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MARIA LAO Obituary pic MARIA LAO Obituary pic


Born: Jan 06, 1928

Date of Passing: Jan 26, 2021

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January 6, 1928 - January 26, 2021

It is with great sadness that we announce the peaceful passing of our mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, Maria Lao, on January 26, 2021, at the age of 93, at St. Boniface Hospital.
Maria will be lovingly remembered by daughter Dina LaForges, son Sal Lao (Ibi), grandchildren, Annette Loewen, Mark LaForges (Teresa), Dave Lao (Meghan), Amanda Lao (Andrew), Natasha Lao (Joe); great-grandchildren, Ethan, Gavin, Isabella, Rocco and Delle. She also leaves to mourn her sister Licia LoVetri, her brother Francesco Catanese (Santina); in-laws, Sebastian Lao, Nunzio Lao (Rosa), Gaetano Lao (Vicenza), Santina Lao, Teresa Lao, Salvatore Pagliuca, also numerous nieces, nephews, grandnephews, grandnieces, cousins and friends in Winnipeg, Belgium and Italy. Maria was predeceased by her loving husband Girolamo Lao, of 58 years in 2012, her sister Gina Giordano in 1985, and sister Congetta Collerone in 2018.
Maria Lao was born in Calascibetta, Enna, Sicily on January 6, 1928 to Nunzio and Assunta Catanesse. Maria was the second eldest of five children and grew up during the Second World War. During those stressful times Maria had to make many sacrifices and developed lifelong skills and values that made her an independent woman. She was strong willed and determined to fight through the most difficult situation without any complaints and always relied on her faith in God.
In 1954 Maria married Girolamo in Belgium. Times were difficult with very few economic opportunities. In 1956 they left Belgium and moved to Canada seeking a more prosperous life. Together they worked very hard to build a new life in Winnipeg by overcoming similar economic difficulties, language barrier and managing to learn new skills to provide for their family. Things were falling into place when a serious life threatening work related accident put Girolamo in the hospital for almost eight months. Maria had the strength to overcome this obstacle by arranging to work from home while taking care of her children.
Maria worked in the garment industry most of her life until she retired from Sterling Stall Industries to babysit her grandchildren. Her life revolved around family who she always looked out for selflessly. She enjoyed sewing leather jackets for the family, gardening and cooking traditional Italian dishes and offered food relentlessly to family and friends. Some of the family favourites that she made were ravioli with ricotta, vota vota, banata, pizza and bread to name a few and there was always plenty.
Mom / Nonna, words cannot describe how much you will be missed. You were the rock, the strength and always gave us all unconditional love. You were our superwoman. As you would say "hard times create strong women and strong women create good times". You lead by example and we thank you for everything that you brought into our lives, and we will cherish your memory until we meet again.
The family would like to thank the staff at Prime Care Misericordia Hospital and Poseidon Long-Term Care Centre for their dedicated care and compassion towards Maria.
Mass of the Resurrection will be held on Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at Holy Rosary Roman Catholic Church, 510 River Ave., Winnipeg, MB, condolences will be offered at 10:30 a.m., Funeral Mass at 11:00 a.m., Rev. Father Sam Argenziano presiding. Due to COVID restriction the mass will be limited to immediate family members only.

Live-streaming of the mass will be made available on the Holy Rosary

Entombment to follow at Assumption Cemetery, Queen of Heaven Mausoleum, 3900 Portage Ave. on Tuesday, February 2, 2021.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Diabetes Canada.

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As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Jan 30, 2021

Condolences & Memories (4 entries)

  • Please accept our condolences, Maria meant a great deal to our family and know that our thoughts and prayers are with you all at this difficult time. Ram, Margaret, Dave and Randy Samsoondar - Posted by: Margaret A Samsoondar (Friend) on: Feb 10, 2021

  • It was so nice to get to know Maria when she came to our Prime Program at the Misericordia Health Center, she was always be very competitive when it came time to play our activities that we would have throughout the day . I would always call her our capitano cause she was always helping others on how to play the games. She will be missed by us all here at Prime. - Posted by: Rosemary Garcea (Friend) on: Feb 01, 2021

  • This is so sad. I loved our daily chats when I was at Villa. Sending my heart felt sympathies to Maria's family & friends. - Posted by: Michelle Slezak (Friend from Villa Cabrini) on: Feb 01, 2021

  • Our deepest condolences to all the family. She was a wonderful lady and will be missed. Corrado, Cindy and family. - Posted by: Corrado Lao (Nephew) on: Jan 30, 2021

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