Antonietta LoPardo Costa was welcomed into the arms of our Lord and Savior while peacefully asleep on Saturday, March 27, 2021. She miraculously survived Covid pneumonia and sepsis in December 2020 to the amazement of the physicians and nurses . She returned home to share a wonderful last Christmas season with her entire family.Her’s was an exemplary life where faith in God and prayer were intertwined into every task. This was the legacy she gifted her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Born on May 10, 1926 in Maierato, in the Calabria region of Italy, she survived German occupation in World War II during which time she cultivated her survival instincts and fighting spirit. She emigrated to Pittsburgh in 1952 after marrying Joseph who had returned to the same hometown, after serving four years in the US Army. She was able to use her skills as a seamstress to work at various department stores in Pittsburgh. Her expertise was such that she could build a man’s suit, yet fabricate a communion dress from raw materials, and in the traditions of her family she taught her daughter Antoniette the same skills. She often recalled that the difficult things were easy and yet some of the easy things were hard as she did not speak the English language. “I had no words. I was a woman without a language“. The irony is that her heart provided all the communication skills she needed as she treated people of all backgrounds with respect and dignity. Before her oldest son went to medical school she and her husband helped him take over and run Venice Pizza shop in the old Stanton Heights shopping center. They stayed on and continued to make pizza and pasta at that location for 18 years. She became the backbone of this operation that included old world early morning bartering with vendors in the strip district, operating a commercial dough maker and oven, as well as late night pizza delivery. She was an expert in all aspects of Italian cooking including making soppressata, homemade pasta, wine and ice cream along with the maintenance of the proper Italian vegetable garden including fig trees. She celebrated all religious festivities with the tastes and music of her Italian heritage, ensuring that her family's memories would dance with the traditions and love she exemplified. She was a long time parishioner of St. Raphael’s parish in Morningside where she attended daily mass. She was humbled to become a US citizen in 1985 which she treasured , while still holding dear her Italian traditions. She was most proud of her roles as a devoted wife , mother , grandmother and great grandmother. She always emphasized that “ Gesù e la cosa piu importante della vita per sempre“.
(Jesus is always the most important part of life). She often spoke of returning to be with God and
always hoped to pass during the Easter season when her time came. She will be deeply missed
by her family and friends. Antonietta is preceded in death by her devoted husband Joseph Costa and her daughter Rosalia ‘Lilly’ Costa- Clarke. She is survived by her loving children Dr. Frank ( Mary Ellen) Costa, Dr. Maria (Frank) Greco, Antoniette (Celestino) Avalli, and son-in-law Bill (Kim) Clarke.
She is most proud of her 15 grandchildren Antoniette Costa , Joseph (Nicole) Costa, Frankie J. Costa Jr., Anthony Costa, Nick (Meg )Greco, Joseph(Erin) Greco, Nina Barbuto, Estee Barbuto Bergen (Peter ), Vincent James (Christine ) Barbuto, Joseph E Costa, Christine (David )Montani, Alfonso Costa Jr., Maria Costa, Joseph Clarke and Rauden Clarke, and her great grandchildren Nickie Greco, Noah Bergen, June Rosalia Costa. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, there will be no public visitation. Funeral Wednesday March 31, 2021, Mass of Christian Burial St. Jude Parish, St. Raphael Church at 10:00AM. In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to St Jude Parish, St. Raphael Church 1154 Chislett St. PGH, PA 15206. Arrangements by John A. Freyvogel Sons, Inc. (freyvogelfuneralhome.com)
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