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1929 Michelina "Lela" 2023

Michelina "Lela" (Cariglia) D'Angelo

March 11, 1929 — November 15, 2023

Michelina (Cariglia) D’Angelo, 94, a lifelong Worcester resident, passed away surrounded by her family Wednesday, November 15, 2023, after a brief  illness.

Born in Worcester, March 11, 1929, she was one of four children of Michelina (Tomaiolo) Cariglia and Martino “Joe the Park” Cariglia. “Lela” as she was fondly called graduated from Girls Fanning Trade, met, and married “the Love of her life” Anthony “Tony” D’Angelo and has lived the next 75 years together with faith, family and devotion as one in Worcester.  

She leaves her devoted, loving husband of 75 years Anthony; two daughters, Judith Verdini and her husband Joseph, Virginia “Ginny” D’Angelo-Lajoie and her husband Joseph; three grandchildren, Joseph Verdini and his wife Misty, Annina Verdini and Joseph D’Angelo-Lajoie; three great granddaughters whom she adored, Delina, Michelina, Genevieve Verdini.  She is also survived by a brother Martin “Marty” Cariglia and his wife Lucy.  Many nieces and nephews, cousins and friends loved her.

Lela is predeceased by two brothers and sister-in-law’s, Leonard and Elizabeth Cariglia, Dante, and Jean Cariglia

Lela was a stay-at-home mom, the glue that kept the Italian family together.  Each week with her sing-song voice, she would go through her telephone book and call family and friends whom she hadn’t heard from just to stay in touch.  She made frequent calls to Viesta, Foggia, Italy to talk to her cousins, and traveled with Tony many times to visit them as well as visiting all around Europe. Lela also enjoyed her jaunts to the casino with her Aunt Margaret and Uncle Joe Fortunato. She was a member of Our Lady of Lourdes Church and previously volunteered as a lunch lady on Wednesdays at Sacred Heart Academy.

Lela was famous for being a fashionista.  She always dressed to the nines, even when she went to the grocery store. Everyone was welcome in her home, was very proud of her Italian heritage and often when meeting people with an Italian last name, she would ask if they came from Shrewsbury Street. She had a memory like an elephant and remembered people whom they were related to; she was a walking encyclopedia.  Once she knew you were Italian, she recognized whom your family was and could trace your lineage.  In her younger years, Lela was a member of the Colonial Drum & Bugle Corp.  She also sang with a group of girlfriends who called themselves “THE SWINGSTERS”.

A period of calling hours will be held Wednesday November 29th from 9 am to 11 am followed by her funeral Mass at 11 am in Our Lady of Lourdes Church, 1290 Grafton Street.  Burial will be in St John Cemetery.   In lieu of flowers donations can be made in her name to Our Lady of Lourdes Church, 1290 Grafton Street, Worcester, MA 01604.  THE MERCADANTE FUNERAL HOME & CHAPEL, 370 Plantation St is honored to assist the family once more.   



To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Michelina "Lela" (Cariglia) D'Angelo, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Wednesday, November 29, 2023

9:00 - 10:45 am (Eastern time)

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Funeral Mass

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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