Mary Tina Italiano Danko was the youngest child of Giuseppe and Rosa Italiano of Agira, Sicily, sister to Rosemary (1931-2017) and Gaetano/Thomas (1928-2008). Giuseppe had immigrated to the United States in 1909, returned sixteen years later to marry Rosa. In 1925 they moved back to the United States and settled in Cleveland, Ohio. Mary graduated from John Adams High School where she made lifelong friends including Arlene Gundzik (of Brea) and Marion Shepka (of Cleveland). In the 1950s she and he husband moved to California for two years where Mary worked for Hughes Aircraft. After a divorce she raised her daughter as a single mother with the help of her parents. Mary returned to California in the 1980s after her daughter and son-in-law relocated to the San Fernando Valley.
Mary settled in Placentia and became an active volunteer in many clubs including the Red Hats, the Democrats of North Orange County (DNOC), where she worked voter registration tables, and the Fullerton Community Center, where she assisted in a senior exercise class for over 25 years.
She loved to travel with her daughter, first on driving vacations from Cleveland to Gettysburg, Toronto, and Florida. They took their first airplane trip together to California. Later, Mary traveled with her widowed sister, Rosemary to Hawaii, New York City, and Niagara Falls. In 2000 they traveled to Sicily, where Mary met her first cousins for the first time in her life.
Mary is survived by her daughter, Rosanne Welch, her Son in Law Douglas Welch and grandson, Joseph Claude Welch of Sherman Oaks, California.
A Catholic burial service will be held at Forest Lawn, Covina on Friday, July 17, 2020 and a Celebration of Life Reception will be held at the Fullerton Senior Center at a date to be determined after the pandemic. Another Celebration will be held in Cleveland.
For more information and to receive details about either Celebration of Life, email Rosanne@welchwrite.com or call 818-681-8161.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made in Mary’s name to the League of Women Voters, www.lwv.org
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