Mae Lucille (Viola) Di Bernardino, 99, of Chillicothe, peacefully passed away at 4:45pm Saturday, July 16, 2022, at her home with her three children by her side.
The youngest of 17 children, Mae was born Dec. 2, 1922, in Riverton, Illinois, to Giuseppe “Joe” and Domenica (Vespa) Viola. She married James A. Di Bernardino on Sept. 19, 1942, in Chicago, Illinois. This is where they raised their three children, James, Judy and Timothy.
Due to mine closings at the time, some of her family moved from Riverton to Chicago in 1928. This is where she attended school and graduated from John Marshall High School class of 1939.
During the war years while her husband James was away serving as an Army Air Corp Pilot, Mae worked at defense plants and after the war, more importantly, as a homemaker.
After losing her husband, James, to cancer on May 13th, 1965, she returned to the work force. Since Mae possessed a broad range of cooking skills, she was quickly employed at East Leyden High School where she worked in the cafeteria. A position she held for 10 years. In 1975, she and her daughter, Judy, moved from Elmwood Park to Chillicothe to become co-owner/operators of Michaels Restaurant. In 1980, after selling the restaurant, now Grecian Gardens, Mae went to work at Saint Francis Hospital in the pediatric kitchen until she retired in1984.
Mae enjoyed her retirement years traveling and visiting with her extremely large family, tending to her flower garden and walking all around town. Some of her favorite places were Happy Thoughts Coffee, Dairy Queen and Shore Acres Park.
One of her most overwhelming talents was her cooking skills. She would produce delicious multi-course meals and desserts that everyone enjoyed on short or no notice. Her dining room was always open and no one walked away hungry. The only thing that exceeded her passion for cooking was her love of children.
Mae was a member of St Edwards Catholic Church in Chillicothe.
She was preceeded in death by her parents, Guiseppe and Domenica, her husband James and all of her siblings: Theresa Di Profio, Charlie Viola, William Viola, Vera Fulgenzi, Lena Di Girolomo, Oresti Viola, Larry Viola, Diamond Viola, Valencia Milano, Nello Viola, Sylvia Amobile, Johnny Viola, twins Mary and Joseph Viola. She was also preceeded by her daughter-in-law, Diane (Warn) Di Bernardino.
Surviving are her children, James Jr. of Chillicothe, Judy of The Colony, TX, Tim and Dianne of Edelstein, her grandchildren Julie (Jeff) Doeden of East Peoria, Laura (Brett) Tilly of Peoria, Chris Targosz of Plymouth, MN, Rob Targosz of Phoenix, AZ, Miles Targosz of Peoria, Cameron Targosz of Colorado Springs, CO, her great grandchildren Giada Doeden, Genevieve Tilly, Braden and Zoey Targosz and Sutton Mae Targosz.
Visitation will be held from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, July 24, 2022, at Weber-Hurd Funeral Home, 1107 N. Fourth St., Chillicothe, Illinois. Recitation of the Rosary will be at 4pm on Sunday at the funeral home. Visitation will be held at 11 a.m. and Mass celebrated 1 p.m. Monday, July 25, 2022, at St. Celestine Catholic Church. 3020 N. 76th Ct, Elmwood Park, Illinois. Burial will be at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery. Cumberland and W. Belmont Aves, River Grove, Illinois. Contributions may be made to ALZ.org.
Sunday, July 24, 2022
2:00 - 4:00pm (Central time)
Weber-Hurd Funeral Home
Monday, July 25, 2022
11:00am - 1:00pm (Central time)
Monday, July 25, 2022
Starts at 1:00pm (Central time)