March 15, 1929 – February 5, 2019
Despina “Marie” Baralis Di Bernardo Born in Astoria, New York on March 15, 1929 Died in Valrico, Florida on February 5, 2019
Marie was the 7th of 10 children born to George and Eugenia Baralis, both immigrants from Greece. She graduated Long Island City High School in 1947 and took some college classes at Parsons, The New School. In her early 20s, Marie won a local beauty contest and won a fox fur coat. After taking some design classes, Marie began working in the garment industry where she eventually met her husband Sam DiBernardo. They co-owned a clothing line named Xavier Knits. In the three decades Marie spent designing women’s wear, she traveled extensively throughout Europe and the Far East. In addition to being a talented designer, Marie inherited her mother’s love of cooking. She and her husband used to throw magnificent dinner parties in their 40th floor Manhattan apartment. These were attended not only by family, but also some famous friends like actor Danny Kaye and opera singer Beverly Sills and her mother Shirley. This generous and family-oriented approach continued when Sam and Marie moved to Florida almost 40 years ago. Her house always had an open door. For that she will always be remembered.
Marie is survived by her younger sister Catherine of Little Neck, New York and her 15 nieces and nephews and her step daughter Donna DiBernardo of Los Angeles, California.
- Funeral Service Tuesday, February 12, 2019
- Graveside Service Tuesday, February 12, 2019