May 18th 1928 - Sep 19th 2013
Throughout her rich and rewarding life, Lillian Falsetta was all about faith, family, and love. She was selfless and giving when it came to her family, and there was nothing that made her happier than when her family was gathered around her table. It was no secret that Lillian viewed the day she married the love of her life and the birth of her children to be the days she treasured above any other. With a life that spanned times of war and times of peace, times of plenty and times of want, Lillian created a brilliant tapestry of memories that will continue to be cherished by her loved ones for years to come.
The 1920s are remembered as a time of great innovation and change within our nation. The end of WWI in 1919 left us recognized as a world leader for the first time, which meant that the eyes of the world were focused on our shores for what was to come. We did not disappoint, either, as automobiles became more affordable and grew in popularity, motion pictures became available in both color and sound, and Charles Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart took the world of flight soaring to new heights. Amidst this time of discovery was the year 1928 that was filled with great joy for one bustling family from Holly, Michigan, as they welcomed a healthy baby girl into the fold on May 18th. Baby Lillian was the youngest of seven children born to her parents, Paul and Julia (Fabiano) Fortino, and she was raised in the family home in Holly during her youngest years alongside her siblings, Victor, Alfonso, Harry, William, Margaret, and Paul Jr. Her father owned and operated Fortino Beverage and Fortino’s Food Market, both in Mt. Pleasant, while her mother had more than enough to keep her busy at home.
When Lillian was about six years old the Fortino family moved from Holly to Mt. Pleasant where she would remain for the rest of her life. She was a student at local schools, graduating from Sacred Heart Academy in 1947.
Life was forever changed for Lillian when she met Tom Falsetta. When it became clear that there was an undeniable attraction between her and Tom, they began dating. It wasn’t long before Lillian and Tom were head over heels in love. With a desire to establish a life together, the sweethearts were married on September 25, 1948, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Mt. Pleasant on what Lillian would forever regard as one of the best days of her life.
Together Lillian and Tom were blessed with the births of four children: Thomas II, William, Richard “Dickie,” and Margaret Mary. She lived to care for her husband and children, and no one ever left her table hungry. Lillian was a fantastic cook who was famous for her spaghetti sauce, her baklava, and her unforgettable Christmas Eve gatherings. Sundays were another time for the family to come together for a meal and priceless memories to be made, and since she loved serving her family in this way she seized every opportunity to cook for them. Tom and Lillian dedicated their lives to providing for their family as the owners of Falsetta’s Casa Nova for 40 years from 1945 through 1985. When her family tree blossomed to include nine grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren later in life, she couldn’t have been happier as her family was her true delight.
Over the years Lillian’s faith was the cornerstone that was the basis for everything she did. She was an active member of Sacred Heart Parish, serving on Hope Ministry and as a Eucharistic Minister for the homebound. Lillian also attended Mass nearly every day. It was her faith that guided her steps, creating a priceless legacy for her children and grandchildren to carry on.
As she grew older Lillian continued to embrace every day that she was given. She and Tom loved to travel, and together they went to every state in the nation except for three. It was something to remember when Lillian and Tom celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary at the restaurant as family and friends came alongside them to share in their joy. As she grew older Lillian often went to Meijer to walk - so much so that everyone there seemed to know her. More recently, the wedding of Lillian's granddaughter Ashley was so much more special to Ashley knowing grandma was there to love and support her.
A tender, kindhearted, and compassionate woman, Lillian Falsetta was a true gift in every way. Her faith never wavered, even when the way before her was trying, and her life exemplified what it means to be the hands of the Lord she loved. Lillian devoted her life to caring for others whether her family, those within her church, or people in need of a helping hand. Although life will never be the same without her here, her memory will continue to live on in the hearts of all who were blessed to feel her touch.
Lillian Falsetta, of Mt. Pleasant, died on Thursday, September 19, 2013, at Woodland Hospice in Mt. Pleasant. Lillian’s family includes her three children, Thomas (Diane) Falsetta II, William Falsetta, and Margaret Mary Falsetta, all of Mt. Pleasant; nine grandchildren, Ashley (Jared) Wright, Amanda Falsetta, Arica Falsetta and Alyse Falsetta, Bill (Jana) Falsetta and Sara Falsetta, and Scott (Jerri) Raymond, Matthew Raymond and Heather Raymond; seven great-grandchildren; and sister, Margaret Mary Walker of Denver, Colorado. Lillian was preceded in death by her husband, Thomas in 1993; son, Richard Charles “Dickie” in 1962; five brothers, Victor, Alfonso, Harry, William, and Paul Fortino, Jr.; three nephews, Tommy Sova, Robert Fortino and Paul “Bobo” Fortino; and niece, Mary Jo Fortino-DeLau. A Funeral Mass for Lillian will be held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, September 24, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church with Father Loren Kalinowski presiding. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery. The family will receive friends at Lux Family Life Story Funeral Home on Monday from 4-8 p.m. with the Vigil beginning at 7:30 p.m. Visitation continues at the church on Tuesday one hour prior to Mass. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Sacred Heart Academy Foundation or to Woodland Hospice. Envelopes are available at the funeral home. To learn more about Lillian’s life or to sign the online guest book please visit www.LuxFamilyFuneralHome.com