On the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, October 4, 2019, with him and St. Jude the Apostle to guide her, Elaine Ann DelMonico was embraced by the loving arms of God and ushered into her heavenly home, surrounded and supported by her loving son, sister, niece and nephew. The time of life which St. Francis sang of as "Sister Death" came peacefully for her, at St. Elizabeth Medical Center, after a long struggle with COPD. Elaine was born in Utica, July 7, 1941, the first daughter of the late Armand (Amy) and Lucy Nicolina (Colacicco) Salerno. She attended Theodore Roosevelt Elementary School and was a 1960 graduate of Utica Free Academy. Elaine shared a marriage of twenty-two years with Louis DelMonico, and together they had one son, Marc DelMonico of Adelphi, Maryland. Elaine considered Marc the biggest blessing of her life and worked very hard and sacrificed much to ensure his education in local Catholic schools. She instilled in him a life-long faith and a commitment of care for others, especially those who are less fortunate. For 33 years, Elaine worked as a clerk for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Utica - Watertown, Inc., where she was recognized for her organizational skills, attention to detail and dedicated service. After retiring in 1995, she channeled her life-long love of classy and elegant clothing by working part-time as a retail clerk at The Princess Shop in New Hartford. During the late 1990s and early 2000s, together with her younger sister, Phyllis Theresa (Salerno) Padula, she also used the free time retirement afforded her to provide long-term in-home care for her ailing father. Elaine's Roman Catholic faith was the foundation of her life, instilled by her parents. She was baptized at St. Mary of Mt. Carmel Parish, participating in the other sacraments and in the life of Blessed Sacrament Parish as an adult. She continued to be an active parishioner when the communities merged in 2006 to become St. Mary of Mt. Carmel/Blessed Sacrament. The music ministry of the choir, in which her son participates, especially inspired her faith, as did the relationships she shared with friends in the parish. She would come to the choral meditation evenings at the parish whenever she had the chance. In her personal prayer life, she maintained long-time devotions to the Infant Jesus of Prague, to our Blessed Mother Mary, and especially to St. Jude, the Catholic patron for those who have lost hope. Ever hopeful herself, she always prayed for her needs and those of others, confident in God's loving and tender care - a confidence which she maintained even as her health failed over the past year. Deeply independent, with an amazing strength of will and conviction, Elaine also attentively cared for her family, her home and the well-being of others, often above her own needs. So deep was that care, she sometimes struggled to accept when others worked to care for her. She persevered with a zest for living all the way through her last days in this life. She always put into action her strongly held values of care and concern for those in need, and for the good of society. Even though she possessed limited means, she supported many worthy causes, including the work of her parish communities, the HOPE Appeal for the Diocese of Syracuse, and the work of the Claretian religious order. They foster the devotion to St. Jude as part of their missionary work of sharing the good news of God's love in Christ around the globe. She was always a source of joy within her family. Elaine had a lifelong love of music in general, and was an avid fan of Elvis Presley. She enjoyed daytime talk shows and soap operas. She was extremely organized; an exquisite record-keeper and holder of family memories (pictures, birthdays, etc.). Her love of beautiful clothing reflected her inner classiness and the beauty others always saw in her, even as she demurred. Eclectic in taste, she deeply appreciated exuberant works of art as well as small items and mementos of family members, friends and events, which adorned her house. These items always recalled for her a treasure trove of memories and experiences which she held close to her heart. An avid reader, she enjoyed reading the daily newspaper and magazines, and was always well-informed, keeping up with the news and weather. She was deeply patriotic for the values of freedom, democracy, care for others and welcome to immigrants which are essential to the American experience. A life-long member of the Democratic party, one of her final fervent prayers and hopes was that the contemptible Donald Trump and his corrupt family and comrades would be impeached and removed from office so that her country's government could once again reflect the best values of its people. In addition to her beloved son Marc, Elaine is survived by many who loved and cared for her, especially her dear sister Phyllis, with whom she shared a lifetime loving relationship and who, together with her late husband, Robert Padula, made space in their home and hearts for Elaine during her illness. She is also survived by her niece Debbe (Padula) Clark, and husband, Thomas; and nephew Robert Armand Padula and his wife, Crystal (Wall) Padula of Syracuse, as well as great nephews, Alex Padula and Dominic Girard Clark and great nieces, Ana Capri and Victoria Marie Padula - all of whom were deeply treasured by her. She has one surviving uncle, Frank Salerno and wife, Wanda, of Winter Park, Florida. Elaine's surviving cousins include: Antoinette (Migliaccio) Tantillo; Theresa (Migliaccico) Zegarelli, and husband, Remo; Judy (Migliaccio) Seaken, and husband Mike; Ralph Migliaccico, and wife, Roseanne; Fran Cosmo Migliaccio, and wife, Sandy; and Michael Centolella, and wife Marie. Elaine was also deeply blessed with many other second cousins and extended family that she loved with motherly affection. She is predeceased by her parents, uncles John Salerno, and wife Helen; Albert Salerno, and wife, Mary; and Raymond Salerno, as well as by aunts Clara Migliaccio, and husband, Anthony, and Nicolina (Nicky) Centolella, and husband Louis. Elaine was blessed with many friends throughout her life, and shared a special bond with Mary Jane Bello, Arlene D'Accurzio, Rita LaBrie, and her hair stylist Mary Ellen Shaw, all of Utica, as well as Eleanor Bianchi of Centerville, Ohio. She was also profoundly grateful for her friend and fellow parishioner Bonnie Gardiner, who visited her and ministered Holy Communion to her over the past months. All those whose lives were touched by Elaine are invited to celebrate her life, first at calling hours 5 - 7 p.m. on Tuesday, October 8 at The Matt Funeral Home, 700 Rutger St., at Mohawk St., Utica, with Catholic vigil prayers for the deceased at 6:40 p.m. Her entrance into new life will be celebrated with the Mass of Christian Burial on Wednesday, October 9 at 10 a.m. at St. Mary of Mt. Carmel/Blessed Sacrament Parish, 648 Jay St., Utica. Interment will be in Calvary Cemetery, with the Rite of Committal and Final Commendation following the Mass. Elaine's family would like to offer their heartfelt thanks to Susan Griffing, NP, and her assistant Michelle Kelly; Dr. Fred Talarico and Pat Rosati, NP, and Drs. William Lindsey and Mark Hobaica and their staffs for their professional and personal care. They also express their heartfelt appreciation of the doctors and exemplary nurses at St. Luke's Medical Center and the Masonic Care Community, who cared for Elaine previously, and of St. Elizabeth Medical Center, who were deeply compassionate, caring and attentive during the final days of her illness. Elaine's son Marc wishes to collect stories from family and friends about her and the relationships she had to compile for sharing. Please contact the Matt Funeral Home to find out how to share your remembrances of Elaine. To carry on Elaine's legacy of care for those in need, please also consider donations in her memory to St. Mary of Mt. Carmel/Blessed Sacrament Parish or the Claretian Missionaries, USA-Canada Province (http://www.claretiansusa.org/). For directions to the funeral home, click the link above.
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