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Camilla Sciamanna

October 1, 1921 - October 12, 2015
Grand Rapids, MI

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Visitations


Wednesday, October 14, 2015
6:00 PM to 8:00 PM EDT
Heritage Life Story Funeral Homes
Alt & Shawmut Chapel
2120 Lake Michigan Dr., N.W.
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
(616) 453-8263
Driving Directions

Thursday, October 15, 2015
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM EDT
Heritage Life Story Funeral Homes
Alt & Shawmut Chapel
2120 Lake Michigan Dr., N.W.
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
(616) 453-8263
Driving Directions

Thursday, October 15, 2015
6:00 PM to 8:00 PM EDT
Heritage Life Story Funeral Homes
Alt & Shawmut Chapel
2120 Lake Michigan Dr., N.W.
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
(616) 453-8263

The rosary will be prayed at the funeral home on Thursday evening at 7:00 PM

Driving Directions

Friday, October 16, 2015
10:00 AM to 11:00 AM EDT
Holy Spirit Church
2230 Lake Michigan Dr. NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Map

Services


Friday, October 16, 2015
11:00 AM EDT
Holy Spirit Church
2230 Lake Michigan Dr. NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Map

Contributions


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Faith Hospice
2100 Raybrook Drive SE, Suite 300
Grand Rapids, MI 49546
(616) 235-5113
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


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In many ways, Camilla Sciamanna defined the meaning of devoted wife, dedicated mother and grandmother, loyal friend, and a woman devout in her faith. A true blessing, her generous spirit, supportive nature and warmhearted ways was an inspiration and gift to those who loved and cared for her. Camilla was the “rock” for which her family could depend, and in all ways, she will be deeply missed and remembered with joy.

The Roaring Twenties ushered in an entirely new way of thinking in the U.S. By 1921, jazz was all the rage while Charlie Chaplin starred on the big screen. Prosperity and good fortune created a sense of exhilaration never before seen. Baseball was the favorite sport of all, and the founding of the Chrysler Corporation brought the auto industry to new levels. Yet nestled in the small province of Rome, Italy in Montorio Romano, the lives of Serafino and Antonia (Pizzoli) Borgia were forever changed on October 1, 1921 when they welcomed the blessed birth of their little girl, Camilla into their hearts.

The oldest of eventually five children, Camilla later welcomed her younger siblings, Santina, Erminia, Teresa, and Frank. In June of 1930, Camilla was just a young girl of nine when her family packed up and immigrated to the U.S. with hopes of better tomorrows. They settled in the city of Grand Rapids, Michigan where Camilla attended a one-room schoolhouse in Walker. While in school, Camilla came to love history and geography, and continued to favor these subjects throughout her life. She led a childhood typical of her generation enjoying times with neighborhood friends. Camilla often babysat around the neighborhood, too. The popular radio programs of the day always caught her attention, and she loved playing softball.

The Great Depression cast a shadow of hardship on all. Following the eighth grade, Camilla left her schooling behind to help her mother raise the family. As the oldest, she had many chores. She cooked, cleaned and helped with her younger siblings. Her father worked in the Grand Rapids plaster mines. Very devout to their Catholic faith, as a family they attended Sunday Mass and each of the Holy days.

The Borgia’s were a very strong and tight knit Italian family and remained close to many of the other Italian families in the area. Through these relationships, Camilla got to know a handsome, Italian young man, Emereno “Bombo” Sciamanna. Quite smitten, they shared their first date on July 4, 1942, and after falling deeply in love, they were happily married on April 15, 1944 at St. James Catholic Church. Their families could not have been happier as they celebrated with a reception at a local West side hall before leaving for a memorable honeymoon in Washington, D.C.

When Camilla’s husband was drafted into the Army, the newlyweds lived in Virginia until he was shipped out overseas. Camilla then returned home to her parents and soon gave birth to their first child, Thomas. While in the Army, Bombo suffered shrapnel wounds and remained hospitalized in Europe for a year. Camilla did her part for the war effort and to make ends meet, she began working at Applied Arts. What a reunion they shared upon his return to Camilla’s awaiting arms and seeing their son for the first time. He soon found work at York Band, an instrument manufacturer before landing a job with General Motors from where he later retired.

