Maggelina Marie Caito Corsaro
Passed away Sunday morning, March 3 after a brief illness. She was 98. Maggelina, (Aunt Mag) (Grandma Maggie) had only two priorities in her life; her family and her Catholic faith. Her unrelenting devotion to these two causes insured that she had a life filled with great love and much happiness.
Maggie was born September 3, 1914 into the Italian community in downtown Indianapolis. Her parents, Clara Katherine Mercurio Caito and Joseph J. Caito were first generation Italian immigrants who made their living in the banana business. She was the first child of the couple who would eventually welcome Ida Mae, Mary Ann, Phillip, Marguerite and Johnny to their family. Maggie loved to work, especially with her father and mother and was often said to be as strong as a man, and with quick hands. One of her favorite sayings, "Hard work never killed nobody", described her life, even up to two days before her death when she could still be found working five days a week at her sons' business, Indianapolis Fruit Company. Maggie was happiest when she was working and doing for people she cared about including not only her own children, but also nieces and nephews, cousins and anyone who might be a cousin.
Maggie's reputation as a great cook came from her bread. Each morning Maggie and her mother and sisters would wake at 4am to bake bread. "When the bread comes good - it was like candy." Maggie picked tomatoes with her sisters and stewed them into sauce on an open fire in the backyard. This family sauce became famous and Maggie and her mother and sisters were often called upon to cook for spaghetti suppers. No one knows how many spaghetti suppers Maggie has cooked but suffice it to say that there is not a Catholic in town that hasn't eaten her pasta. She is fondly remembered as the original "Fettuccine Maggelini", matriarch of the Holy Rosary Italian Festival. Her greatest joy was seeing her immediate family and her extended church family gathered to cook and laugh and sing and chant while festival goers enjoyed great food made by true Italians.
Maggie grew up in the depression so she could stretch a dollar. It was a sin not to finish the food on your plate, or to pay full price, or even to buy a new mattress after over 50 years of marriage. When asked what she wanted to order at a restaurant, Maggie never was too concerned about what might taste good. Her answer would always be, "I'll take whatever is the cheapest!" Money never meant more to Maggie than people did, which is probably why she kept her money stashed securely in a purse in the oven. In fact, Maggie only had two vices, chocolate and ice cream. If you check the pockets of any coat, jacket or pair of pants that Maggie ever wore there is about a 99% chance that you will be treated to a piece of candy.
Maggie started every day with prayers. Over the years her stack of prayer cards grew and became tattered from overuse. She had the world's largest collection of Rosaries too and could find a good reason to say the Rosary any hour of the day for any occasion. Maggie has generations of people saying the Rosary and by doing so has introduced people to her Catholic faith. Maggie had a personal relationship with God and most of the saints. She knew what each saint stood for and would call upon them for support. She rarely was denied, but when she was, she would let them know that she was not happy with them at the moment. Disappointments never diminished Maggie's faith. Maggie prayed for everything and everybody. Her prayer list was often so long that she would keep notes to insure that all her commitments were covered. She probably bent the prayer rules a little by asking Jesus to let her grandchildren win their games and that nobody would get hurt. These prayers have been called upon for CYO, high school and college games, too numerous to mention.
Maggie loved sports, all sports, including college and professional teams; but mostly she loved watching her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren play games and participate in various activities. Maggie did not just watch the games, she was a coach on the sidelines yelling "Hands up boys" or giving the refs a piece of her mind. Maggie would have been a great athlete if she had been given the opportunity. She was fast and agile and feisty, and not afraid to mix it up. Late into her eighties she was known to still do cart wheels when given the least encouragement and her grandsons would enjoy having their grandmother flex her muscles so that their friends could appreciate her "guns". If there was an award for attending the most CYO games, Maggie would win it hands down. One of her proudest moments was the naming of the Danny and Maggie Corsaro Family CYO Gymnasium.
On November 6, 1938, when Maggie married (Daniel Francis) Danny Corsaro she became part of an Italian family that needed her and appreciated her. She was always proud to be a Corsaro and would say "they know Corsaros wherever you go." Together Maggie and Danny raised four healthy children, Paul, Concetta (Groves), Joe and Danny; and together they suffered the loss of first daughter Concetta Joan to leukemia and the loss of twin boys at birth. Maggie and Danny were married 62 years and they made a great team. Aunt Mag was like a mother to many nieces and nephews too, especially the Page children. She is remembered for cooking hot "mufalletti" with jelly, chasing you with a broomstick when you were bad, carting you around in the station wagon, traipsing to all your games and making sure you knew the importance of family. She always stressed the love and the bond of family.
Maggie made the most of every life experience and she made friends along the way. Everyone calls her Aunt Mag whether she is their Aunt or not. And it didn't really matter to Maggie whether you were actually related - if you needed help she would try to figure out how to help you. Maggie's favorite charities were the Little Sisters of the Poor, CYO and Holy Rosary Church, and each of these represented her true love and devotion to faith and family.
Maggie was preceded in death by her parents Joseph and Clara Caito, her husband Daniel F. Corsaro, her sister Ida Mae Mascari and her brother Phillip Caito, and her daughter Concetta Joan and twin boys. She is survived by her sisters, Mary Ann Schembra (Joe), Marguerite Bova (Junior), and her brother John Caito (Mary Ann).
Maggie will be dearly missed by her four children and their spouses, Paul and Francie (Dunn) Corsaro, Concetta and Paul Groves, Joe and Andee (Brinkley) Corsaro and Danny and Karen (Demarest) Corsaro and fourteen grandchildren and twenty-three great grandchildren.
Grandchildren: Danny Corsaro (Francine), Greg Corsaro (Susie), Amy Bauer (Shawn), Kristi Marino (Andy), Andy Corsaro (Melyssa), Mia Hirschy (Andy), Michelle Matthews (Mike), Julie Stewart (Nick), Johnny Groves (fiancé Crystal Mullins), Matthew Corsaro, Alex Corsaro, Daniel Corsaro, Maggie Corsaro, and Anthony Corsaro.
Great Grandchildren: Paul F. Corsaro, Dominic Corsaro, Joey Corsaro, Vinnie Corsaro, Lucia Corsaro, Paul G. Corsaro, Casey Corsaro, Lindsey Corsaro, Shane Bauer, Luke Bauer, Nicky Marino, Sophia Marino, Tony Marino, Tessa Corsaro, Ben Hirschy, Katie Hirschy, Sam Hirschy, Paul Matthews, Jack Matthews, Katie Matthews, Grace Stewart, Nicholas Stewart, and Abi Stewart.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Friday March 8, 2013 at 10 a.m. in Holy Rosary Catholic Church. Visitation will be Thursday from 2 p.m. until 8 p.m. at Daniel F. O'Riley Funeral Home with a Rosary being said at 7:30 p.m. and morning prayers being said on Friday at 9:15 a.m. prior to Mass. Entombment will be in Calvary Cemetery. Memorial contributions are requested to Little Sisters of the Poor, St. Augustine's Home, 2345 W. 86th St., Indianapolis, IN 46260 or CYO, 580 E. Stevens St., Indianapolis, IN 46203 or Holy Rosary Church, 520 Stevens St., Indianapolis, IN 46203. Online condolences may be shared with the family at orileyfuneralhome.com.