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Obit. Maria Carmela Miceli DiVita

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Obit. Maria Carmela Miceli DiVita

Posted: 3 Mar 2004 1:58PM GMT
Classification: Obituary
Edited: 24 May 2004 8:22PM GMT
DiVITA, MARIA Maria DiVita, a native of Italy who lived in San Diego for half a century, died February 27, in a retirement home six weeks after her 100th birthday. To observe her centennial, Mrs. DiVita ' s immediate and extended family helped her celebrate at one of her favorite seafood restaurants. Mrs. DiVita was born Maria Carmela Miceli in Palermo on January 12, 1903, to Professor Giuseppe Miceli and Giuseppina Bacchi Miceli. As a young adult she helped her father edit "The School of the Carabinieri," his monthly magazine about activities of Italy ' s elite royal police. He also prepared outstanding carabinieri for advancement exams. And he was impresario of Palermo ' s famed Teatro Massimo, Italy ' s largest opera house and one of its most magnificent. For his achievement, Prof. Miceli was knighted by the king. He also was an artist. On June 23, 1927, in Palermo she married Antonino DiVita, also a Palermo native. He was a son of Girolamo DiVita, a wealthy merchant, land owner, and financier, and of the former Adelaide Colombo. Girolamo Divita died in a fall before World War II. Mrs. DiVita ' s husband earned a teaching credential from a prestigious Palermo University, though he never taught. They had two daughters and a son. A reluctant draftee into the army, Antonino DiVita participated in World War II and was lost while in his mid-30s. He was never declared dead. Shortly after the war ' s end, the remaining family members immigrated to the United States, soon settling in San Diego. For a long time Mrs. DiVita lived on the second floor of a building at the southwest corner of Date and India Streets, now the site of La Pensione. From there, for 20 years, she walked to and from her job as a seamstress, first at Goodman & Newman men ' s pants store on Harbor Drive near the ferry landing, then downtown at the Ratner ' s men ' s clothing store. Later she lived for many years in Hillcrest at 3820 Eight Ave., from where she walked or rode the bus to her shopping and other activities, including lunch at Buffum ' s. Throughout, Mrs. DiVita maintained close contact with her daughters and son and their families. She became a U.S. citizen at San Diego on May 24, 1957. Mrs. DiVita was a good traveler who returned alone several time to Italy for visits. She also enjoyed Mexico. Survivors include daughter Adele Pross of San Diego; daughter Josephine Tramontana of Point Loma, son Girolamo Antonio (Jerry) DiVita of Spring Valley; grandchildren Francine Serrano, Anthony and Elizabeth DiVita; Gloria Tramontana Vaughn; and Juliana Tramontana Meza. Another granddaughter, Linda Pross, is deceased. Seven great-grandchilren and two great-great-grandchildren also survive her. Rosary will be recited Wednesday, March 5, at 7 p.m. at Merkley-MItchell Mortuary, 3655 Fifth Ave., following viewing there that day 4-7 p.m. A Funeral Mass will be said Thursday, March 6, at Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church, 1659 Columbia St., at 9 a.m. Burial wlil be at Holy Cross Cemetery. Published in the San Diego Union-Tribune on 3/5/2003. (volunteer submsision)

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