Thursday, January 28, 2010

Erminia T. (Ferraro) Odorisio (1920-2010)

This week we received the sad news of the passing of Squirrel Run native Erminia “Min” (Ferraro) Odorisio. Min passed away at her home in West Grove this past Saturday, January 23, 2010 at the age of 89.

Min was born at house #125 in the Squirrel Run community located at the DuPont powder mills along the Brandywine. She was the daughter of Francesco “Frank” Ferraro (known as “Brocìn”) and Maria (Bonifacino) Pesce.

Min’s parents were both immigrants from Giusvalla, Italy, but her father’s family - the Ferraros - were originally from the town of Cairo Montenotte (a neighboring town of Giusvalla). Francesco’s nickname “Brocìn” was derived from the neighborhood of “Broc” (where the Ferraro family originated in Cairo Montenotte). He came to the U.S. in 1905 and went to work for the DuPont family working in the powder mills.

Min’s mother, whose maiden name was Maria Lucia Bonifacino, was a native of a little village in Giusvalla called Cavanna. Maria came to the U.S. with her sister and brother-in-law and married her first husband, GioBatta “John” Pesce at the Cathedral of St. Peter in Wilmington, Delaware on July 24, 1902. She had four children by her first husband: Catherine “Katie,” Paul, Frances & Helen. John Pesce worked as a gardener for the DuPont family and died from injuries sustained in a work related accident on November 10, 1911 at the age of 33.

The widowed Maria (Bonifacino) Pesce remarried Frank Ferraro in Wilmington on December 16, 1912. By him she had five additional children: Frederick, an unnamed son who died at birth, Herman, Erminia “Min” & Charles.

After the powder mills closed in the mid 1920s, the Ferraro family moved to Chester county, Pennsylvania and went into the mushroom business. Min married Philadelphia native Anthony Odorisio, who passed away in 1970. At the time of her passing, Min had four children, eight grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Min can be seen as a little girl in the arms of her mother in the “Tutti I Giusvallini” banner picture above, which was taken at Squirrel Run on September 23, 1923.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Min’s family and friends. A full version of her obituary can be viewed at:

In the picture: Erminia's parents, Francesco & Maria (Bonifacino) (Pesce) Ferraro. Photo courtesy of Jim Brady (Ernest Salvo family collection).

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