Son-in-laws David married to Josie and Shawn spouse to Joanne.
She was the most beloved and proud Nonna to grandchildren, David and Josie's Luke and Benjamin, Sonia's Emma, and Shawn and Joanne's Logan.
A second mother to her nephews Luca, and Stephano and her dear, dear, nieces Mara, Cinzia, Patrizia and Serena, all their spouses and children.
Thank you to the very kind staff at St. Joseph Hospital for their care and support in the last hours of her life. In lieu of flowers the family would appreciate donations to the Canadian Lung Association.
She was the matriarch of a small, very close knit family, who all feel this significant loss and miss her very much.
Piangere o ridere non fa nulla differenza; coraggio! Laughing or crying will not make a difference; courage!