September 13, 1930 - August 16, 2021
Place of birth
Giubiasco, Distretto di Bellinzona, Ticino, Switzerland
Most recently lived in
Mariangela's favorite hobbies
She was an avid gardener and lover of fine art, photography and music—especially opera.
Mariangela's favorite foods
Favorite bands and musical artists
Interesting facts about Mariangela
She was able to speak 6 languages. Italian, English, French, some German and Spanish and of course her Italian dialect from Ticino.
If you could tell Mariangela anything today, what would you say?
Mariangela loved nothing more than
Taking care of her family.
Favorite place in the world
Maria Nigro was taken by the angels on August 16, 2021. She was one month shy of her 91st birthday. Born Mariangela Elvira Ferrari in Giubiasco, Switzerland on September 13, 1930 to Paolo and Ines (Margaritelli) Ferrari Visca.
At the age of 20, Mariangela immigrated to the United States with her 16-year-old sister Giuseppina (Joy). They departed Le Havre, France on October 26, 1950 and arrived in New York on November 1, 1950, traveling on the SS America. They were among the last wave of immigrants to come through Ellis Island. After traveling by train to California, she settled in Guadalupe and quickly found a job as an Au Pair in San Luis Obispo where she first learned English from her young clients.
On October 3rd 1959, she married Joseph Nigro, a US Navy Korean War veteran and moved to Salinas, where they raised three sons. They were married for nearly 62 years. Maria became a proud US citizen in 1981, with her mother Ines and lived in the US for nearly 71 years.
Maria worked hard in the food service industry for many years and sent two of her sons to college by doing so. She enjoyed meeting people in her work and had the opportunity to serve many notable personalities including Clark Gable, David Jansen, Tab Hunter, Red Skelton, Roy Rogers, Harry Morgan, James Caan, Tom Petty and Moshe Dayan.
Before her retirement in the 1990s Maria used her language skills to find employment at the Defense Language Institute (DLI) in Monterey. She became an instructor's aide teaching Italian culture, language and dialects to Federal field intelligence agents, a job she was very proud of.
Above all, Maria was a supportive wife and mother of three sons. In raising her son Kim, she became a highly effective advocate for the treatment, education and rights of the developmentally disabled. She remained grateful to the Salinas Adult Literacy Program for its involvement in her son's cause.
She was also an avid gardener and lover of fine art, photography and music—especially opera.
Maria was predeceased by her parents, Paolo & Ines Ferrari.
Maria's ashes will be interred at the California Central Coast Veterans Cemetery in Seaside, CA.
In lieu of flowers, please consider sending a donation to the Special Olympics of Northern California. Or the Central Coast Veterans Cemetery Foundation in Marina. https://ccvcf.org/contribute/ Phone: (831) 281-1780 Email: email@example.com
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