Gloucester, MA — Antonina Battaglia Orlando, 87, of Gloucester, wife of the late Mariano Orlando, passed away on Monday, August 5, 2013, surrounded by her family at the Seacoast Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.
Born in Porticello, Sicily, on November 11, 1925, she was the daughter of the late Vincenzo and Josephine (Alioto) Battaglia.
Antonina grew up in Sicily. She married Mariano after World War II. From her childhood, she developed a love for the ocean and a great respect for nature.
As a young woman during World War II, she and her sisters helped their father support the family by fishing on their family boat. At the same time, she learned to sew and she became an excellent seamstress.
After moving to Gloucester, she briefly worked for Mighty Mac. She worked extremely hard to raise her family and she always reminded her children of the importance of hard and rewarding work.
For Antonina, her family was everything. She loved to cook and make clothing for children and grandchildren. She has devoted 47 years to caring for her son, Vincent, who suffers with Down’s syndrome.
Antonina was very strong in her Catholic faith and was very devoted to St. Anthony, keeping up with a yearly tradition of celebrating his feast in the month of June. Antonina was a tremendous example for her family, and her love and devotion will be dearly missed.
She was a lifelong member of the Gloucester Fisherman’s Wives Association.
She is survived by her four children, Angela Sanfilippo, President of the Fisherman’s Wives Association, and her husband, John, Josephine Wilkins and her husband, Butch, Joseph A. Orlando and his wife, Antonina, Vincent A. Orlando; grandchildren, Dominic Sanfilippo, Mary Ann Genovese, Giovanna Chaisson, Mary Jo Wilkins, Michael Wilkins, Anthony Orlando, Mario Orlando, Nina Provencer; eight great-grandchildren; three sisters, Josephine, Lucia and Antonietta Battaglia; and many nieces and nephews.