Born in Gravina, province of Bari, Italy, a daughter of Michele and Maria Luigia (Pacella) Grassi, she grew up and lived in Italy until immigrating to Worcester with her family in 1958. She and her husband studied hard to become American citizens.
Living in Worcester and holding dual citizenship, Mrs. Sciannameo never forgot her Italian roots and raised her children with focus in both heritages. She was a simple, quiet, traditional Italian mother who cherished her garden and her cooking while caring for her family. They were her life and her inspiration. She was greatly loved and will be greatly missed.
She is survived by her five devoted children, Francesco “Frank” Sciannameo and wife Donna Paquette of Auburn, Vittoria Mastrocola and husband Rocco of Shrewsbury, Maria L. “Gina” Sciannameo with whom she lived, Carlo Sciannameo and wife Mary DePari of Worcester, and “The Baby” Caterina Valentine and husband Robert Valentine, Jr. of Shrewsbury; 14 cherished grandchildren, Matthew, Sarah, Zachary, Filippo, Elda, Nicola, Rosa, Lisa, Christina, Gina, Lia, Gina, Robert and Carlo; 11 great-grandchildren whom she adored; and many nieces, nephews and extended family in both the U.S. and Italy. A son, Michele Sciannameo, passed away in 2006. Two brothers, Francesco and Vincenzo Grassi, and two sisters, Maria Grassi and Savina Laddaga, also predeceased her.
Mrs. Sciannameo worked to help support her family. She learned the sewing trade in Italy and brought it with her to the U.S. Here, she worked as a tailor and seamstress for several companies, including Rencroft Clothing, Nancy Howard Coats, Domenic's abd Shack's before retiring from the House of Doherty.
She was a member of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church and the International Ladies Garment Workers Union, (now UNITEHERE).
Friends and relatives are invited to visit with the family Thursday June 23, from 5 to 8 p.m. in the Mercadante Funeral Home & Chapel, 370 Plantation St., Worcester. Her funeral will be celebrated Friday June 24 from the funeral home, with a Mass at 9:30 a.m. in Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church, 24 Mulberry St. Entombment will follow next to her husband in St. John Mausoleum. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American Red Cross Central Massachusetts Disaster Relief Fund, 2000 Century Dr., Worcester, MA 01606, for the recent central Massachusetts tornado relief.