Cordelia Siraco

Cordelia Siraco (Ellis)

June 25, 1925 - January 5, 2021
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Remembering Cordelia Ellis Siraco
June 25,1925 - January 5th, 2021

If you were fortunate enough to know Cordelia Ellis Siraco you were surely blessed. She was larger than life, feisty, lovable and always full of great stories from her incredible life of 95 years. She could light up a room with her bubbly personality, positive outlook on life and great sense of humor. Cordy always had to look her best and would never go out of the house without putting her face on. Taking the greatest care in her appearance she had all the latest fashions, makeup, jewelry and perfumes. She was stunning with her sparkling blue eyes, perfectly styled hair and youthful happy spirit. Mom loved to ask perfect strangers to guess how old she was. They were always wrong, which tickled her pink as she revealed her real age with a Cheshire Cat grin. They would then ask her,” How do you do it?'' and her reply was always, “ No drinking, no smoking, and no messin with the boys. “ She was a pip and always full of great comebacks. Cordelia was a caretaker to family members that became ill throughout her life without complaint. She gave generously to charities, as well as her children and grandson, as she said she wanted to see the smiles on our faces while she was still with us. She has been an angel in all our lives and we have so much gratitude for having her as our Mom and Nanny.

Every mother should have a daughter like Lois Jane. She took the best care of Mom and had fun whenever they were together and had great conversations reminiscing about the past. Mom loved the way Lois Jane rubbed her feet and her back, all the hugs and kisses and all their cruises and outings. Lois has had tremendous responsibilities since March 1st, 2020 when Mom came to live in Michigan. Lois Jane has always stayed positive just like her mom and has taken the greatest care in making sure Mom had everything she needed or wanted. Eventually she moved into her own assisted living apartment down the street from Lois Jane and bragged about how great it was to anyone who would listen. She got her independence back, her alone time which she treasured, the staff, the food and the care she received from nurses and doctors. They all loved her there because she would make them laugh. Lois Jane visited almost daily and Pat continued to speak to her daily. The personal connection LoisJane and Pat had was rare and were fortunate to have her to love and cherish for so long. Mom loved repeating stories of their childhood together, especially the naughty things they did, which still made us laugh no matter how many times she told them. Trips to Michigan to be with her daughter always included special get-togethers with all of Lois Janes’ friends Rose, Anne, and Bryon who all loved her dearly. They treated her like the Queen Diva that she was. Special birthday parties were a must including this June. A local police officer stopped by to wish her the best and hear her some of her story. Bryon was always fascinated by all of Mom's stories about WWII. These friends have been there for Lois Jane and Mom through this last year as a tremendous support and we will all be forever grateful.

Pat has always been a devoted son to his Mom and remembers a mom that was always funny and could make him laugh every time they spoke. Pat said, “Even though she was far away their long daily talks kept them close and they could talk to each other about anything.” He along with his sister LJ have talked to Mom everyday since their Dad passed 8 years ago. They both have cared for mom in Florida and in Michigan these past years and made so many special memories. She told Pat he finally learned how to make the perfect cup of tea which is no small feat. Some of Pat and Lois Janes’ favorite childhood memories included their trip to England and Wales in 1964 with Mom, Auntie Peggy, and their cousin Marelyn. They loved the whole experience and Mom still loved to talk about how Pat cried for more Walls Ice Cream everywhere they went. They also loved when the whole family would go to Savin Rock and then Jimmies for a footlong and fries. Mom loved a good burnt hotdog to this day.

Mom was born in 1925 in Ynysbwl South Wales, GB, in between the two world wars. At a time when food was not readily available. She told us stories of scarcity, no sugar, meat, chocolate and much more. They had chickens and eggs to sell in order to have money for other things. They would only have one egg a day for the family. Even though they had very little in the way of food and material things it never bothered her and her 6 siblings because they made their own fun and loved each other. She recently shared that at every birthday the children were allowed to invite one friend to tea. At that tea her mom would make a raspberry pie from the berries they picked earlier in the day. Mom often shared how much she loved going to school and if she had her way she would have become a school teacher.

