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Fairhaven Memorial Services

27856 Center Drive, Mission Viejo, CA

A MESSAGE FROM THE FAMILY

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OBITUARY

Francesca (Barone) LiBrizzi

September 22, 1946February 8, 2020

Francesca (Barone) LiBrizzi was born on September 22, 1946 in Palermo, Sicily and passed away on February 8, 2020 in Rancho Santa Margarita, California.

Services

27 February

Funeral Mass

10:30 am - 11:30 am

Holy Trinity Church

1600 Corporate Drive
Ladera Ranch, CA 92694

27 February

Interment

12:30 pm

Holy Sepulcher Cemetery

7845 E Santiago Canyon Rd
Orange, California 92887

Memories

Francesca (Barone) LiBrizzi

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FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Francesca, age 3 and Tom, age 5
Sicily 1949

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Sweet 16!

FROM THE FAMILY

Coming to America

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Engagement Party- 1963

FROM THE FAMILY

Wedding Day- November 1964

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Francesca, age 3 and Tom, age 5
Sicily 1949

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Sweet 16!

FROM THE FAMILY

Coming to America

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Engagement Party- 1963

FROM THE FAMILY

Wedding Day- November 1964

FROM THE FAMILY

Biography

Francesca Barone was born September 22, 1946 in Palermo, Sicily; the fifth child of Leonardo & Maria Barone. In 1949, 3 year old Francesca met 5 year old Thomas LiBrizzi for the first time. Tom and his mother, who had been a widow for 5 years, went to Trappeto, Sicily for what was supposed to be 3 months. When Tom's mother got married in the summer of 1949, Tom went to live with the Barone family in Palermo for a month, while his mother was on her honeymoon. When Tom left Sicily a year and a half later, he gave Francesca a toy metal airplane and told her "You can come on this plane to America to see me". And that's where their story began.

Francesca used to tell the story of her Mom giving her grocery money and bus fare to go to the open air market in Palermo called "a voicheria". At age 8 or 9 she was trusted to do the family grocery shopping. Instead of taking the bus, she would run home to beat the bus and use her bus fare to buy a gelato. One day the netted bag she carried the groceries home in broke, and a glass soda bottle fell, shattering in pieces and cutting her foot. She ran the rest of the way home with a bloody foot. Needless to say, her Mom was very upset when she found out.

At age 14, Francesca's family sold everything they had and made the journey to America. She didn't come by airplane, but by ship from Naples to New York. After staying with cousins in Brooklyn, the family came by train to Los Angeles. Tom went to the train station with other relatives to pick them up. That's when they reconnected again. Although she was only 14, Francesca lied about her age and went to work to help support the family. Francesca, her Dad Leonardo and Tom all worked at Sbicca Shoe Company in El Monte. Tom would pick them up and drop them off everyday.

When Francesca was 16 years old, Tom asked her out for the first time for a date to Disneyland. Her Mom was planning a sweet 16 party for Francesca so she couldn't go on the date. Tom's intentions were now known, and a few weeks later he asked her out again, this time to a Son's Italy dance in L.A. Of course, the two weren't allowed to attend the dance alone, so they were escorted by Francesca's sister, Rosalia, and her then fiancé Nunzio D'Orio. But before this date could even be possible, Tom had to drive from Downey to San Pedro to ask Leonardo for his permission. Being the second time Tom had to visit Leonardo at his shoe repair shop in San Pedro to ask for a date with his daughter, Tom received the 3rd degree. Leonardo asked "What are your intentions; are you going to marry her?" Tom was caught off guard and wasn't planning marriage at that point, only a date! But Tom said ok, and with reluctance, Leonardo agreed to allow the date, saying "Only because we've known you since you were a little boy and we know your family."