STAMFORD, Conn. – Gertrude Marie Melillo DiTaranto, a lifelong Stamford resident, died Dec. 19 at Stamford Hospital, surrounded by family. She was 96.
She was born March 26, 1916, in Stamford to Joseph and Louise LaBianca Melillo.
She graduated from Stamford High School and secretarial school. She was married to Belisario "Nino" DiTaranto, whom she met and married in Italy, for 55 years.
A lover of music, she enjoyed opera, dancing with her husband and singing in school musical productions and various choirs, including the Greenwich Choral Society. She was especially proud of a performance with the choir at Carnegie Hall.
DiTaranto's family said her Catholic faith was extremely important to her and she felt privileged to have received communion from Padre Pio of Italy, now St. Pio, to whom she had a special devotion.
She retired from secretarial work after working for Conde Nast Publications and Dorr-Oliver Inc. and becoming a homemaker.
DiTaranto is survived by a sister, Victoria Lacerenza, of Stamford; a daughter, Marianne (Ed) Matunas, of Marlborough, Conn.; a sister-in-law, Donatella Laddaga; two grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.
She was predeceased by a brother, Michael; two sisters, Venerina Vacca and Clelia Melillo; two brothers-in-law, Joseph Lacerenza Sr. and Tripoli Vacca; and a son, who died before birth.
Visitation is 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Lacerenza Funeral Home in Stamford. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at St. Leo's Church in Stamford. Burial will follow at St. John’s Cemetery in Darien.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Carl and Dorothy Bennett Cancer Center at Stamford Hospital, 30 Shelburne Road, Stamford, CT 06904, or St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.