November 18, 1928 April 3, 2021
Mariannina Marano, 92, longtime resident of Nashwauk died Saturday, April 3, 2021 at Fairview Range Medical Center in Hibbing. She was born November 18, 1928 to Leone and Maria (Alfano) Guaragna in Saracena, Italy of Calabria. Mariannina’s husband Armando survived the sinking of the ocean liner Andrea Doria when he immigrated to the US in 1956. Mariannina did not receive notice of his survival via telegram for several days. Mariannina joined him in 1958 traveling alone with her 3 young children. She became a US citizen in 1964 and never missed an opportunity to vote.
When she became a widow at the age of 36 and without any technical skills and having minimum knowledge of the English language, she took on any job she could to support her family. Finally, her cooking skills afforded her the opportunity to find full employment with the Nashwauk-Keewatin School district, first as an assistant cook and then as a head cook. Students and staff loved her home cooked meals especially her spaghetti.
For several years she gave cooking classes on Southern Italian cuisine as part of a community class on foreign cooking. Her life exemplified the immigration story of hope and opportunity that was tempered with pain. Having lived through World War II in Italy, she learned how to survive.
Mariannina was a devoted member of St. Cecilia’s Catholic Church in Nashwauk, the ladies church guild, and the Italian American Club. She was a faithful adoration attendee throughout her life. Mariannina made friends easily and loved a good chat. She was extremely generous and giving. The coffeepot, cookies and bars were always ready for the next person who stopped in for a visit. Rarely did anyone leave her house without a bag of cookies.
She also was widely known for having the largest garden in the town of Nashwauk, and was notorious for giving people her raspberries, even to folks that were walking by her house. Cooking and baking were passions to her and knitting and embroidery were some of her best expertise. Her lasagna, gnocchi, and pasta was second to none, and her embroidery was perfection. She was often seen walking everywhere, because she never had a driver’s license. Because of this, her friends and members of the community stepped in and helped her find rides to church, work, and social events. She was very grateful for the assistance.
Mariannina is survived by her daughter, Ivanna (James) Marano-Meyer, Melrose, MN, daughter, Flora (Warren) Marano-Potter, Golden Valley, MN, son, Frank (Karen) Marano, St. Paul, MN, nine grandchildren, Enrico Meyer, Armando Potter, Luca (Mandi) Potter, Francesca (Tom Jacobson) Marano, Sergio (Josie Franske) Meyer, Stefano Potter, Gabriella (Justin Hasbrouck) Potter, Chiara Marano, and Matteo Potter, sisters-in-law, Giuseppina, Mena, and Rosarina.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Armando Marano in 1966, her parents, Leone and Maria (Alfano) Guaragna, and her siblings, Vincenzo, Domenico, Gaetano, Innocenzo, and Filomena Guaragna.
Funeral services for Mariannina will be 11:00 am, Thursday, April 8, 2021 at St. Cecilia’s Catholic Church in Nashwauk. The Rev. Fr. Joseph Sobolik will celebrate the Mass of Christian Burial. Visitation will be one hour prior to the funeral Mass at the church on Thursday. Interment will be in Maple Hill Cemetery of Hibbing. Pallbearers are her grandchildren. Arrangements are with the Dougherty Funeral Home of Hibbing.
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