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Justine Mataleno-Clerc

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Justine Mataleno-Clerc Obituary
Justine Mataleno-Clerc

AGE: 87 • Wilmington

Justine Mataleno-Clerc, 87, died June 25, 2017 in Compassionate Care Hospice at Saint Francis Hospital. Born in Wilmington on March 19,1930, she was the daughter of the late Annunziatta (Nancy) and Luigi (Louis) Mataleno, and the wife of the late Robert Clerc. Her sister Joann Skidmore, of Columbus, Ohio also predeceased her in 2012. Justine was a lifelong resident of Wilmington, living most recently at The Lorelton. Justine attended Ursuline Academy, and then graduated from the University of Delaware. She worked for Winterthur Museum and Gardens, retiring after 26 years of service. While employed there, Justine became interested in local history, especially that of the Italian-American population in Delaware. She organized a course about Delaware Italian-American history at the University of Delaware with Professor Bernard Herman. Her research resulted in the book, Arriving in Delaware: The Italian-American Experience, co-authored by her friend Priscilla Thompson, in 1989. Because of Justine's years of dedicated service to the Delaware Italian-American community, she is considered its historian. For her work in the restoration of the important Soldiers and Sailors Monument in Wilmington, the Wilmington Memorial Parade Committee honored Justine by naming her the first female Grand Marshall in 1976. In 1990, Gov. Michael Castle appointed her chair of the Delaware State Columbus 500 Celebration, and the Columbus Monument Committee named her "Woman of the Year." Justine served as President of the Delaware Italian-American Education Association, and assisted the program chairman of the Wilmington Friends of Italian Culture by organizing monthly lectures. As an original member of the Delaware Commission on Italian Heritage and Culture, Justine was instrumental in organizing the first Italian Summer Language Camp for children, La Mia Piazza. Justine is survived by three sisters: Jacqueline Kimball and Gracemarie Mataleno of Wilmington, and Angela Scanzello of Elkins Park, PA; seven nieces and nephews: David and Richard Skidmore, Carla Smith, Lara Murphy, Mark and Michael Scanzello and Carla Scanzello; and her Godson Walter David Soto and his wife Jenet and their children, Gabriella, Elen, and Isabel and their grandchild Evalina Justine all of Tucson, AZ. Visitation at 9:00 am and Mass of Christian Burial at 10:30 am, will be held at Saint Anthony of Padua Roman Catholic Church, 9th and DuPont Streets, on Monday, July 3, 2017. Burial will follow the ceremony at Cathedral Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions in memory of Justine Mataleno-Clerc can be made to: Delaware Italian-American Education Association ("DIAEA") and mailed to PO Box 8184, Wilmington, DE 19803-8184, ATTN: Anthony Albence. To send an online condolence please visit
Published in The News Journal from June 30 to July 2, 2017
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