Ferrante, Carmela “Millie” (nee Costello) Age 99+, January 9, 2022
Beloved mother of Joseph (Becky), Gary (Patty), Toni (David) DeCamp and Cris (Mary Ellen). Preceded in death by husband Joseph of nearly 73 years of devoted marriage and brother Sam (Bev) Costello. Sister to Nick (Edith~deceased) Costello, and Anthony (Rita~deceased) Costello. Loving grandmother of 14, great-grandmother of 18, and great-great-grandmother of 2. The matriarch of a large extended family leaves behind a legacy of love to generations of nieces, nephews and a great number of friends who considered her a second mom, aunt or bonus grandma. We will all sorely miss her smiling face, soft hands, warm heart, quick wit, home cooked meals, crocheted afghans, coupons, cartoon messages, cannoli, Buckeyes, and cookies.
Millie was born in Cleveland, OH and spent most of her young life there. She quit high school in 10th grade to care for her 3 younger brothers when her mother fell ill. She spent all 99+ years of her life in Ohio and Michigan, except for 5 years in California where sons Joe and Gary were born. After having 4 kids, she was proud to finish school and obtain her GED at age 45. During WWII she made bomb chutes to aid the war effort. She held various jobs throughout her life including hostess, pattern maker, seamstress, and cook. In the late 60’s, Millie and her husband Joe founded Ferrante’s Restaurant Bar & Lounge in Delphos, OH. There they served Italian and American dishes with the family’s secret sauce recipe. Millie lived in the Toledo area for many years where she was active in Welcome Wagon and delivered Meals on Wheels (mostly to folks younger than her). After Joe’s retirement, they moved one final time to Michigan to be nearer to daughter Toni; Millie lived with Toni and husband Dave her last 7 years. Millie made many friends through the Washington Twp Senior Center. She volunteered in several Senior’s Programs including making hats and scarves for homeless shelters and hats for cancer patients and newborns. So many people have commented on her youthful appearance throughout the years. Millie was a beautiful young woman and never lost her luster as she barely seemed to age. She attributed her soft wrinkle-free skin to only using Dove soap and in her early nineties was actually featured as one of the Faces of Dove.
Millie lived a full and active life which included singing (she was known to have secretly snuck out of the house at age 18 to sing with Peter Piper & his Orchestra in downtown Cleveland), laughing, famously playing April Fools’ pranks, cooking the best meals, watching her “stories”, bowling, crafting, gardening, couponing, baking cookies, crocheting and gifting afghans, making doll clothes, playing cards, babysitting grandkids, word games, and even connecting with friends and family on Facebook. Make no mistake though, her #1 priority was always family. She made a life of being a living example of God’s Love for others and taught lessons that will hopefully be carried on through generations to come. Rarely do you meet someone who is so universally loved. We are all better people for just knowing her. Godspeed Mama Millie, you are home.
Visitation Sunday 3-9pm with 7:00pm Scripture Service at Wujek-Calcaterra & Sons 54880 Van Dyke at 25 Mile (Shelby Township). Funeral Monday Instate 9:30am at St. Kieran Church 53600 Van Dyke (btw. 24 & 25 Mile Rds.) until time of Mass at 10:00am. Entombment Guardian Angel Cemetery. Share memories with the family at their “On Line Guest Book” @ WujekCalcaterra.com
Published by Wujek-Calcaterra & Sons on Jan. 12, 2022.