Of O'Hara Twp., formerly of Sharpsburg, passed away peacefully on Friday, November 15, 2013, surrounded by her loving family. Violet was the last surviving and tenth child of Antonio and Louisa Caridi's 12 children. She was preceded in death by her siblings, Isabella, James, Albert, Orland, William, Elsie, Edith, Ellen, Ann, Frank, and Tony. Violet devoted her life to the service of others. While always focused on being a most loving and supportive wife, mother, grandmother and friend, she always believed that she had a civic responsibility to do more. Violet fulfilled this self-imposed obligation with a life spent volunteering for charitable organizations close to her heart, most notably cancer survivors, the medical community and the arts. Having attended a class at the Pittsburgh Playhouse in the late 1950s, Violet volunteered as a performer for the Bedside Network to record radio and television scripts with veterans affected by their service in the Korean War. These broadcasts were played closed circuit throughout all Veterans Hospitals. This experience impressed upon Violet the need to minimize the negatives and maximize the joys in life. Coming from an impoverished background, this initial act of volunteerism greatly impacted the remainder of her life. It helped her to recognize how lucky she had been and compelled her to give back to society. Violet worked tirelessly for various nonprofit organizations her entire adult life. She was the former president of Allegheny County Law Wives, a strong supporter of the American Cancer Society, the Twenty-Five Club (benefiting Magee Women's Hospital), the Ladies Hospital Aide Society, and the Pittsburgh Opera Association. Further, Violet served as an adviser of the Dee Dee Sacco Fight For Life Fund and was a proud member of the Civic Light Opera Guild since 1985, and a member of the Distribution Committee of the Fugh Foundation. In 2010, Violet received the Performing Arts Partnership and Achievement Award from Point Park University, and the same year was honored for her outstanding volunteerism in Allegheny County by the Allegheny County Council. In 2012, she received the Compassion Award from the Ladies Hospital Aide Society. Violet had a wonderful sense of fashion and was often pictured in clothing that she herself had designed. Her distinct ability to coordinate garments and accessories distinguished her as one of Pittsburgh's own fashionistas. Referring to Violet in the May 2005 issue of Whirl Magazine, writer, Leslie Hoffman, declared, "fashion can be bought, style cannot." Her talents in this arena led her to be inducted as a fashion icon into the Pittsburgh Fashion Hall of Fame in 2012. Violet is survived by her loving husband of 46 years, Judge Robert C. Gallo; beloved sons, Robert C. Gallo II, Esq. (Amy) and Charles C. Gallo, Esq.; and her loving grandchildren, Cash, Siena, Trey and Emerson; as well as by many beloved nieces and nephews. She was a lifelong member of St. Juan Diego Parish (formerly Madonna of Jerusalem) in Sharpsburg. Friends and relatives will be received Friday from 3-8 p.m. at McCABE BROS., INC. FUNERAL HOME, 6214 Walnut St., Shadyside. A concelebrated Mass of Christian Burial will be offered on Saturday at 11 a.m. in St. Mary's Church of St. Juan Diego Parish, 211 Garnier St., Sharpsburg, by the Reverend Michael Caridi, the Reverend Michael Decewicz and the Reverend Joseph Mele. THOSE WISHING TO ATTEND PLEASE MEET AT CHURCH. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in honor of Violet's love of life and her courageous 17-year fight against four unrelated cancers to Forbes Hospice, 4800 Friendship Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15224 or Hillman Cancer Center, 5115 Center Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15232. The family extends a special note of thanks to the Forbes Hospice River Team for their dedicated and compassionate care.
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Published in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from Nov. 20 to Nov. 22, 2013