Camilla made a good home for Bombo, their son, Thomas, and eventually four additional children, David, Linda, Daniel, and John. Having made their home at 12 Indiana Street NW, they later moved to 8 Indiana Street NW and were active members of Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church. In 1957 they built a home on Collindale Avenue NW where Camilla would remain for the rest of her days and where numerous memories were created through the years. They later joined the newly formed Holy Spirit Parish near their home. Camilla continued to be very devoted in her faith. She prayed each and every day, and NEVER missed giving her Sunday offering. Generous in all ways, she was a member of the Altar Society, the Young Spirits, and was active in the Sons and Daughters of Italy. She so enjoyed helping with the annual Italian Festival held downtown each year.

Camilla’s unending devotion and dedication to her family was unmatched. While her son, Tom entered the seminary, the rest of the kids attended West Catholic High School. Family vacations were spent visiting relatives in New Jersey, Wisconsin, as well as places throughout Michigan. Camilla relished big Sunday dinners at her home where her family gathered for her delicious, homemade pasta. She also made a variety of soups, vegetables, and Supli, an Italian rice ball with meat. Her cookies, pies, cakes, and bars were always a scrumptious treat. One of the things Camilla loved to eat was cooked spinach sandwiches. Everyone always looked forward to Christmastime at her home and the “Feast of Seven Fishes”, an Italian Christmas tradition.

It brought Camilla much joy to work and tend to her large vegetable garden. She grew many delicious vegetables she often cooked for dinner along with enough to can and freeze each fall. She also grew an array of beautiful flowers throughout her yard. Quite talented, she crocheted, making exquisite afghans and baby blankets for family and friends which remain a treasure. She liked reading the newspaper and doing crossword puzzles. With a love for the sounds of her youth, Camilla liked the old crooners, and especially big band music. Over the years she had many favorite television programs and particularly liked watching EWTN Catholic Television. Dear to Camilla’s heart were her wonderful grandchildren. She had a very special and loving relationship with them, and never missed one of their special days, school events, or sporting activities.

With heartfelt love and pride for their homeland, Camilla and Bombo, along with her sister and brother, visited Italy four times throughout the years to see extended family. Camilla’s own Italian roots date back to Pope Alexander VII in the 1500s and to St. Francis Borgia. In addition, she and Bombo visited many of his war buddies at reunions held throughout Michigan and beyond. A special delight for them was when their son rented the very hotel room where they spent their honeymoon, The Fairfax Inn, in Washington, D.C. as a gift for their 50th wedding anniversary.

Sadly, after two years with colon cancer, Camilla’s beloved Bombo died on July 4, 2006, 64 years to the day of their first date. Although the days that followed were hard, Camilla’s strong faith and wonderful family ties sustained her. She remained in her home and continued to be the loving example her family knew and loved. When Camilla suffered a massive stroke last Thursday, it was soon realized little more could be done her. Her family took her home where she died Monday evening in their loving presence.

Truly “The Rock”, Camilla Sciamanna was ever a loving and dedicated woman. Her faith-filled presence along with her compassionate demeanor was a welcome addition in the lives of many. Always forgiving, she was supportive of her family, and passionately lived by the motto, “Keep going – don’t ever give up.”

Camilla Sciamanna, aged 94 of Grand Rapids, passed away on October 12, 2015. She was preceded in death by her husband of 62 years, Emereno “Bombo” Sciamanna; her parents, Serafino and Antonia Borgia; sister and brother-in-law, Santina and Romeo Viventi; brother, Frank A. Borgia; and grandson, Michael Sciamanna. She is survived by her children, Thomas (Marie) Sciamanna, Dr. David (Mary) Sciamanna, Linda (David) Kaczor, Daniel Sciamanna, John Sciamanna; her grandchildren, Andrew Sciamanna, Dr. Christopher (Dena) Sciamanna, Gina (Richard) Laubach, Kyle and Kelsey Kaczor, Matt (Amy) Kaczor, Jesicca Steed; four great-grandchildren; her sisters, Erminia Borgia, Teresa Borgia; sister-in-law, Kibby Borgia, brother-in-law, Robert (Char) Sciamanna; many nieces, nephews and friends. Camilla was a longtime member of Holy Spirit Parish where the Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Friday, October 16, 2015 at 11:00 AM. Burial in Resurrection Cemetery. Relatives and friends may meet her family on Wednesday from 6-8 PM, and on Thursday from 2-4 and 6-8 PM with the Rosary prayed at 7:00 PM, at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home–2120 Lake Michigan Drive NW. There will also be visitation at the church on Friday from 10 AM until the Mass begins at 11:00 AM. Contributions in her memory may be made to Faith Hospice. To read more about Camilla’s life, to sign her guest book and to leave your own memory of her, please visit her web page at www.lifestorynet.com.

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