December 23, 1926 - January 14, 2021
December 23, 1926 -January 14th-2021
On January 14th we lost our beautiful, loving, kind, mother, Maria D’Ambrosio. She lived a full and busy life raising seven children, helping to raise and nurture 10 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren. Maria was 19 when she met, married, and left Italy with our father Joe D’Ambrosio in 1948. She was so courageous to leave her parents, seven brothers and all she knew behind for the unknown of the USA. She went on to have seven children which kept her very busy over the next few decades.
She was tireless, whether cooking for 50 on their family farm, or for her own large family. There was always enough extra for “foil dinners” sent home with guests. Anyone that dropped by was welcome at her table. Amazingly, she found the time to be a businesswoman. She raised, bunched, and sold beautiful dahlia bouquets and basil. Mom always had a green thumb with both outdoor and indoor plants. She made everything grow and flourish.
Our mother loved to travel. She visited her family in Canada and Italy as often as she could. Having seven children conveniently gave her many travel partners. She made it a priority to travel with each one of her children over the years. Traveling all over the US, Canada, and Europe many times. She always came back with the most colorful stories of what she experienced. She loved the sun and wintered in Scottsdale, AZ where each of her children and their families would visit making amazing and fun filled memories. She enjoyed boating on the Columbia River and any lake we would take her to. She loved to play in the water with her grandchildren.
Mom also loved to exercise. We used to tell her that if she were born in another era, she would have been a natural athlete in her youth. She loved to bowl and was on a league for many years. She did “Jack La Laine” exercises while raising kids, swam and walked every day especially after a 1979 car accident that almost took her life. The doctors told us that if she had not been in such great shape, she would have never made it through that terrible day. She was so strong. She had an amazing will, enduring surgery after surgery. She continued to walk and swim well into her 80’s with friends, her daughters, and even recruiting her grandchildren for walks around the neighborhood.
Mom always had a beautiful smile. She loved deeply, and genuinely. She was warm, loving and kind to all she met. Our friends often commented on how wonderful she made them feel after just meeting her for the first time. She was an amazing cook and loved to bake. She filled her home with the most delicious, warm aromas. Ravioli, gnocchi, sauce, and homemade bread were just a few of her specialties. She made entire meals for her family and friends when they were sick, or if someone just had a baby. She was also known for her Italian knot-like sugar cookies, “tutta loots”. Each of her grandchildren licked the frosting off the cookies first, before eating the rest.
The last years of her life, the tables were turned. Her children began to care for her, each taking a day to cook her dinner and spend time with her which always started with an afternoon cocktail and appetizer. We watched many sports and movies together and she always laughed out loud at the funny ones! She was an amazing storyteller and we all benefited hearing about her life. All of her children and grandchildren will cherish that special time with her, giving her back the love and care she generously gave us for so long.
Maria was a devout Catholic and her faith was an important part of her life which she took great care to share with her children. Mom lived a faith filled life attending St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Burien, WA for more than 65 years. She began her life with such humble beginnings, not much food, money, or clothing, but with a great amount of love and support from her large Italian family. Her early experiences in Italy shaped her lifelong desire to give to those less fortunate donating food, money, and clothing as often as possible. She genuinely knew firsthand their suffering and was faithful about these acts of giving to her last days. She took great pride in the fact that she had passed on to her children the need to provide for the less fortunate. She will be missed forever.
The way she lived her life on earth will be remembered and emulated by all that knew her — most especially her children Jerry (MaryAnne), Joe, John (Brendan), Anthony, Luann (Rob), and Carol (John), grandchildren, Tami (Tom), Derek (Angela), Jason, Jeff (Megan), Patrick (Kelly), Julia, Maria, Lukas, Regan and Dominick and her great grandchildren, Mario, Macy, Blake, Sam, Reece, Nick, Kate, Ben, Alex, Lauren, and Jane.
She is now with her husband Joe, her first-born daughter Florence, her daughter-in-law Mary and all her beloved family and friends who preceded her in death and were there to greet her at heaven’s gates.
A funeral and celebration of her beautiful life will be held after it is safe to hold gatherings. All remembrances in her name can be sent to St Vincent de Paul and St. Francis of Assisi in Burien, WA
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