Merkley-Mitchell Mortuary

3655 5Th Ave, San Diego, CA


Margarita C Storniolo

March 23, 1943September 20, 2019

Rita Storniolo, 76, of San Diego, passed away peacefully on September 20, 2019, surrounded by her loving family. Rita was born March 23, 1943, in Capo D’Orlando, Sicily. She came to the United States by boat with her older sister and mother, arriving on Ellis Island in 1947. Rita and her older sister Jean, then went to live on their Grandmother Simon’s farm in Wisconsin, before joining the rest of their family in San Diego’s Little Italy, where she was raised.

Rita was the daughter of Viola and Filipo Domiano, both of whom are deceased. Rita was also preceded in death by the love of her life, her husband of 34 years, Fred Storniolo. Rita had six siblings; Carmelo Domiano (d), John Domiano, Jean Sabella, Elizabeth Domiano (d), Laurel Jacobson and Anthony Domiano.

She was the adoring mother of four children; Michelle (Mike) Miller, Tony (Lisa) Storniolo, Tana (Jamie) Brunelle and Phillip (Giovanna) Storniolo. Her children would describe her as their lifelong friend and the glue that held her family together. She was the kind of mother who was truly interested in everything they were doing. Rita was also a spectacular Nana to her 10 amazing grandchildren, whom she loved deeply; Alex Miller, Marissa Miller, Dustin Storniolo, Taylor Storniolo, Nino Brunelle, Dominic Brunelle, Anthony Brunelle, Gianni Brunelle, Phillip Storniolo and Anna Storniolo. She was truly their biggest fan. Rita is also survived by many nieces and nephews who loved her so much, they thought of her as a second mother.

Rita will be missed by all who knew and loved her. She was the kind of person who wore her heart on her sleeve and always took the time to let you know how special you were. It was clear what was important to her when you walked into her home. She had everyone’s wedding pictures on her walls. Not just her children’s, but her nieces and nephews and close friends of the family as well. Rita was a great storyteller and would entertain the kids for hours with her unique and imaginative tales. Not only was she an excellent storyteller, but she was artistic as well. She enjoyed painting, drawing, gardening, arranging stunning floral arrangements and creating fabulous hairdos, as she always wanted to be a beautician. And you couldn’t beat her at a crossword puzzle. She had a natural intelligence and was wonderful with words. The best thing about her though, was that no matter what happened, she always kept a strong faith, her Italian heritage and traditions, and lived by example. Rita had the patience of a saint. Many mornings she could be found in her kitchen cooking several different breakfasts for her children, nieces, nephews and grandchildren. Whatever they wanted; she would make. She loved cooking her homemade Italian recipes and used these skills to gather her family around her.

Rita met the love of her life when she was just 13 years old. She married this special man, who absolutely adored her, at the age of 21. Fred loved to dance with his wife. He would dance her around the living room on Christmas or on any ordinary day, just to see her smile. Christmas was Rita’s favorite day of the year. She always had the most perfect tree, decorated with the most beautiful ornaments, many of which she made herself. Christmas tree shopping was an all-night event for Rita, with visits to several lots, in order to find her flawless and huge tree. Every year she outdid herself. It is fitting that Christmas was her favorite day of the year, because every day spent with her was like Christmas morning. This gentle, loving, caring, funny, and wonderful woman has left a permanent mark etched on our hearts and will be missed greatly.

Funeral service will be held at 9:00 a.m., Wednesday, October 2, 2019 at Our Lady of The Rosary- 1668 State St. San Diego, CA 92101

Interment to follow at Holy Cross Cemetery 4470 Hilltop Dr. San Diego, CA 92101

In lieu of flowers, a donation to LightBridge Hospice or St. Judes would be greatly appreciated.


  • Funeral Mass Wednesday, October 2, 2019


Margarita C Storniolo

have a memory or condolence to add?

Mary Cronin

September 29, 2019

Auntie Rita. .She truly had a beautiful soul her entire life. May she be back into the arm's of uncle Freddy dancing with love. Many beautiful memories in my mind heart and soul of her. She was very kind, thoughtful lady. ❤