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Stefano "Steve" Messana


1923 - 2014 | Obituary Condolences
Stefano "Steve" Messana Obituary
Messana, Stefano (Steve)
age 91, passed peacefully into eternity on May 31, 2014, and was reunited with his wife, Josephine, on their 64th wedding anniversary. Steve is preceded in death by his wife Josephine, their son Frank, his parents, and all of his siblings except Philip Messana, his youngest brother. Born in Alcamo, Sicily on February 27, 1923, Steve helped support his family at the young age of 5. He worked at a bakery and received leftover food for payment. He was required to serve in the Italian Army during World War 2. Much of his family had already immigrated to America and one of his brothers was enlisted in the American Army. Steve never fired his gun for fear of shooting his brother. In May 1950, Josephine DeFrancesco arrived in Italy and the two finally met in person after months of knowing each other only through letters. They were married during that trip and Josephine returned to America, expecting their first child. Steve came to the United States in July of 1951 to be with his wife and their six-month-old daughter. Steve was quickly absorbed into the family and found jobs in restaurants to support his small family before settling in one restaurant as a chef. He eventually bought the restaurant and renamed it "Steve's Mexican Food." Located at Central Avenue and Mohave, he served many people from all over the state and world for forty years. During his final days in hospice, he was pleased to learn that some of his aides had patronized Steve's Mexican Food for years. Steve was very active in helping the American Legion troop in South Phoenix, and helping many friends in other civic affairs. After retirement, Steve and Josephine enjoyed travelling and playing golf with good friends. They eventually purchased a home in Munds Park to spend the summers there. Steve was always helping his family and spending time in his garden. He was a wonderful baker and often spoiled his family with delicious cream puffs, cannoli, and biscotti. For many years he also made these pastries for the Russo and Steele car auction in January. He and his wife Josephine would work for weeks to hand them out to the people in the auction tent, who loved the delicious treats. People looked for Steve each year. He is survived by his daughter Rosemary Peterson, daughter Josephine Alcazar (Drew), and son Steve. He leaves behind 19 grandchildren and 32 great grandchildren. His family will greatly miss him and his wonderful sense of humor, his love for his family, his great laugh, and the love he had for his little dogs. A visitation will be held from 7:00-9:00pm Thursday, June 5, 2014 at A.L. Moore-Grimshaw Mortuary 710 West Bethany Home Road, Phoenix, AZ. Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 1:00 pm, Friday, June 6, 2014 at St Francis Xavier Catholic Church 4715 North Central Avenue Phoenix, AZ. Interment will follow at St. Francis Cemetery. Arrangements under the direction of A.L. Moore-Grimshaw Bethany Chapel, Phoenix, AZ.
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Published in The Arizona Republic on June 4, 2014
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