Katherine C. Marcello (Gelfuso)
May 8, 2017

Katherine C. Marcello (Gelfuso), 99, of Providence, peacefully passed away at Elmhurst Extended Care on Monday, the 8th of May 2017.

She is survived by her son, Vincent A. Marcello, Sr. and daughter-in-law, Nancy (Anderson) of Newport, RI, nine grandchildren: Vincent A. (Jessica) Marcello, Jr., RobinAnn Marcello (Brian) Bailey; Sean McKenna, Jill Zufelt-McKenna (grand daughter-in-law), Chris (Maureen Brumbaugh) McKenna, Damian (Jessica) McKenna, MaryKathryn McKenna (Victor) Aranda, Joseph McKenna; Fr. Albert P. Marcello III, Mark Marcello, and seventeen great-grandchildren, as well as many nieces and nephews.

Preceding her in death were her husband, Albert P. Marcello, Sr., her son, Albert P. Marcello, Jr., and her daughter, Marlene Marcello-McKenna, as well as her four siblings.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Wednesday the 17th of May at 10:00 a.m. in Blessed Sacrament Church, 239 Regent Avenue, Providence, RI. Burial will follow at St. Francis Cemetery, Pawtucket, RI. Calling hours are respectfully omitted.

Katherine was born on the 18th day of July 1917 in her family's home at 604 Union Avenue in Providence, to Giuseppe and Giovanna (Nardolillo) Gelfuso, both of Italy.

After graduating from Providence's Central Evening High School in 1936 with a concentration in Office Training, Katherine went to work for Imperial Pearl, where she met her husband-to-be, Albert Peter Marcello, a principal of the company, as well as the Vice-President & General Manager, whom she married on the 3rd day of June 1939. The couple's honeymoon consisted of a cross-country motor-trip, California being their ultimate destination. Their first child, Vin, was born in 1942, followed by Marlene in 1946, then Al, Jr. in 1952. They enjoyed spending time at their Matunuck "beach-house", which they bought in 1945, hosting renowned summer parties there.

Katherine, widowed on Easter Day in 1958 at an unexpectedly young age, subsequently attended Hubbard Business School in Pawtucket from 1958-1959, majoring in Office Sciences. She was employed by the City of Providence, seasonally at H & R Block, and then Roger Williams Hospital until her retirement.

She proved herself to be a force of nature in supporting and raising her young family of three children, including putting all of them through college, always encouraging of their educational goals and professional development.

Katherine was way ahead of her time in that she always maintained she had desired to be a "career-woman" in addition to having a family, being exceptionally forward-thinking for the era. But, as a matter of fact, she did indeed "do it all". Two of her great-granddaughters even commemorated her status by decorating her room at Elmhurst with a "WonderWoman" poster!!

Katherine also assistant-taught Italian to adult learners at Mt. Pleasant High School. She was a very active booster of the Rhode Island chapter of the American Heart Association. She returned to Central Evening High School in 1964 to pursue a course in French, and became an avid member of Hamilton House on Providence's East Side. She enjoyed her hobby of crocheting as well, and all of us undoubtedly own one or more of the t.p. covers she made!

However, the lights of her life were her dear children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, in whose endeavors she maintained a keen interest and steadfast supportiveness, beginning with the Moses Brown and Lincoln Schools, from which her children graduated, to being the number one fan of her grandchildren's athletic pursuits, collecting their "stat-cards" in her wallet, to applauding her great-grandchildren's activities.

In return, they adored her, especially loving the funny side of her, as expressed by her "wicked" quick wit. Katherine also had a soft spot for her "fur-nephew" Huskie dog, Keiko, whom niece Rep. Charlene Lima, along with husband Frank, frequently brought to visit her at Elmhurst.

The meme "awesomesauce" was undoubtedly inspired by Katherine's own awesome sauce, the basis of her legendary lasagna, which one Christmas daughter-in-law Nancy sneaked onto an airplane bound for Charlotte, North Carolina, destined for grandson Vinny's house, in order to satisfy his nostalgic craving. (n.b. TSA opened the checked bag on account of the frozen gel-packs!!!)

In sum, Katherine's life was strongly focused on her beloved family, who benefited from her unwavering love, loyalty and devotion. All of us will greatly miss her presence in our lives, but we cherish the almost 100 years she spent with us, and our fond memories shall fortify us going forward.

"NO tears" (per Nana's orders!!!)


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J F Skeffington Funeral Home
925 Chalkstone Avenue
Providence, RI 02908