Emma Girardi

Wife, mother, Renaissance woman…

Emma came to Canada from Italy in the 1950s where she and her husband, Aldo, raised two children. Though not a well-educated woman, Emma was a woman with boundless intellectual curiosity. 

She dedicated herself to learning all she could about her new country and instilled its values in among the many others she taught her children.

Though not an extensively educated woman, Emma kept up with all the news of her new homeland. She even read English newspapers, a challenge for an immigrant with limited education.

Emma worked for many years in the garment district of Spadina and Bathurst, a work-life that spilled into her home where she tailor-made apparel for her entire family for years. Not surprisingly, her boundless curiosity and talents extended to her kitchen where she not only proved to be a highly skilled cook, outstanding baker but also demonstrated skills at developing original recipes still used by her children today.

Besides being a family woman, Emma was a woman of amazing social skills interacting with neighbours near and far, developing a surprising number of life-long friends with whom she maintained firm contact her entire life. Even more surprising, though her language skills were limited to accented English and fluent Italian, she developed bonds of friendship across all nationalities. It was a lesson about socialization skills to watch her converse with Chinese, Filipino and German neighbours as if she were speaking their own languages.

“Madre” as almost everyone called her, was a jewel, a treasure of a woman who brought joy to every person with whom she had contact. Her curiosity about life never stopped; her enjoyment of people was beyond limit; her thirst for knowledge and new skills was never-ending. 

Emma will always be a woman to celebrate!

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