Gemma Sanita Sciabica passed away peacefully on September 29th which was the Feast Day of St. Michael the Archangel. Gemma was a very loving person and lived Jesus' command: "Love one another as I have loved you". That love had to be tremendous because we were fortunate to receive that love as her sons, daughters-in-law, grandchildren, great grandchildren, Godchildren, nephews, nieces, cousins and friends.
Gemma was born on January 29, 1924 in Waterbury, Connecticut to Donato and Luisa Recchia. Her parents came from the small village of Volturara Appula in the Province of Foggia in the Apulia region of southeast Italy. Gemma had one sister Sanita Recchia who predeceased her and two brothers Antonio (Carmela) Recchia and Pasquale (Mary) Recchia who also predeceased her. She lived to be the oldest of all her family.
Gemma married Joseph Sciabica in 1943 and moved to Modesto. She always preferred the warm weather in California compared to the cold weather in Connecticut. She definitely did not like the snow and ice. Joseph and his father Nicola (Nick) pioneered the production of premium olive oil in California and Gemma, with the talents she learned from her mother Luisa, developed her own cooking techniques using exclusively the family's olive oil. In her latter years Gemma self-published five cookbooks encompassing all her cooking talents covering everything from desserts to main dishes. Joseph was her best promoter and we all enjoyed with so many others her wonderful meals. Joseph passed away in 2010 and it is comforting to know that they are now reunited along with her family and her Mother who she so longed to see. They are all now enjoying a wonderful banquet in Heaven!
Gemma is survived by her two sons, Nicholas and Daniel and her two daughters-in-law, Terese and Emily. She is also survived by her grandsons Joseph (Merrilisa), Jonathan (Katie) and Sean and her granddaughters Christa (Ryan), Mari and Marissa. She is also survived by her great grandsons Nicholas, Andrew, Killian, Dante, Lucca, Lorenzo and her great granddaughters Reagan, Gemma and McKenna. She is also survived by her nieces, Patty, Palma, Louise, Mary Jo, Linda and Dolores and her nephew Anthony. She also had another nephew Daniel who predeceased her.
Services will be private through Franklin and Downs Funeral Home and St. Stanislaus Catholic Church. Memorial remembrances can be made as a donation to the St. Vincent de Paul Society at St. Stanislaus Catholic Church.
We love you Mom and know you have been made whole again and are enjoying the presence of our Lord, whose love for you shined on all of us. Your ministry was your family. We felt God's love non-stop through you. We take comfort that you are now reunited with everyone you so longed to see in the eternal glories of your Heavenly Home.
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