Vita Messina, 104, Watertown

WATERTOWN, NY —  Vita Messina, 104, passed away June 16, 2021, at Samaritan Summit Village where she resided for four years.

Vita was born June 13, 1917, in Manhattan, NY, a daughter of Faro and Catherine (Gange) Leone, both from Casstellamare, Sicily. Vita attended Watertown Schools and Finishing School.

She married Mariano Messina in 1937. He was killed in the Battle of the Bulge on Jan. 16, 1945. They had two children, Peter and Frank. Vita married Peter Messina, Jr. on Oct. 8, 1966, Mariano’s brother. They were married for 48 years. Peter died on July 5, 2013.

Vita worked at Model Homes, Olga Knitting Mill, both in Watertown, and Adams Corset Factory in Adams, NY.

Vita was a communicant of St. Anthony’s Church all of her life. She belonged to the Alter Rosary Society and was a Eucharistic Minister for thirteen years. Also, she cared for the altar linens for many years.

Vita loved to sew and made many children’s outfits for Catholic Charities.

Surviving are a son, Peter (Sharon), Watertown; a sister, Marie Messina, Pensacola, FL; a sister-in-law, Josephine Leone, who is 105, and resided next door and in Samaritan Summit Village as well; four grandchildren, Peter (Linda) Messina, Watertown, Nicole Bass, Port Charlotte, FL, Patrick Messina, Fort Myers, FL, and Sarah (Scott) Anderson, Fargo, ND; 12 great-grandchildren and seven great- great-grandchildren.

Vita was predeceased by her parents, Catherine and Faro, her husbands, Mariano and Peter, a son, Frank, two sisters, Theresa Messina and Angie DiLeonardo, three brothers, Peter Leone, Frank and Joe, and a great-granddaughter, Tayler Messina.

Vita lived at 121 Palmer Street for 71 years before moving to the Summit Village, after her 100th birthday.

Vita’s family would like to thank the staff at 4B Skilled Nursing for the wonderful care Vita received while at the Summit. The family would also like to mention all of the wonderful friends they and Vita have made while she was there.

Calling hours will be 4 to 7 p.m. Monday, June 21, at the D.L. Calarco Funeral Home, Inc. A prayer service will be held 9:15 a.m. Tuesday at the funeral home followed by a funeral Mass at 10 a.m. at St. Anthony’s Church. Entombment will follow in Glenwood Mausoleum.

Contributions may be made to St. Anthony’s Church, 850 Arsenal St., Watertown, NY 13601 or to the Sisters of the Precious Blood, 400 Pratt St., Watertown, NY 13601.

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