BOARDMAN - Esther Mineo, 91, passed peacefully on Sunday, November 17 while surrounded by her loving family at Hospice House in Poland.
She was born to the late Joseph and Patricia (Geraci) Scalisi on February 20, 1928 and named Pasqua Scalisi in the village of Porticello, Sicily. Pasqua is the Italian word for Easter, the day of Jesus’ resurrection. Throughout her life, she was a devoted disciple of Jesus Christ and designated a “Prayer Warrior” by her older sister, Sarah. Not a day went by without her prayerful connection to Jesus on behalf of her family, friends and anyone in need. She was always committed to using her power of prayer to better the lives of others whether by talking to them about her love of Jesus or by lighting one of her many prayer candles for their intention.
Her own life was not easy. Born in pre-World War II Italy and before the start of the Great Depression, she was five years old when her father died. In 1936, she accompanied her mother and sister, Sarah, to visit U.S. Immigration authorities in Italy, only to be told she could not emigrate to America because of an eye irritation she believed was caused by dust. When she was again blocked by immigration officers the following month, her mother, sister and aunt went to America without her. At eight years old, Pasqua stayed behind in the custody of another aunt and began work in the family’s small market until her eye had healed and she could join her mother and sister in America.
In late 1936, global political turmoil increased so much that a healthy Pasqua was unable to leave Italy for 10 years. It wasn’t until the summer of 1946, following the end of World War II, that she was granted permission to join her mother and sister in America. She made the trip from Italy through New York’s Ellis Island to her family’s home at 132 W. Earl Avenue in Youngstown.
Esther married Salvatore Mineo and together they had four children, Patricia, Anna, Salvatore and Joseph. The family lived in Austintown and Esther spent her time learning to speak English and cooking traditional Italian meals for family and friends. She worked at a Youngstown dry cleaning shop, at Woolworth’s in Youngstown and as a nanny and mentor to a Boardman family for many years. She eventually moved to Boardman where she lived with her son, Joseph, for 21 years until her passing earlier this week.
Throughout her long life, she left a lasting impact on everyone she met. She was a devoted mother and grandmother. She loved children and developed a special bond with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She will be greatly missed by her family and friends.
Esther leaves four children, Pat (Tom) Ternus of Boca Raton, Florida, Anna Howells of Boardman, Sal Mineo of Austintown and Joe (Gary Bitner) Mineo of Boardman; eleven grandchildren, Tom (Mandy) Ternus, Tricia (Dave) Anderson, Chris (Denise) Ternus, Danielle (Dan) Procopio, Katie (Kevin) Paustian, Maria (Mark) Altobelli, Sal Mineo, Dominic Mineo, Gina Mineo, Joe Mineo and Annie Mineo; fourteen great-grandchildren; her brother, Joseph (Debbie) Lagrasta, Jr. of Apache Junction, Arizona; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Besides her parents, Esther was preceded in death by her husband Salvatore, her sister Sarah Calderone, son-in-law Dennis Howells and grandson Dennis Howells.
Family and friends may call Sunday, November 24 from 1 to 4 p.m. at Higgins-Reardon Funeral Homes, Boardman-Canfield Chapel. There will also be calling hours on Monday, November 25 from 9 to 9:45 a.m. at St. Columba Cathedral. A Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 10 a.m.
Material tributes may take the form of donations, in Esther's name to Elisa's Entourage, P.O. Box 28, Canfield, Ohio 44406.
To order flowers, please contact Something New Florist at 330-702-8777 or visit somethingnewflorist.com.