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Life Story / Obituary
A generous, driven, and dedicated woman, Serafina Masi lived her life devoted to her family. She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, as well as special aunt and sister. Serafina was known to host large family gatherings where she was honored to spend at least two days preparing the food as well as her home! Nothing brought her greater joy than living her life selflessly and modeling unconditional love for all those who knew and loved her. Serafina leaves behind many warm and wonderful memories for her loved ones to cherish for years to come.
After many years of misery through the depression and World War II, the year 1949 brought much-needed prosperity. Televisions and cars were getting bigger and were the popular goods demanded in a growing consumer society. In the small town and comune of Curinga, Italy, Giuseppe and Isabella (nee Diaco) Trillieci welcomed home their newborn daughter, Serafina, on May 26th. Serafina inherited a strong work ethic for her parents, a construction worker and housekeeper. Born the second child out of six children, she brought great joy into their home.
Growing up in southern Italy, Serafina lived a typical childhood of the times. She attended traditional schools where she was known to work hard and made friends easily. Although she had many siblings, she also considered her closest friend, Maria like a sister as well. Remarkably, she met the man of her dreams at the tender age of sixteen! Frank Masi was a romantic at heart and was known to serenade Serafina from a bridge near her childhood home. One evening when he was singing from the bridge, he was struck by a car that didn’t stop. Shaken and distraught, it took two long days to find him in the bushes where he had fallen from the bridge. Yet, such a tragic mishap would not stop him from pursuing her and they ended up dating for two years before Frank worked up the courage to propose to her. Theirs was a true love story. They were destined to be together forevermore and joined in marriage on August 20, 1967, at St. Giovanni Battista Church in their hometown. Filled with excitement and a sense of adventure, both Frank and Serafina sought their forever home on Holton Street in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1972. Coming to America was a dream they both shared and the happy couple was eager to build many lasting memories there.
Both Frank and Serafina were dedicated to a successful way of life. Aldo's Italian Restaurant in Milwaukee gladly hired them both. As they raised their young family, Frank took over the daily operations of the restaurant while Serafina worked a double shift every day - cooking at the restaurant every night until closing after her shift at the factory. A dedicated mother and wife, Serafina split her time between her job at Milwaukee Wire and cooking at the restaurant, while also taking care of their daughters and managing the family home. Eventually, they bought the restaurant once the owner retired. As a mother, she loved to call each of them her favorite while also selecting a special nickname for each one of them. Not only did she see to it that they had everything they needed, she also became well known in the neighborhood as everyone’s, “Ma;” a term of endearment she had rightfully earned. No one was a stranger at her dinner table and everyone was made to feel welcome as her guest. No matter how busy she was, she’d be sure to drop everything for her children or their friends in a time of need. Serafina’s love and devotion to family extended to her nieces and nephews, whom she loved as if they were her own children. Restaurant duties and housework always took second place as family was her first priority. Her special bond with her daughters was so unique that she even had the honor of walking her daughter, Isabella down the aisle when she was married.
As much as she found great joy in her role as a mother, nothing could prepare her heart more than the blessing of being a grandmother. Serafina was sure to make each and every one of them feel special. She played an active role in raising them and nurturing them until before she knew it, four wonderful great-grandchildren had arrived! Over the moon with the abundance of love shared between them, she could not be more proud of their successes and accomplishments over the years.
Once Serafina finally retired, her family remained her number one priority, yet she also found time for some of her own special interests. An avid fan of crime shows, she loved to curl up on the couch and catch up on her favorites. If anyone called her on a weekend and couldn’t reach her, their best guess was often the Potawatomi Casino! She loved playing her favorite slot machines and never passed up the crab legs at the buffet! Her Sundays were spent relishing in her riches or preparing herself for her next trip back to try her luck again! Charming, hospitable, and gracious, Serafina touched the lives of so many. Her caring ways and compassionate spirit are reflected in those she leaves behind. May her life be an example of finding meaning in giving without expecting anything in return. Serafina will surely be missed and respectfully remembered by her loving family and many special friends.
Serafina Masi, passed away on April 16, 2018, in Mequon, Wisconsin. She was the loving wife of Frank, cherished mother of Antoinetta “Tonette,” Isabella “Sabella” (Vergil, Sr.), Domenica “Mima,” Margherita “Margaret,” and Caterina “Cathy.” Beloved grandmother of Juan Jr., Anthony, Joseph, Sarah, Ravan, Vergil Jr., Dominique, Alyssa, Janay, Erric, Mikeal, and Jayden. Fond sister of Concetta “Tita,” Caterina, Rose, Elizabeth “Liz,” Bruno, and her dearest Maria. She is further survived by her four cherished great-grandchildren, many beloved nieces and nephews, other relatives and many good and dear friends.