Oct. 8, 1934 - May 4, 2020 Virginia Mary Di Leva, a beloved mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and friend, passed away peacefully at her home on May 4, 2020 surrounded by her family. Born in the Vinegar Hill section of San Pedro, CA on October 8, 1934 to Italo and Silvia Poli (both from Borghetto, Italy), Virginia was born in the same little house that became the family's epicenter of social and familial life for 4 generations. Virginia attended 15th Street Elementary, Dana Jr. High, and San Pedro High School- class of Summer-'52. Virginia started her first day of elementary school not speaking a word of English, but quickly excelled. Her passion for learning and diligent work ethic placed her near the top of her class at every grade level. She shared her love of learning with her 3 children who all went on to pursue higher education and start families of their own, all finding success and achieving the American dream. Virginia's pride was her family and she loved cooking for them. Her passion for cooking and baking is where she excelled and everyone benefited. Visiting with Virginia or attending a family holiday meal meant no one left hungry and everyone felt welcome. Virginia was a renowned baker known for her cookies and family meals. She began working at Ramona Bakery at age 17 to help support her family after her fathers untimely death in 1951. Virginia met and married Mario Di Leva, a commercial fisherman, in 1962. Their union was cut short by Mario's passing in 1982, and Virginia became the sole provider and caretaker for her 3 young sons. Once again picking up her cross, she pressed on and worked tirelessly to continue family traditions and values that remain in place to this day. Virginia will also be missed by her family and friends at Mary Star of the Sea Parish where she was an active volunteer, greeting parishioners and feeding the homeless in the Christian Care ministry. Virginia was preceded in death by her husband Mario, parents Italo and Silvia Poli, brother Lino Poli, nephew Robert Poli, brothers and sisters in-law Mike Rivera, Tony and Louise Di Leva, Jero and Betty Di Leva, Michel Di Leva, Salvador Di Meglio and Richard Ambrosi. She is survived by her sons, Mario (Lisa), Joseph (Ruth), and Christopher (Patti) Di Leva, sister Josephine Rivera, brother Robert Poli, grandchildren Mario, Joseph, Matthew, and Samantha Di Leva, along with many nieces and nephews, and cousins in Northern Italy. Virginia's wishes were that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Mary Star of the Sea High School. Please sign the guestbook at mcnerneysmortuary.com.
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Published in Palos Verdes Peninsula News on May 14, 2020.