The Fortin Group


Nellie (Mastrodomenico) Tonoli

March 20, 1918November 14, 2021
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Lewiston: Nellie Marie (Mastrodomenico) Tonoli passed away Sunday, November 14, 2021. Born at home in Rockland MA, March 20, 1918 the last living of 8 children to Philomena (Ricchadillo) and Andrew Mastrodomenico. Their home was full of love of family and a strong work ethic.

Nellie excelled at detailed work by becoming a master seamstress of wedding dresses in Boston. In 1940, she met and married Bernard R.Tonoli. Together they made a difficult choice to move to Maine to raise their family. Bernie and Nell resided on Charles Street in Lewiston where their home had plenty of family and friends that visited regularly with backyard fun, laughing, food, and swimming.

Noni was the “caregiver” of the family. Loving, strong and considerate. She had a voice that could be heard anywhere. Her ability to be a caretaker and be an educator of life for not only her two children, but all her nieces, nephews, grandchildren and great grandchildren was a testament to the distinctive qualities she carried.

Her cooking was legendary. Traditional Italian meals were abundant and delicious. If you asked her for a recipe, she would look at you, laugh and say, “There is no recipe.” She was also a long time member of the Sons of Italy. Holidays were always special, especially Christmas where with her best friends Ruth and John Poulin, they volunteered for the annual St. Patrick’s Christmas Fair. Under her family tree, Nellie loved to splurge on gifts for everyone.

At 103, Nellie still lived in her own condo up until recently. Determined to be self-sufficient, but always close to family, she could relax, read, surrounded with her books, crossword puzzles and tv lineup of Price is Right, Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy.

Nellie will be missed for her deep love of family and extended friends that became family. She is survived by her two children, Rick Tonoli, daughter in law Jill and Linda M. Tardiff, son in law Raymond and a special niece, Carol Bolduc Coffin. Three grandchildren, Kara Lynn Tonoli Traynor (Steve), Matthew Bernard Tonoli Tardiff (Jennifer Damon) and Jayme R. Tardiff. Six great grandchildren, Benjamin, Thomas and Charles Tardiff, Wade, Knox and Eden Traynor. She was predeceased by her husband, seven siblings and her parents and special friend, Janet Smyc.

At the request of the family, all services will be private. Online condolences can be shared at


  • A Celebration of Life

    Saturday, November 20, 2021


Nellie (Mastrodomenico) Tonoli

have a memory or condolence to add?

Roger Bouffard

November 29, 2021

Ti Ray, Linda and family,

Our condolences to you and your family. May the wonderful times you shared with Mrs. Tonoli comfort you today and always

Roger M. & Yvonne F. Bouffard

Paula Tice

November 20, 2021

Aunt Nell will always hold a special place in my heart. It was always a joy to be around her. I smile when I think of her and remember all the fun we had when we were all together.
Aunt Nell will be greatly missed.

Gary Nauyokas

November 19, 2021

So sorry for your loss I used to work at the distillery when nellie and Bernie run the the place we had a lot fun there together she was a fine lady always had a smile and would treat me as part of the family.She thought the world of her children may she Rest In Peace

Lynn Stewart

November 18, 2021

She was a very special lady. I have great memories of visiting her and family at her home. Also very special memories when she would come to Rockland. We had the best times with families and friends and can’t leave out the great food. Love this family. She will be truly missed. ❤️❤️

Jeannie Mark

November 17, 2021

My sympathies to you Linda, and your family. Although not a blood relative and not even a “Maniac”, I had the privilege of knowing ‘Aunt’ Nell through her niece, my friend, Marilyn. ❤️ Nellie scared me when I first met her with her forthright questions and loud voice, but right away she accepted me as an extension of her family and treated me with her abundance of love. She would always ask for my husband, Bill, ( if he wasn’t with me) and then when kids came around, for them, too. Her memory, for MANY years, was amazing!
Nell was kind, curious and caring. But what I admired most about her was her confidence and how she spoke with such strong conviction. She was a force to be reckoned with! Albeit one may not have liked it, you always knew where you stood with Nelly.
She was a wonderful woman whom I was lucky to know.
Blessings to you, Linda. May your mom RIP ❤️

Sheri Shaw

November 17, 2021

How to summarize 103 years? You have touched so many lives and we will be forever grateful for it. Rest In Peace with your Beloved now-you raised us well.
Sheri, Steve, Graham Nicolas (your name sake), Liam & Logan "your" twins

Rosemary Caporale

November 17, 2021

Aunt Nellie I will never forget you! What a wonderful life you lived. I have great memories of your entire family and also spending time at your home with Linda and Marilyn when we were teenagers. As I recall the Oreo debacle happened during that summer! You were always a good sport especially dealing with 3 teenage girls. May you rest in peace. Dance with all your family. Especially Uncle Bernie. Love from Rosey and Ron.

Debbie Wright

November 17, 2021

Elaine Hyams

November 16, 2021

The family matriarch is gone now. Aged 103. It had to happen. But it shouldn't have been now, or how: Covid. She didn't deserve that. Covid took the wrong person.
She helped so many in the family – from her own parents, to her sister Carmeline, her niece Carol, daughter Linda and daughter-in-law Jill through their illnesses (decades ago), granddaughter Kara, grandsons Matthew and Jayme, Sheri’s twins, and on down to her own great-grandchildren. She was a rock of consistency and kindness. Many other friends/neighbors counted on Nellie’s support.
Beneath her sometimes gruff exterior, Nellie was soft as a grape. My kids were both very fond of her, and not only because she encouraged David to gorge on ice cream for breakfast! She and Bernie warmly accepted Paul into the family from the first moment I brought a “Limey” home. She even loaned us her car – with its resident wasp’s nest – for the year we were in Princeton.
Why are pictures on this tribute page of Nellie and family around food-laden tables? Because that’s where everyone spent time! That woman could really cook! Her apple pies were legendary. She shared the Mastro women’s knack for producing miracles from a pound or two of spaghetti, lasagne, rigatoni – whatever. If Nellie had been short-order cook for Jesus, they would have fed more than 5,000.
She mostly stuck to Lewiston, with forays to family in Massachusetts. Bernie loved to drive, so there were winter trips to Florida with my mother, Chris, too. Nellie even came to England with my mother when Deborah was a toddler. That was a trip everyone enjoyed, and she recalled it with affection decades later.
Nellie was good-hearted and easy-going. Although Alzheimer’s tightened its grip on her mind, it left her personality untouched. In hindsight that is fortunate. She didn’t realize when her own interests were subjugated to others’. Generous to a fault is an accurate description.
I hope that you are now together again with Bernie. RIP, Aunt Nell.


Loved ones may leave this world, but they never leave our hearts…


Loved ones may leave this world, but they never leave our hearts…