At the age of 14 mom worked making parts for the Spitfires and having to ride her bike in the pitch dark. It was so dark they used to paint fenders on cars white so you could see them better. When the war came there would be daily and nightly air raids. She could hear the whistling B-2 rockets at night, which made it impossible to sleep. Many nights they had to head to the air raid shelter. Rations were given to families from the Yanks and her brothers were introduced to peanut butter, but mom wouldn't touch it. They also brought butter and chocolate to the community. These stories made us appreciate all that we take for granted.

It was during the war that mom met dad at a singles dance in South Hampton, England. Mom said they loved to attend the dances, as there was food to eat! They loved the American soldiers because they gave folks sugar and chocolate. Their romance began and while courting mom always kept dad too long and she said he had to run like a streak of lightning to get back to the barracks on time. They married at the end of the war in front of a bombed out church and she was stunning in her gown, a true beauty. Dad had to go back to Connecticut to wait for mom and to fill out the paperwork. In April 1946, mom boarded the USS Washington to come to Ellis Island to be with her new husband Peter. She was examined by doctors, filled out immigration papers and they set her free. Grandpa Siraco and dad came together to pick her up at New York Harbor. Mom and dad lived with his parents for a short time in Shelton. Her in-laws didn't speak a lot of English. She was grateful to her sister-in-laws for being so attentive and taking her under their wing to acclimate her to a new society.
During their first 5 years of marriage they unfortunately lost 3 children, Pete, at age 3 from febrile convulsions, Josephine, still born at 6 months, and Mary who lived 5 hours. That sure was a lot to endure as newlyweds. Mom said how especially hard it was to be in a strange country without her mom to comfort her through these tragic events. In 1952 they adopted Lois Jane and to this day she often expressed tearfully ,”If that little girl didn’t come along I dont think dad and I would have survived after so much loss. She saved us from despair and we love her so much, she was our little angel and she still is the way she takes care of us. ”. Then in 1953 mom was pregnant again with Pat and delivered him being 6 months pregnant weighing 2 pounds 10 ounces. They named him Pasquale after his grandfather because premature babies didn’t normally survive back then. He grew up a happy little boy who they loved very much. Through all their loss they remained together devoted to each other and hosting so many family events. Dad became chief of police in Shelton and they had many happy years together there. Lois Jane said when she looks back at the heartache mom endured from living in poverty, the loss of children, crossing the ocean, not knowing if she'd ever see her mom again and so many unknowns she marvels at moms’ strength and spirit and so does Pat.

One of the happiest times of her married life in Shelton was working in the cafeteria at Shelton High School with her sister-in-law Edie and her friend Irene. They had a great time cooking together, sharing stories and so much laughter. To this day Edie always looked forward to calling Mom because she always made her laugh. The kids at school loved her and would come to talk to her just to hear her funny accent. Pat loved that he had an “in” with the cafeteria and would get an extra piece of cake with his lunch whenever he wanted.

Mom and Dad's retirement to Barefoot Bay Florida proved to be the best thing she ever did for them. They relished the warm weather, sunshine and the beautiful scenery. She used to always say, “ We truly live in paradise.”. Mom was the queen of planning what we would be doing everyday, during our time with her . We all have such fond memories of visiting and going to restaurants, the pool or beach and that beautiful ride along Indian River Road. Hales oranges, Wabasso beach or seeing the pelicans at Sebastian Inlet. Mom was industrious! Making doll clothes, going to doll shows or art shows, sewing, cooking, shopping, reading, crosswords, calling friends and family, caring for Dad all those long years until his passing in 2012, planning and taking trips and in her most recent years arranging for remodeling of her bathrooms, replacing floors, windows and the roof.

The best times she had in Florida were with her dear departed sister Peggy Miller. When those two got together you couldn't help but join in the side splitting laughter. They were quite a pair always scheming on how to get their husbands to go on more trips. They were the cruisin sisters and were always looking for more adventures especially if they involved a casino, a flea market, or a new restaurant to try.

