Josephine D. Vacarella
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Josephine D. Vacarella
  • August 25, 1926 - December 21, 2017
  • Helena, Alabama

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Josephine D'Alessandro Vacarella , 91 of Helena, Alabama, transitioned peacefully on Thursday, December 21, 2017 at home in the arms of her loved ones. Born August 25, 1926, she was a devoted wife and mother. She was preceded in death by her beloved husband of 47 years, Ross Walter Vacarella, parents Carmella Scozzari and Gaetano D'Alessandro both from Casteltermini, Sicily. She is survived by her daughter Julie Ann and son-in-law, Samuel A. Ciulla Jr. Also survived by her sister Sarah Modica of Seaside, Florida, brother Frank D'Alessandro and sister-in-laws, Sara V. Mangina, Ann V. Campanotta and Prue D'Alessandro, all of Birmingham, Alabama. Also survived by a host of nieces and nephews. Most specially survived by a granddaughter of the heart Laundyn Merchant. Josephine was a member of Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church and through the years sponsored many godchildren and converts into the Catholic faith. She was a great admirer of Mother Angelica and watched daily Mass and Rosary on EWTN. Josephine was born in Birmingham's Southside area, grew up in Norwood and eventually moved to Bessemer, Alabama. She was very athletic as a child and spent her youth working in her parent's grocery store. She married at the age of 19 to Ross and partnered in opening S&R Grocery. As the years passed, she was known for her dedication to her only child, born after 16 years of marriage. This devotion later extended to her loving son-in-law. As a first generation Italian American, she always took great pride in her Sicilian Heritage, including fond memories of her childhood trip to Sicily in 1939. She was known for her great love of people, ability to never meet a stranger, a generous love of laughter and always remaining young at heart. Her passions included backyard birdwatching, a love of flowers, especially roses, late night reading, an extensive knowledge of needlework and an admiration of all kinds of music from opera, blues to rock. In her later years she kept sharp with word search puzzles and adult dot-to-dot books. She spent the last 11 years of her life with her children. The funeral arrangements are as follows: Visitation on Wednesday, December 27, 2017 from 9:30AM – 11:30AM, with Mass at 11:30AM at Our Lady of the Valley Church, 5514 Double Oak LN Birmingham, Alabama. Burial will be at Elmwood Cemetery, with luncheon to follow at the church social hall. The family would like to greatly extend their gratitude to Josephine's wonderful caregivers over the years, especially Janet Hudson, Gina Dempsey and Sue Rubiee. She was lovingly tended to by Compassus Hospice Care including her special nurse, Ashley Echols and sitter Jackie Rogers. The family extends a very special thank you to her Eucharistic Ministers, Joe Levio, Joe Gallagher and Larry Toups. May they forever be blessed.