Julia M. Palazzo 1930-2021 | News, Sports, Jobs
BOARDMAN – Julia M. Mele Palazzo, 91, passed away peacefully on Sunday, November 7, 2021 from complications of leukemia, lymphoma and chronic heart disease at Hospice House, surrounded by her loving family.
Julia was born on March 15, 1930 in Brier Hill, the youngest of 11 children of Italian immigrants Gaetano and Carmella Petrizino Mele.
She was proud to have graduated in 1948 from the Rayen School, where she was chief cheerleader and a member of the Girls’ Octette and Acapella Choir. It was during her years at Rayen that she and her group of friends formed the “EBC” (Everybody’s Cousin) club. Julia cherished her friends from Rayen and chaired their 50th class reunion.
The class of 48 continued to meet for quarterly lunches for many years, and Julia kept her friends from Brier Hill close to her heart. They couldn’t wait to come together at the annual Brier Hill Fest, enjoy the sights and sounds of the old quarter, and rekindle their childhood memories.
Julia met her future husband, Nicholas R. Palazzo, former assignment commissioner for Youngstown City Court, at the Rayen Avenue Youth Center following an East-Rayen football game. They were married on August 5, 1950 at the old St. Anthony’s Church. They were married for 32 years until Nick died on September 9, 1982, at the age of 55.
Julia and Nick proudly raised their family on McHenry Street on the East Side of Youngstown. It was a neighborhood filled with food, fun and friendships, many of which still exist today. The old quarter served as the foundation where Italian traditions and the Catholic faith were instilled in their children.
Julia and Nick loved to travel and it all started with the annual family vacation in Genève-sur-le-Lac. Years later, they visited Las Vegas, Nashville, Niagara Falls and Toronto. In 1979, they traveled to Italy, where they had the chance to visit the Mele farm in Rotondella, as well as the birthplace of Nick’s mother in Pietrobbondante. Julia remained in close contact with her cousins throughout Italy, returning for a second visit in 1999.
His travels also included tracking his favorite sports teams. She traveled to New York for her beloved Yankees and to several cities across the United States as a staunch follower of the San Francisco 49ers.
Julia was an active member of the ancient Church of the Immaculate Conception, serving as secretary for both the Brotherhood of Christian Mothers and the Daughters of the Eucharist (Ladies Guild). She and eight of her closest friends of the Immaculate have formed a card club and have met monthly for over 55 years to play 500 auctions.
She then worked at the old school of the Immaculate Conception for 32 years. She started her job as a teaching assistant, then became a school secretary. She worked effortlessly for many years at the annual fundraising dinner, with the goal of keeping the school open. She was eternally grateful for the generosity of friends and family who contributed to these efforts, recognizing the value of a Catholic education for children in disadvantaged neighborhoods.
Music has always been a part of Julia’s life. Whether listening to “The Italian Hour” on Sunday mornings or playing her favorite CD, she loved everything Italian. She has had the great pleasure of seeing Pavarotti, Bocelli and Sinatra in concert over the years.
She followed the traditions of Basilicata passed down from her mother by baking Easter bread, special cookies and making Sunday sauce. She shared her joy of cooking with her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and made every meal a celebration. While most families served burgers and hot dogs at their gatherings, Julia brought him five pounds of cavatelli, meatballs, and her shaker of locatelli cheese.
Julia leaves behind three children, Karen (Henry) DeMain of Toledo, Nick Jr. (Linda) Palazzo of Struthers and Patricia (George) Kalan of Strongsville; four grandchildren, Matthew (Heather) DeMain, Marc (Stephanie) DeMain, Maria (Justin) Graham and Dana (Tyler) Henke; and five great-grandchildren, Mia, Isabella, Cameron, Charlotte and Harper. She also leaves behind several nieces, nephews, grand-nieces and grand-nephews, as well as several cousins Mele, Palazzo and Donofrio.
Besides being predeceased by her parents and her husband, Julia was predeceased by five brothers, Patrick, Nick, Tony, Leonard and Phillip; and five sisters, Victoria, Minnie, Sarah, Cosmina and Joséphine.
Friends can call 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, November 11, 2021 at Rossi Brothers and Lellio Funeral Home, 4442 South Ave., Boardman. A Christian funeral mass will be held at 11:00 am on Friday, November 12, 2021 at St. Charles Borromeo Church in Boardman, with Reverend Philip Rogers presiding. Go directly to the church.
Interment will take place in the Calvaire cemetery.
The family would like to warmly thank Dr Maged Awadalla, Dr Antoine Chahine and Dr Robert Hunt and his associates, for the compassion shown to Julia during her illness. They would also like to thank her help, Stephanie from First Light Homecare, who helped them take care of mom.
The family acknowledge that Julia’s peaceful passage would not have been possible without the excellent care of the nurses and doctors at Hospice House. Their compassion and expertise allowed him to die with dignity.
Donations can be made on Julia’s behalf at Hospice House, 9803 Sharrott Road, Poland, OH 44514.
The family respectfully requests that the masks be worn during calling times and at mass. If you cannot wear a mask, please send your condolences by text, phone or sympathy card, or by visiting the Book of Memories at www.rossifunerals.com. Please respect this request as we continue our fight against the pandemic.