Once Jared was born, Mom was the best Nanny you could ever imagine. She and PopPop adored him and he adored them. She planned trips to Disney World, cruises all together as a family, made delicious dinners and the ever famous Yorkshire puddings and meatballs. She would make one just for Jared that he wouldn’t have to share. She used to love to say to Jared, “ Don't you want to come live here in Florida with Nanny and Pop Pop? We won't make you go to school.” He was the center of attention whenever we were together. Jared used to say he had the best of both worlds. He had the experience of being the only grandchild with his Nanny and Pop Pop and to be one of 14 grandchildren with his Grandma and Grandpa. As an adult with his wife Zareen they had wonderful times just being together, going to dinner or the flea market or keeping her company at her favorite place “Okeechobee” or “The Hard Rock”. Our cousin Marelyn and her daughter Michelle loved to take her too and all they did was laugh and reminisce.

After Dad passed we wondered how mom would get on by herself, but she quickly made new routines for herself, kept busy and found herself a best friend that moved in across the street. “Terry” One of the last things she said to us again and again was how much she wished she and Terry could have stayed together forever, but she realized it wasn't possible. They had a rare deep abiding love for each other. They went to Bingo together, had long chats over a cup of tea, went out for local lunches, got their hair and feet done and had many lively debates over politics. Terry lived with mom and took the best care of her for months before she moved to Michigan. They were quite the pair of besties!

After Debbies’ Mom passed away years ago Mom said,”I’ll be your mom love, as long as I live.”, and she kept that promise. Debbies’ love for Mom will never end and she has so many good memories. They had special girls weeks together in Florida where she taught Debbie the fine art of make-up, fashion (by watching QVC} and hair styling. They’d have long talks every night about both their lives past and present. Sometimes she would sing the good morning song to her like she did for Pat and Lois their whole lives. She loved to sing along with her CDs from the 40s and 50s. Pat and Lois Jane remember her loving Tom Jones and their Dad pulled strings for her to meet him backstage. She was over the moon because she loved his music and that he was Welsh.

In recent years, when Mom would say how she couldn't sew or cook much anymore Debbie told her that her gift on earth was making people laugh. Anyone who knows her can attest to that. It was her purpose in life for the longest time. She was an inspiration to many who knew her, to be a better person. She's endured so much over her 95 years of loss after loss of family and friends, hurricanes, floods, illnesses, falls, you name it and she always bounced back. We used to call her the “Unsinkable Molly Brown”. She shared all her gifts with us: wisdom, inspiration, strength, giving to others, compassion and the gift of unconditional love. Well now it's time for our sweet mom to rest in peace and join God and all her loved ones in heaven. We love you so much mom and will miss you dearly and forever. May God bless her and keep her soul at peace as she finds her way to heaven.

Cordelia passed away peacefully of natural causes in her new home in Port Huron, Michigan where her daughter has been living for many years. A Visiting Angel was by her side holding her hands praying and playing soft music. Lois Jane had also been by her side often her last few days doing the same and telling all the reasons she loves her and how much we all love her. .

Cordelia will be joining her beloved husband Peter Siraco, their son Pete, daughters Josephine and Mary and her siblings John, Dick, Robert, Raymond, and Peggy Miller in heaven. She leaves behind her sister Margie Griffiths who lives in Hamshire England.
Mom is also survived by her daughter Lois Jane Siraco of Port Huron, Michigan and her partner in life Bryon who mom affectionately called “Sweet cheeks”.
She leaves her son Pasquale Siraco and his wife Debbie Siraco of East Lyme, Connecticut and her grandson Jared Wilhelm Siraco and his wife Zareen Wilhelm who reside in Liberty Hill, Texas.
Lastly she leaves her best friend in the world Terry Collins who lives in Enola Pennsylvania who she spoke of everyday we talked to her.

