Maria was born in Pago Veiano, Benevento, Italy to loving parents Antonia and Raffaele. She had an elder sister, Emmacolata and a younger sister, Rossina.
In her younger years, up until she married, she helped her father with the cultivation of the land that the family owned. She was particularly adept to the making of wine which they sold to the public in a small “cantina”.
In 1950 she married Michele after a courtship of 1 year. Soon after Michele immigrated to Adelaide, South Australia. Maria followed in 1953 together with her first-born son. A second son was born in 1954 and a daughter in 1957. Tragically the daughter passed away in 1960.
They purchased a small market garden in Campbelltown, which they worked tirelessly together. Many a long hour was spent in the garden planting, harvesting, weeding and watering. On the same property they built the family home where they lived and raised the family. Maria continued to live in the family home until she moved into NECH.
In 1976, Maria and Michele returned to Italy for a 3-month period to visit relatives and friends which they had left behind when they immigrated. As part of this trip they also spent time touring other parts of Italy, England and Europe.
Maria had many craft skills that she had learnt in her youth. She had an uncanny ability to knit and she could look at a pattern and adapt the design without having to write it down. She was also a great cook – from homemade pasta to cakes and biscuits and anything in between. She loved nothing better than for friends and relatives to drop in for a visit and a chat. A glass of wine or a coffee and biscuit was always on offer. You just weren’t allowed to leave until you had eaten or drank something.
Shopping was another pastime she loved to undertake with always a keen eye on a bargain.
She dotted on her 5 grandchildren. She now also has 4 great grandchildren.
In her later years travel included trips to Melbourne visiting her eldest son and family and to country Victoria, Shepparton visiting her close cousin and relatives.