The former Della Mary Barbarossa was born in Farindola, Italy on December 23, 1920. Della’s mother Maria (nee DiGregorio) took her by boat to America in 1921 to join her father, Pat Barbarossa, who came to the United States a few months prior to their arrival. Pat had settled in Mason City, Iowa, which was the home for some of their relatives who had come to America earlier. A few years later, they moved to Manitowoc, WI, where Della started her education. She graduated from Rockwood State Graded High School where she completed two years of her high school education. Della started attending Lincoln High School during her junior year. But times were difficult and money and jobs were scarce. Sometimes her parents could not afford some of the necessary items for the family’s needs, so Della didn’t have the chance to complete high school. Della was united in marriage on June 8, 1938 to John V. Tagliapietra Sr. at St. Anne’s Catholic Church, Francis Creek. The couple lived in Bowler where they helped on the family farm that they purchased from John’s parents back in 1929. She helped with the chores and whatever else needed her attention. It was here that John and Della raised their six children. In 1950 the couple settled in Clintonville and became active members of St. Rose Catholic Church. Della was a member of the Christian Mother’s Society and volunteered for countless projects. She also was employed for some years at the glove factory and at a local jewelry store. Her interests included sewing, baking, gardening, and she was an excellent cook. Della enjoyed canning and freezing fruits and vegetables for the winter months. Her husband, John, preceded her in death on December 8, 2008.
Survivors include her five children: Betty Domask of Milwaukee, Don “Tag” (Lori) Tagliapietra of Clintonville, Reinie Tagliapietra, John Tagliapietra Jr., and Marjorie Tagliapietra, all of California. There is one sister, Sterina Bries and one brother, Victor Barbarossa, both of Manitowoc. There are 12 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. Della is further survived by a special friend and caretaker, Sharon Lorge of Clintonville, and many other relatives and friends. She is preceded in death by her husband, John; a daughter, Lorena; two sisters, Nelda Woytal and Emojene Finch; one brother, Florian; a great-grandson, Michael Krachtt; a son-in-law, Richard Domask; and many sisters and brothers-in-law.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Monday, April 11th at 11:30 a.m. at St. Rose Catholic Church, Clintonville. Fr. John “Jack” Mullarkey will officiate and burial will follow in the parish cemetery. Friends may call on Monday from 9:30 a.m. until time of mass at the church. The Beil-Didier Funeral Home, Clintonville, is assisting the family. Online condolences may be sent via www.beil-didier.com.
Our family would especially like to thank all the nurses and staff at Greentree Health & Rehabilitation Center and Heartland Hospice of De Pere for all the loving care given to Della.