YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – Matilda Theresa Krajcirik Girardi, 101, passed away peacefully in her sleep, Sunday, August 11, 2019, after a long and fulfilling life.
Born and raised in Western Pennsylvania, she was also formerly of Valencia and Santa Monica, California. During the final three years of her life, she lived at Nazareth House Los Angeles Assisted Living, after a long illness resulting from three strokes, cancer and lung disease.
Matilda, who was known as “Terri” to friends and as “Tillie” to family, was born into a into large Catholic family of Slavic origins on March 10, 1918, in Greenville, Pennsylvania. Her parents, Ursula and John Krajcirik, had seven surviving children, Mary, John, Frank, Willie, Terri, Anne and Steve.
When Terri was six, she tragically lost her mother and this loss created a strong and loving bond with her family that lasted all their lives.
Times were hard for the Krajcirik family during the Great Depression and by age 16, Terri had left high school and her home to go with her sisters to find work in New York City. There, she took a big bite of the Big Apple, working hard as a waitress in the financial district, dancing hard with friends at Roseland and cheering hard for the New York Yankees, becoming a lifelong fan.
Terri also fell hard for a charming dance partner, Guy Girardi. Guy swept Terri off her feet and right into his large Italian family when they married in 1939.
The couple had a son and two daughters, while Guy had a 20-year career in the United States Army. During this time, Terri experienced both the trials and enjoyment of travel with their family throughout the United States and Europe. When their children were grown, Terri and Guy ventured to the warm, sunny climes of Valencia to finally retire.
Always, she kept close ties to her brothers and sisters who lived in Youngstown, sharing a tradition of spending happy summers together over many years. In recent years, when she could not travel, Terri always appreciated and looked forward to the well-wishes, cards, photos and flowers of her Youngstown family.
Terri’s experiences in her early years and her faith forged in her an adventurous, resilient character that would lead her to experience much in her life – great joy, as well as, challenges and heartache. Living beyond expectation, she was an irrepressible, caring and loving wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, aunt and cousin. She is and will be greatly missed by family and friends.
Terri is survived by daughters, Geraldine Fethke and her husband, Douglas and Gina Fitten and her husband, Jaime; her grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews and cousins.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Guy; her son, Guy Michael Girardi and all of her beloved brothers and sisters.
Family and friends may call from 9:30 – 10:30 a.m., Friday, September 6, 2019, at Kinnick Funeral Home, where services will take place at 10:30 a.m.
Committal services will follow the service at the funeral home and will be at Calvary Cemetery in Youngstown.
In lieu of flowers, Tillie’s family requests that donations to be made to the Matilda Girardi Memorial Therapeutic Garden at GoFundMe.com.
Local arrangements were entrusted to Kinnick Funeral Home, 477 North Meridian Road, in Youngstown.