Theresa Francis Ognibene passed away peacefully of natural causes on February 5, 2021 at The Hospice House in Poland, Ohio.
She was born Theresa D’Allessandro (aka D’Alessandro) on July 5, 1923 in Niles, Ohio to Andrea and Maria (Melidoro) D’Allessandro. Her parents immigrated to the United States from Valsinni, Basilicatta, Italy.
Theresa’s father, Andrea, a barber, died when she was five years old. With a mother’s pension (an early form of welfare) and the love and assistance of family and friends, Maria successfully raised Theresa and her three siblings Eleanor, Michael and Andrew at the Scott Street house in Niles, built by Andrea before his death.
Theresa was a 1942 graduate of Niles McKinley High School. During World War II, she was employed “Rosie style” as a riveter for the Niles Steel Products Company.
After the war, Theresa married Nunzio J. Ognibene. Nunzio co-owned and operated Superior Star Dry Cleaners, while Theresa concentrated on raising their three children.
Following Nunzio’s death in 1970, Theresa worked until retirement for Trumbull County Children Services Board. The favorite part of her job was taking CSB children out shopping for needed clothing.
The love and focus of Theresa’s life was always her family. She participated with and gave her time generously to her children’s activities. She rose bragging about her children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, to an art form. She enjoyed cooking, fashion and dancing to 1940s era big band jazz. She was a life-long member of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Parish and in her younger years assisted with the pizza and cheese puff production for the annual festival.
Theresa will be joyfully remembered by her daughter, Mary Ellen (Mark) Vencel, son, Michael (Mary) Ognibene; grandchildren, Shaina (Marc) Vencel-van Hengst, Brenden Vencel, Sam (Caity) Oatts, Joseph Nunzio Ognibene, Beth Papalas; family and friends.
Theresa was preceded in death by her parents Andrea and Maria , son, James Ognibene, sister, Eleanor D’Allessandro, and brothers, Michael and Andrew D’Allessandro.
The family thanks her caregivers, and in particular, the assisted living staff at Shepherd Of The Valley in Niles for the care and soulful friendship provided to Theresa.
Arrangements are entrusted to the Peter Rossi & Son Memorial Chapel in Warren. Due to Covid-19 concerns, Theresa will be honored with a private family service.
Material tributes can be made in Theresa Ognibene’s name to the YSU Foundation, James Ognibene/Dana Scholarship, 655 Wick Avenue, Youngstown. Ohio 44502.
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