Julia M. Mele Palazzo, Boardman, Ohio

Rossi Brothers and Lellio Funeral Home

November 7, 2021

Julia M. Mele Palazzo, Boardman, Ohio - obit
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BOARDMAN, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – Julia M. Mele Palazzo, 91, passed away peacefully on Sunday, November 7, 2021, due to complications of leukemia, lymphoma and chronic heart disease, at Hospice House surrounded by her loving family.

Julia was born in Brier Hill on March 15, 1930, the youngest of 11 children, to Italian immigrants Gaetano and Carmella Petrizino Mele.

She was a proud 1948 graduate of ”The Rayen School,” where she was head cheerleader and a member of the Girls’ Octette and Acapella Choir. It was during her years at Rayen, that she and her group of friends formed the “E.B.C.” club (Everybody’s Cousin). Julia treasured her friends from Rayen and served as the chairperson of their 50th class reunion. The class of ’48 continued to meet for quarterly luncheons over the course of many years, and Julia kept her Brier Hill friends close to her heart. They looked forward to gathering at the annual Brier Hill Fest, enjoying the sights and sounds of the old neighborhood, rekindling memories of their childhood.

Julia met her future husband, Nicholas R. Palazzo, former assignment commissioner of the Youngstown Municipal Court, at the “Youth Center” on Rayen Avenue, following an East-Rayen football game. They were married on August 5, 1950, at the old St. Anthony’s Church. They happily enjoyed 32 years of marriage until Nick’s death on September 9, 1982, at the age of 55. Julia and Nick proudly raised their family on McHenry Street, on the east side of Youngstown. It was a neighborhood filled with food, fun and friendships; many of which remain to this day. The old neighborhood served as the foundation where the Italian traditions and the Catholic faith were instilled upon their children.

Julia and Nick enjoyed traveling and it all began with the annual family vacations at Geneva-on-the­ Lake. In later years, they visited Las Vegas, Nashville, Niagara Falls and Toronto. In 1979 they traveled to Italy, where they had the good fortune of visiting the Mele homestead in Rotondella, as well as the birthplace of Nick’s mother in Pietrobbondante. Julia kept in close contact with her cousins throughout Italy, returning for a second visit in 1999. Her travels also included following her favorite sports teams. She traveled to New York for her beloved Yankees and to several cities throughout the U.S., as a faithful follower of the San Francisco 49ers.

Julia was an active member of the former Immaculate Conception Church, serving as secretary for both the Confraternity of Christian Mothers and the Daughters of the Eucharist (Ladies Guild). She and eight of her closest friends from The Immaculate formed a card club and would meet monthly for over 55 years to play 500 Bid.

She then went on to work at the former Immaculate Conception School for 32 years. She began her employment as a “teacher’s aide” and then went on to become the school secretary. She worked effortlessly for many years on the annual fund-raising dinner, in an attempt to keep the school open. She was eternally grateful to the generosity of friends and family members, who contributed to these efforts, recognizing the value of a Catholic education to the inner-city children.

Music was always a part of Julia’s life. Whether it was listening to the Italian Hour on Sunday mornings, or playing her favorite CD, she loved all things Italian. She had the great pleasure of seeing Pavarotti, Bocelli and Sinatra in concert, over the years. She followed the Basilicata traditions passed on by her mother, in her baking of Easter bread, specialty cookies and making the Sunday sauce. She shared her joy of cooking with her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren and made every meal seem like a holiday. While most families served hamburgers and hot dogs at their reunions, Julia brought her five pounds of cavatelli, meatballs and her shaker of locatelli cheese.

Julia leaves three children, Karen (Henry) DeMain of Toledo, Nick, Jr. (Linda) Palazzo of Struthers and Patricia (George) Kalan of Strongsville; four grandchildren, Matthew (Heather) DeMain, Marc (Stephanie) DeMain, Maria (Justin) Graham and Dana (Tyler) Henke and five great-grandchildren, Mia, Isabella, Cameron, Charlotte and Harper. She also leaves several nieces, nephews and great-nieces and nephews, as well as several Mele, Palazzo and Donofrio cousins.

In addition to being predeceased by her parents and husband, Julia was preceded in death by five brothers, Patrick, Nick, Tony, Leonard and Phillip and five sisters, Victoria, Minnie, Sarah, Cosmina and Josephine.

Friends may call from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 11, 2021 at the Rossi Brothers and Lellio Funeral Home, 4442 South Avenue in Boardman.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, November 12, 2021 at St. Charles Borromeo Church in Boardman with the Rev. Philip Rogers presiding. Please meet directly at church.

Interment will take place in Calvary Cemetery.

The family would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to Dr. Maged Awadalla, Dr. Antoine Chahine and Dr. Robert Hunt and his associates for the compassion shown to Julia during her illness. They would also like to thank her aide, Stephanie of First Light Homecare, who assisted them in caring for Mom. The family recognizes that Julia’s peaceful passage would not have been possible without the excellent care from the nurses and physicians at Hospice House. Their compassion and expertise allowed her to die with dignity.

Donations may be made in Julia’s name to Hospice House, 9803 Sharrott Road, Poland, OH 44514.

The family respectfully requests that masks be worn to calling hours and Mass. If you are unable to wear a mask, please send your condolences via text, telephone, or sympathy card, or by visiting the Book of Memories at www.rossifunerals.com. Thank you for abiding by this request as we continue our battle against the pandemic.Read Less

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A television tribute will air Tuesday, November 9 at the following approximate times: 6:43 a.m. on WYTV, 9:32 a.m. on WKBN, 10:58 a.m. on FOX and 8:12 p.m. on MyYTV.

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