Vincenza Cornacchione was born to Alfio and Nunzia Ciraldo in Bronte, Sicily, on August 9, 1940, the 3rd of 7 children. Growing up she quickly learned the meaning of hard work and strong family values. With a deep desire to emulate her beloved mother, Vincenza mastered the art of sewing and cooking as a teenager and projected a humble spirit of warmth and love onto everyone she met.
Her ambitious goals to lead a life of opportunity then led her to follow in her brothers’ footsteps and immigrate to the United States in 1959 at the age of 19. Unable to speak English, Vincenza immediately started taking night classes at the International Institute of Akron to learn the language.
By her third week in the United States, Vincenza started out her career as a seamstress working for a dressmaker of a family friend. She was then recruited to work with Robert Hunker, an industrial designer, for the next 5 years until the business moved to Peninsula. With her mother’s concern of long-distance travel, Vincenza later got a job closer to home at O’Neil’s doing men’s custom alterations.
She met her husband Guido Cornacchione in August of 1964 via her brother Tony. Guido was studying to be a hairstylist at the time and was immediately intrigued by Vincenza's quiet nature and stunning beauty. Vincenza always said he was her “one and only true love”. They were married five months later, on Jan 2, 1965, and for the next 57 years; Vincenza enjoyed the benefits of her own personal live-in hair designer!
Vincenza and Guido welcomed four children into their family: Emilio, Carlo Alfio, Lisa Nunzia & Rita. Over the next 13 years Vincenza put her professional career on hold and worked from home as a “domestic engineer”, lovingly caring for her family and helping out Guido in their hair salon. She obtained her cosmetology license shortly after they were married. She also diligently performed clothing alterations and custom draperies in her spare time as a favor for previous clients and friends seeking her expertise. Vincenza was extremely talented and even made her own daughters’ homecoming gowns from pictures they showed her of the latest trends.
In 1981, Vincenza returned to her skillful career as a seamstress at Garren McCuan Renner Interiors where she worked for over 18 years. Vincenza moonlighted at Boumadi Men’s Clothiers and Tailoring and also helped out her brother-in-law, Liberato, at Leody’s Clothiers on occasion.
At the age of 60, Vincenza bravely left the world of alterations and embarked on a new career at Akron General Hospital in the Nutrition and Dietetics Department. Her selfless decision helped provide and defray the costs of rising healthcare insurance premiums for her family. Vincenza prepared foods for patients at the hospital and took great pride in her job; so much so that she kept working there for the next 21 years, retiring at the age of 81! Vincenza was motivated and determined to achieve “elite” status in the hospital’s exercise incentive program. She impressively accomplished well over 10,000 steps per day on her pedometer. She frequented the Akron General Health and Wellness Center daily to get her steps in and exercise. The NuStep machine became her best friend!
The simplest pleasures in life brought great joy to Vincenza. She loved entertaining with big family dinners and tending to her amazing garden! She had a knack for making everything taste so good and was an excellent Scopa player; never backing down from competition. Her unconditional love only wavered slightly when you were on the opposing team!
She affectionately welcomed her daughters in-law Donina (Emilio’s wife) and Cathy (Carlo’s wife) into her family along with her sons in-law, Vjeko (Lisa’s husband) and Giovanni (Rita’s husband). She always looked forward to hosting the spectacular annual Cornacchione New Year’s Eve Party with her husband Guido and creating many fun family traditions. These priceless moments in time have provided a lifetime of joyful memories for her entire extended family and friends alike.
Vincenza loved her 8 grandchildren dearly. She often said that God blessed her with 7 “princes” (Mariano, Luciano, Luka, Mario, Dario, Matteo, and Enzo) along with one precious “princess” (Aria). She always made sure to have their favorites in stock at home when they came to visit. There was never a shortage of marinated eggplant and homemade pizza, which are among the kids’ favorites.
Vincenza lived a devoted and quiet faithful life. “Se il Dio vuole”...“If it’s the Lord’s will, then I will” (James 4:15) was an expression she would often say throughout life. She always gave so generously and never asked for anything in return. She was a hard-working passionate figure of strength who never waned in her support or love for her family, and soldiered on even when times were tough. She had a tremendous feisty spirit about her, yet left her ultimate fate in God's hands. Vincenza Cornacchione entered God’s kingdom on June 10, 2022, with loving family at her side after a courageous and arduous battle with pancreatic cancer. Her memory will shine bright in our hearts forever, and we will continue to honor her legacy by living life to its fullest like she did!
Vincenza will be passionately missed by her family including her husband Guido; her children and grandchildren, sons and daughters in-law; her brother Luigi Ciraldo (Nancy); brothers and sisters in-law Francesco and Carmela Cornacchione, and Domenico and Theresa Cornacchione; many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends both in the United States and Italy/Sicily.
She is preceded in death by her parents, Alfio & Nunzia Ciraldo; stepmother, Josephine Ciraldo; brothers, Paolo Ciraldo (Joy), Antonino Ciraldo (Francesca), and Ignazio; sisters, Graziella and Nanetta.
Family and friends will be received on Friday, June 17th from 5PM-8PM at the Billow FAIRLAWN Chapel, 85 N. Miller Road Akron, OH 44333.
Vincenza’s Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, June 18th at 10AM at St. Hilary Church, 2750 W. Market Street Fairlawn, OH 44333 with celebrant Father Steve Brunovsky. Interment immediately to follow at Holy Cross Cemetery at 100 E. Waterloo Road Akron, Ohio 44319.
The family wishes to express their sincere thanks and gratitude to everyone for your love and support.
Services in care of The Billow Funeral Homes & Crematory, Fairlawn Chapel, 85 N Miller Road Akron, OH 44333.