elevated mGJTM Teresina Marrelli
elevated mGJTM June 10, 1928 – March 18, 2021
elevated mGJTM Teresina (Cassano) Marrelli is a part of Canada’s immigrant legacy and history. She came from a family of eight. Her parents, (late) Francesco (Antonio) Cassano & Rosina Gallo, and siblings, (late) Pasquale Cassano (Ida), Lina Gagliardi (Mario), (late) Michele Cassano (Alda), (late) Emma Cassano (late Mario), Ida Perfetti (Carlo), Mario Cassano (Ida), Vincenzo Cassano (Maria Teresa) formed her strength and foundation in the small town of Malito, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy.
elevated mGJTM Italian soap operas are very popular on Telelatino. Parallel to many of these exciting and dramatic storylines, Teresina played her part. In the old country she lived an idyllic, agrarian life. Rising with the sun and toiling on the land to yield a rich harvest and an honest day’s work. We all know that all work and no play makes a dull life, especially on a farm. As is typical on farms they are bordered by fences. Such fences come in handy for looking over at one’s neighbours. In one such observance, Teresina’s eyes met the fiery and steely gaze of one (late) Francesco Marrelli, who happened to be climbing a tree looking for bird’s eggs. Alas, they were divided by a fence. A sturdy and mighty fence that had stood for generations, outlining the borders of one’s property, rights, and dominion. However, fences are made for jumping. Apparently the fences in this part of Italy are not very effective. On April 6, 1949 Teresina Cassano became Teresina Marrelli. The fence continued to be relatively ineffectual. On January 20, 1950 the fence-gazers gave birth to their first son Eugenio “Jimmy”, their second son Giuseppe “Joe”, on March 1st, 1951, then Antonio “Tony” on February 4th, 1953. Teresina and Francesco had nullified the purpose of the fence. However, at this point in Cosenza fence technology renaissance was one that brought back the former glory of what fences were supposed to do… for a few short years anyway. On September 18th 1957 their last son Mario was born. Fence-gazers are hard to keep apart.
elevated mGJTM In 1963, following her husband who had come four months prior, she flew across the ocean to her new home in Toronto. She is one of the 75% of Italian immigrants to have come from Italy’s rural south in Canadian history.
elevated mGJTM As with many immigrants of her time, Teresina found work and began to build a better future for her offspring. She landed a job at the Reliable Toy Company, a company that was founded in 1920. By 1935, at 72,000 sqft., it had become the largest toy factory in the British Empire. It was located at 258 Carlaw Avenue, not far from their family home. It was also the first toy company to make plastic toys in Canada. She spent her days making dolls.
elevated mGJTM Work schedules and family did not always agree. Because of her work hours she would call home to ask the boys to begin dinner by putting sauce on the stove. Despite the challenges of being a new immigrant she found a way to impress the significance of family values and the importance of helping out on her children, values carried over the fence and farm from her home in Italy.
elevated mGJTM In addition to contributing to the economic engine of Canada, Teresina also brought Italian culture from her home town of Malito, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy. Her passion for cooking was well-known and her boys would often fight over her Torta di Ricotta. There’s nothing quite like mom’s cooking.
elevated mGJTM As life went on many fences were jumped. Her four boys gave her 10 grandchildren: Stephanie Zambri (Matt), Mark Marrelli (Anessa), Laurie D’Urzo (Joe), Teresa Marrelli (Daniel), Vanessa Mazzotta (Dan), Lisa Marrelli (Hoa), Tania Pagliocca (Tony), Christopher Marrelli (Christina), Michelle Morra (late – Tony), and Polly Russo (Frank). Her grandchildren, in turn, gave her 20 great-grandchildren. Julia & Leo, Erika & Chelsea, Adelyn & Kaelyn, Matthew & Brandon, Noah, Owen & Laila, Rocco & Luca, Ella & James, Olivia, Jordan & Michael, and Ryan & Rachel. Each one of them carries the importance of family and giving back.
elevated mGJTM Her legacy will continue in this country and contribute to its future.
elevated mGJTM If desired, donations to the Unionville Home Society Foundation, would be appreciated by the family.
Family and friends are invited to view the Funeral Mass on Wednesday March 24, 2021 at 12:00 p.m. Please click the link below to view.