Frances Baldasare Gilletti, 91, a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and friend passed away peacefully at home on her journey to her heavenly home while surrounded by family on November 4, 2020.
She was born March 4, 1929 in Tacoma, Washington to Italian Immigrants Michael and Ernesta Baldassare. Preceding her in death were her five siblings Tony, Mary, Phil, Ralph and Joseph.
During her younger years she worked at the family-owned restaurant on South Tacoma Way (“The Green Pup”), When her dad retired and sold the business in the 1950's, he donated the ovens and various other kitchen equipment to Visitation Parish Hall, where they remain today, and have been used over the years for many parish pancake breakfasts.
Frances’ large extended Italian family (“La Famiglia”) was at the center of her life and provided wonderful memories especially of the many Italian get-togethers and celebrations. She was broadly known as “the life of the party”. In particular, she loved singing along and dancing to the Italian songs played by relatives --- all of whom were accomplished musicians --- on accordions, guitars and mandolins.
One of Frances’s many gifts was her remarkable talent for baking and decorating cakes. Her lovely creations graced the tables of numerous family and friends on a variety special occasions and were always prepared with skillful flair and a generous heart.
Frances was also a marvelous cook, and her tasty Italian specialties were savored by friends and family alike. “Mama Gilletti's” was always considered the best place to go for the "finest" home-cooked Italian food and hospitality around.
She was preceded in death by Joseph Gilletti, her husband of 63 years. They enjoyed a wonderful life together filled with a range of meaningful events and cherished celebrations. They were loved and respected by the many family, friends, and neighbors they encountered on life's journey. Additionally, they routinely managed to demonstrate extraordinary humility, kindness and generosity and serve as inspiring examples for others to follow.
They were married August 23, 1945 at Visitation Parish, remained lifelong members, and attended mass there regularly. Frances was a woman of strong faith and the Catholic Mass was an integral part of her life, which she instilled in her family. She also loved to light candles after Mass to Mother Mary for her petitions of the heart.
Frances is survived by her children Jack and wife Cynthia, Francie and husband Gary; grandchildren Joleen and husband Kelan, Jimmy and wife Trina and great grandchild Luke Joseph. and many beloved nieces and nephews and friends.
We are grateful to Frances “Babe” Gilletti for the enduring legacy of unconditional love, faith and devotion she left to all of us ---- one of a love of God, faith in our heavenly father to carry us through life's struggles. She modeled the belief that we are called to be good stewards and share our blessings and gifts from God with a generous and grateful heart, and that empathy and forgiveness are essential for peace and joy in life.
We are forever blessed in remembrance of her "vibrant" love of life and lively spirit that brought smiles to the faces of all who knew her.
“Con molto dalla tua amorevole famiglia.
Riposa in pace bellissima madre.”
(“With much gratitude from your loving family. Rest in Peace beautiful mother.”)
The Family would like to acknowledge all of Frances’ kind caregivers over the past several years, and especially the Hospice team, which showed such compassionate care to her. With much appreciation, we sincerely thank them all.
Frances' final resting place will be next to her beloved husband, Joseph, at Calvary Cemetery in Tacoma.
Because of the various restrictions and precautions associated with Covid-19, a mass and celebration of her life will take place on a future date.
Donations in remembrance of Frances can be made to Visitation Parish Outreach Ministries, for community members in need, at 3314 S. 58th St. Tacoma WA 98409.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Frances "Babe" Gilletti, please visit our floral store.