Obituary of Dolores Marie Gagliardo
Marie Dee Gagliardo passed away peacefully on February 23, 2017. Dee, as she was known to her family and friends, was born Dolores Marie Domitilli, on August 10, 1931, in Healdsburg California. Her parents. Joseph and Ida Domitilli, were first generation Americans. Both sets of Grandparents arrived in Healdsburg from Lucca and Masa Carrera, Italy in the late 1800’s. Her paternal grandparents, John and Angelina Domitilli, were prune and grape growers and settled in Dry Creek. Her maternal grandparents, Chas and Adelle Palmieri, had a ranch in Alexander Valley where they grew grapes. They also tended a large commercial vegetable garden on Healdsburg Avenue. Dee’s father Joseph, had a fruit and vegetable market in the mid 30’s on the corner of Powell and Center Streets in downtown Healdsburg. Dee graduated from Healdsburg High School in 1949. In her Junior year, she was a princess for the Healdsburg Harvest Festival. This festival was held yearly to celebrate the prune harvest and it was quite a “big deal”. After high school, she went to work for Walter Marshall in his insurance business as his office manager, where she worked for 20 plus years. After Walter sold his business, she worked at Shelford’s dress shop. Dee always enjoyed dressing up and nice clothing, in particular a love of shoes! In August of 1954 Dee married Benny Gagliardo at St. John’s Catholic Church, where they were lifelong members. They settled into a home on Bailache Avenue, where they were grape growers. Every year they would grow a huge vegetable garden with plenty of extras to share with all of their friends and family. Benny preceded Dee in death in 2011. While they were both in good health they traveled to Europe, Italy in particular and took many cruises, several times to Alaska. They also enjoyed meeting up with Benny’s World War II buddies and their wives in various locations all over the United States. Benny had served his country and was a decorated veteran of World War II. Dee was a “Local Girl” all the way. She supported anything Healdsburg enthusiastically. She was a Charter member of the Healdsburg Animal Shelter, a past member and supporter of the Healdsburg Historical Society. She was also a supporter of the Healdsburg Senior Center and the Healdsburg Boy’s and Girl’s Club. She enjoyed attending the many polenta dinners put on by the Italian/American Federation. She met weekly, when she was in good health, with the Italian club to practice her Italian. She was very friendly and outgoing and was well known among the locals. Dee and Benny never had children, but were most generous with their families and their friend’s children. She was a considerate and thoughtful friend, who never forgot anyone’s “special occasion”. A special thank you to the Staff at Brookdale Lodge at Paulin Creek, where Dee resided for four years and to the Staff at Friend’s House for making Dee comfortable in her last days. Also, a big thank you to the many capable and loving caregivers Dee had over the years. Dee is survived by her brother, Richard Domitilli (Kathie), her niece, Carmel Pedroni, and nephews Dan Pedroni, James Pedroni (Linda), John Pedroni (Kathy), Joseph Pedroni (Michelle), and Michael Pedroni (Lisa). She will be missed by many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. A graveside service will be held Friday, March 3, 2017, at 11:00 am at Oak Mound Cemetery, Healdsburg. Donations in her memory may be made to any charity of choice.