In lieu of flowers we would like to request donations be made to the Bluewater Hospice that took such good care of mom in her final months in Port Huron Michigan. Go to to do so. You can press the word donate at the top of the screen and it will bring you to the “In memory of” page.
If you prefer to send a check make the check payable to: Bluewater Hospice. The address is: Bluewater Hospice 3403 Lapeer Rd. Suite B101 Port Huron Michigan.

There will not be a funeral because of the current safety concerns with Covid. Please feel free to post special memories of Cordy, pictures etc. on the funeral home website. We would love to read them all. We are deeply saddened to lose our mom and Nanny, but we find comfort in knowing what a beautiful life she had. We wish we could see all our family and friends at this time, but it will have to wait. Sending much love and prayers to you all.
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Service Details

  • Private

    Mt. St. Peters Cemetery
    219 Derby Ave
    Derby, CT 06418
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Interment

    Mt. St. Peters Cemetery
    219 New Haven Ave
    Derby, Connecticut 06418
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Private Condolence

Ted Markut

Posted at 08:09am
We are sorry to hear of Cordelia's passing on and the loss of your families matriarch, another fantastic lady of the greatest generation is all of our loved ones in heaven. I knew your mom and parents by way of my folks Ted and Jeanne Markut who were friends of theirs when they resided in Shelton. Cordelia had told my mom of her stories of growing up during WW2 and the hardships they endured and later of coming here as a war bride to Peter. I met her occasionally while delivering fuel to their house while working for my father who owned Markut Oil and she was always a very neat and meticulous lady who exuded warmth and friendship . We wish all of you heartfelt condolences on your loss , she is always with us in our memories.
Ted Markut Jr. and family

Debra Siraco Posted at 05:09pm

Thank you so much for your remembrance of our sweet mom and your condolences. Its so nice to hear from people that knew her and the family. God bless

Alexander Rostocki

Posted at 07:58am
It’s been a long time but I have fond memories of Mrs. Siraco when she worked at the Shelton High School cafeteria in the 1970s. Even then her hair always looked great and she had such a bubbly and pleasant personality . She always had a hello and a smile for me and Pat’s other friends. In reading her obituary about her time in England during the War years and her immigration to the United States I am impressed with how her personal story is in great part a story about the major events of the 20th century .Despite her various struggles she was ever optimistic and uplifting and led a wonderful life and shined light into the lives of all those around her.

LJ Posted at 03:07pm

Thanks Alex ...she sure was one amazing woman!!!!!♥ God Bless you...

Debra Siraco Posted at 05:25pm

Thank you so much for taking the time to write. Your words are so heartfelt and beautiful said. We miss her so much already. Love you Alex

Carmel Brown

Posted at 05:57pm
How blessed you were to have such a beautiful mother! Your mom’s pictures are exactly how I remember her. I remember the wonderful visits to your home in Shelton with my mom and dad, Fred and Jennie, when I was a young girl. My dad and your dad were friends at BF Goodrich, and I believe they used to bowl together. I will always remember the delicious meatloaf your mom would make. It became the only meatloaf recipe that my mom would ever use after that, and to this day it is still my favorite recipe.
To you and your family, I extend my deepest condolences and prayers. Your mom and dad were wonderful friends of our family.

Carmel Ann D’Amico Brown

Debra Siraco Posted at 05:21pm

Thank you Carmel.. It was so wonderful to read your memories ❤ Debbie and Pat Siraco

barbara Sylvester

Posted at 04:46pm
What a Beautiful tribute to your Mom it brought tears to myself and Leon She was a wonderful lady to us when we move into the
neighborhood and they both became good friends to us and my children. I always thought of them quite often and will always
remember both of them
our Deepest Sympathy Leon,Barbara Sylvester and Family

Debra Siraco Posted at 05:23pm

Thank you so much Barbara. best regards Pat and Debbie Siraco

Yvonne Cosacchi

Posted at 01:48pm
To my Nanny, love you. Glad you are at peace and back together with Uncle Pete.

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