Last Updated on October 30, 2023 by Marocco-Rans Funeral Home
Mary (Maria Antonia) Antonelli passed away peacefully on Friday, October 27, 2023, at Woodbridge Health Campus surrounded by family. She was born on July 31, 1926, in Logansport, IN, the third child of the late Joseph P. and Josephine (Ricci) Firmani. She attended St. Vincent de Paul elementary and middle schools and was a 1944 graduate of Logansport High School. Her first job was with Pleasant Hill Greenhouse, where she became a talented florist and lifelong friend of owners, Ernie and Katherine Yoder.
She met the love of her life, Elmer (Emilio) Antonelli, in Warren, Ohio, in 1946 at the annual Feast of Santa Lucia, patron saint of natives of Civitella Alfedena, Italy. They both had shared roots in this charming, mountain village in the Abruzzo region. They not only created a beautiful love story, but also shared a birthday, four years apart. Mary and Elmer were married on June 21, 1947, at St. Vincent de Paul Church in Logansport by the Right Reverend Monsignor John P. Schall. They settled in Warren, Ohio, and soon welcomed daughters, Elma Venezia, Lakewood, Ohio and Carmela (Pete) Riggle, Logansport. In 1961, the couple returned to Logansport to become co-owners of Polsinelli’s Tavern.
Mary was a stay-at-home ‘50s mom who created an idyllic home environment based on her lifelong love and devotion to family. Hosting Sunday dinners, holidays, and attending her grandchildren’s athletic events were some of her most cherished activities. Mary shared many traditions with her family, and her daughters and grandchildren continue to carry these on today. She served as a role model of exceptional kindness and unconditional love for future generations. Mary had a subtle wit, leaving behind countless memorable one-liners quoted with a smile by family members to this day.
Mary and Elmer were charter members of the William Paca Lodge No. 2366, Sons of Italy social club. For decades, they could be found volunteering at Thursday night spaghetti dinners and the Ironhorse Festival with welcoming smiles on their faces. Mary was also a member of the Ladies’ Sodality of St. Vincent de Paul and a gracious volunteer for many years at funeral dinners for parish families.
Mary leaves behind her daughters Elma Venezia and Carmela Riggle, and son-in-law Pete Riggle; grandchildren Erica (John) Morrical, Indianapolis, Erin (Corey) Burkhart, Corte Madera, CA, Michael (Julie Wong) Venezia, Miami Beach, FL, and Andria (Mike) Jess, Cleveland, OH; great-grandchildren Owen and Maria Morrical, Claire and Luke Burkhart, and Emilia and Luca Jess; younger sister Madalyne Donahue, Logansport; and many beloved nieces and nephews and their families. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, siblings and their spouses, Lucy (Tony) Polsinelli and Lawrence (Dada) Firmani, and brother-in-law, Paul Donahue.
Mary’s family would like to extend their sincerest gratitude to the loving caregivers who assisted her with excellent care and support in her home. They would also like to thank the compassionate staff at Woodbridge Health Campus and Guardian Angel Hospice, who went above and beyond their professional duties to ensure her care and comfort.
The family will receive guests from 9 to 11 a.m. on Thursday, November 2, 2023, at Marocco-Rans Funeral Chapel in Logansport. A funeral mass will be held immediately following at All Saints Catholic Church. Burial will be in Mt. Hope Cemetery, Logansport after mass. Mary was very proud of the career teachers in her family. In lieu of flowers, her family suggests the following link for donations to be made in her memory. It is a clearinghouse for funding of classroom projects as detailed by the teacher. https://www.donorschoose.org