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"RAP" 2002 Obituary


RAPACCHIETTA 

RAPACCHIETTA o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2002-12-31 published
Gilda RAPACCHIETTA
By Florena ANGELUCCI, Riccardo RAPACCHIETTA, Amerigo RAPACCHIETTA Tuesday, December 31, 2002, Page A14
Immigrant, homemaker. Born February 14, 1927, in Pietracamela, Italy. Died November 7 in Toronto of breast cancer, aged 75
The serpentine road connecting the small mountain village where Gilda was born in 1927 was not built until 1935. She grew up in an isolated, closely knit community that favoured a strange, difficult-to-understand dialect to the proper Italian of the land.
Denied schooling beyond Grade 5 by a harsh father, she spent her lost school years tending the small plots of land and caring for the animals on which the family depended. For eight years she relished being the sole grandchild and drew strength from the love of her grandparents and her many aunts and uncles. They gave her confidence and self-assurance, gifts that lasted a lifetime.
Gilda married in her early twenties and by the age of 25 she had two sons. Her children sharpened her concerns over the limited prospects in her homeland, and so she encouraged her husband to join the steady exodus to North America. She endured six years of separation waiting for the day when her family would be reunited. Gilda arrived in Canada in 1958 ignorant of large city life and pining for the close connections to her family in Italy.
Despite the difficult period of adjustment to the new homeland, she held to her belief that Canada was a place where her family could make a good future. Her children were not relegated to the fate of many immigrant children who were sent to work at young ages. They would go to school and she aimed at the then-impossible goal of university education.
She hated the restrictions of the dialect the family used and so she raised her Canadian-born daughter using proper Italian. She bristled at her dependency on her sons to act as translators and so she attended English classes and mastered her adopted language.
Gilda had her eyes open to the world around her and sought out anything that would help her family. And so it was that her children sported dental braces to correct problems that they would have had to endure under the care of a less resourceful parent. Her children attended summer camps and were encouraged to mix in the community of peers that played in the streets of the neighbourhood. For a time her children were embarrassed being immigrant kids later they came to realize how gently and wisely Gilda had eased their transition to life in Canada.
Gilda's husband was happy to bring the paycheque home and leave to his wife the allocation of the family's financial resources. And so she planned and brought about the family's first home, a car, and a second larger home (without boarders) within the first 10 years of arriving in Canada. She was frugal and knew how to husband a dollar, but was never happier than when she was spending for a big cause for the family.
Gilda was widowed in 1977. Her 16-year-old daughter was still at home and dependent on her. Gilda gave up part-time work and became a full-time dietary aide. Illness struck Gilda in 1981 and she despaired for her family. She endured many operations and extensive treatments and prevailed. She was there to watch her grandchildren grow and to be a guide and a source of succour.
Lately, Gilda often expressed that she had accomplished what she had set out to do: She had helped her children establish themselves. She was leading a contented life when illness struck again. With a nod to the enemy, she stopped treatments.
Gilda affectionately called her grandchildren coccinelle (Italian for ladybug). It was with great pleasure that her family noticed a lovely ladybug at her interment.
Florena, Riccardo and Amerigo are Gilda's children.

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RAPACCHIETTA o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.toronto_star 2002-11-11 published
RAPACCHIETTA, Gilda (née NARDUCCI) -- Peacefully at her home, on November 7th, 2002, in her 76th year. Predeceased by her husband Ciro. Cherished mother and grandmother.

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