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Frances Castrogiovanni

FRANCES 'FRAN' CASTROGIOVANNI (DODARO), 93 ROCKFORD - Fran Castrogiovanni, 93, loving sister, teacher, wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, passed away suddenly on Sunday, September 8, 2013, in the company of friends and neighbors. A lifelong resident of Rockford, IL, Fran was born on July 5, 1920, the youngest child of Luigi and Caroline (Bartolini) Dodaro, the proprietors of Piemonte Bakery. With intelligence and moxie, she excelled at Muldoon High School and went on to graduate from Rockford College, an extraordinary achievement for a daughter of immigrants in an era when educational opportunities for women - particularly Italian-Americans - were limited. Following graduation, she worked as a teacher in Woodstock, IL until her marriage to Anthony, "Tony" Castrogiovanni on June 17, 1945. In their 65 years of marriage, the couple, known throughout the Rockford community for their hospitality, warmth and graciousness, raised three daughters and bore witness to the additions of six grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. Known for her unyielding commitment to family and friends, she regularly hosted multi-course Sunday dinners at her home, a venue through which she displayed her creativity and culinary skill. With her quick wit and outgoing nature, she was fast to make new acquaintances, not only in Rockford but on the global travel adventures that she and Tony shared. Her spirituality was her compass and center, providing solace in the wake of Tony's July 2010 death. Fran was a founding board member of Provena St. Anne's Auxiliary and a member of the Holy Family Bible Study Group. She served on several other boards and volunteered for a number of local organizations. Fran is survived by daughters, Roz Hill, Carla (John) Cox and Fran (Jim) Knutson; grandchildren, Tony (Rebecca) Hill, Jeff (Jennifer) Hill, Carrie Cox, Chris Cox, Marifran (Greg) Georgis and Julie Knutson (Tyler) Rudick; nine great-grandchildren; brothers-in-law, John (June) and Joe (Sharyn) Castrogiovanni; sister-in-law, Mary Castrogiovanni; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. She was predeceased by her parents; husband, Tony; son-in-law, Stephen Hill; sisters, Mary (Eimo) Galvanoni and Irene (Bill) McKeever; and brother-in-law, Al Castrogiovanni. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:30 a.m. Friday, September 13, in Holy Family Catholic Church, 4401 Highcrest Road. Burial in St. Mary/St. James Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 9 to 11:15 a.m. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Boylan Catholic High School (the Anthony and Frances (Dodaro) Castrogiovanni and Family Scholarship), Advancement Office, 4000 St. Frances Drive, Rockford, IL 61103, or the Poor Clare Corpus Christi Monastery, 2111 S. Main St., Rockford, IL 61102. Express condolences at www.fitzgeraldfh.com.

Published in Rockford Register Star from Sept. 11 to Sept. 12, 2013
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