Obituary of Leona Priolo
January 1, 1928 - Bova Marina, Italy
September 24, 2022 - Calgary, Alberta, Canada
After gracing this earth for 94 beautiful years, Leona Giuseppa Priolo (nee Mafrica) passed away peacefully on Saturday, September 24, 2022, surrounded by loving family.
Leona was born in Bova Marina, Italy on January 1, 1928, and was raised on a farm close to Palizzi Superiore. On March 27, 1947, she married her love, Luigi Priolo. Luigi and Leona immigrated to Canada under the sponsorship of Luigi’s sister, Catherine Serani, and arrived in Canada on a cold winter day in February 1950, with their one-year-old daughter, Carmela. Within the next few years, they were blessed with three more children, Frank, Maria, and Angela. In 1959, Luigi and Leona took their family back to the old country, but soon after arrival, Luigi had a change of heart and they returned to Calgary the following year. After Luigi’s sudden passing in 1977, Leona lived the rest of her years in Bridgeland, Calgary, surrounded by her community of close-knit family and friends.
Leona was a devoted, loving, and giving wife, mother, sister, grandmother, aunt, and friend to so many. She cared deeply about everyone in her life, never forgot a face, and treated all with genuine kindness. She celebrated our joys and was sensitive to our challenges. She was generous, loving, and compassionate. Her passions included gardening, creating beautiful meals, feeding everyone who stepped through her door, and walking to Chinatown for her favorite food. Most of all, she loved spending time and celebrating special moments with family and friends.
Leona will lovingly be remembered by her daughters, Carmela Potorti and Angela Priolo; her son, Frank Priolo (Annette), son-in-law, Attilio Chiarastella, and her thirteen grandchildren, Carlo Potorti (Cheryl), Rita Astorino (Vic), Danny Chiarastella (Gemma), Michael Cortese (Theresa), Juliet Olivieri (Bruno), Luigi Cortese (Mirella), Marisa Newton (Aaron), Leona Wodynski (Shaun), Louis Priolo (Nicole), Bianca Cortese, Gina Priolo, Robert Chiarastella (Jocelyn) and Marco Chiarastella (Lisa). She is also survived by twenty-four great-grandchildren, her greatest source of pride and joy, and many cousins, nieces, and nephews in Canada and Italy. She was predeceased by her husband Luigi, daughter Maria, son-in-law Antonio, and nine siblings.
Those wishing to pay their respects may do so at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church (400 Edmonton Trail NE, Calgary, Alberta) on Thursday, September 29, 2022, at 10:00 a.m. Funeral Mass to follow at 11:00 a.m. Graveside Service to follow at St. Mary’s Cemetery (3157 Erlton Street SW). Reception to follow at the Calgary Italian Cultural Centre (416 – 1 Ave NE).
If friends so desire, memorial tributes in Leona’s name can be made directly to the Calgary Food Bank, 5000 11 Street SE, Calgary, AB T2H 2Y5, www.calgaryfoodbank.com/, 403-253-2059, a most fitting gift to carry on her tradition of giving love through giving food. Condolences, memories, and photos may be shared and viewed here.
In living memory of Leona Priolo, a tree will be planted in the Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area by McInnis & Holloway Funeral Homes, Chapel of the Bells, 2720 Centre Street North, Calgary, AB T2E 2V6, Telephone: 403-243-8200.