GODUTO, Bibiana (Emanuele)
On January 30, 2017, Bibiana Goduto passed away peacefully in the Mira Bay wing of Harbourstone Enhanced Care, Sydney, with her son Dominic and daughter-inlaw Aileen by her side. Born May 6, 1922 in Roseto Valfortore, Foggia, Italy, Bibiana was the daughter of Domenico and Isabella (Rinaldi) Emanuele.
In 1952, she immigrated to Canada with her husband Alfredo and two young sons, Blaise and Dominic. After arriving at Pier 21 in Halifax, they crossed the causeway to join the vibrant Italian community in Sydney, Cape Breton. After several years of renting properties, in 1954 she and Alfredo bought their home on Gunn Street in Whitney Pier. Soon their daughter Vincenza was born to complete the family.
A woman of many talents, Bibiana was typical of her generation: resourceful, hardworking and remarkably selfsufficient. Yet she also loved a laugh and a joke, and found great joy in life’s simple pleasures. She arrived in Nova Scotia with no knowledge of English, but quickly picked up the basics by listening to Ann Terry’s morning radio show, which she never missed.
Her diverse skills included embroidery and sewing (both by hand and with her much-loved Singer sewing machine), which she learned at special classes in her hometown of Roseto. She also crocheted many beautiful items over the years, and was especially proud of her intricate bedspreads – one of which was much admired by visitors to her room at Harbourstone.
A bubbly lady with a ready smile, Bibiana loved to sing at every opportunity – particularly Italian arias – and performed with the local Italian choir. Devoutly religious and a firm believer in the power of prayer, which she practiced daily, she was a dedicated member of the former St. Nicholas Parish and later Holy Redeemer Parish, both in Whitney Pier. She was also a longstanding member of the St. Nicholas Ladies’ Auxiliary and the Cape Breton Italian Multicultural Association, through which she made many friends and participated extensively in the life of her community.
She loved flowers and took great pride in tending her extensive vegetable garden – which also gave her the opportunity to use the preserving skills she’d learned growing up in Italy – and spent many happy summer days at the family’s bungalow in Barrachois.
Her family will particularly miss her wonderful cooking and authentic Italian recipes, which she loved to share, as well as her wealth of traditional knowledge – for example, on the art of winemaking.
Even in her later years, Bibiana’s memory was impressively sharp and she loved regaling visitors with stories of her life in Italy and her experience of coming to Canada as a young woman. Listeners were often amazed at her ability to recall names, dates and other details with surprising speed and accuracy. At the age of 90, she even requested to stand and make a speech at her grandson’s wedding reception, which she proceeded to do with humour and eloquence.
Proudly independent, Bibiana continued to live in her Gunn Street home after the death of her husband in 1990 – right up until September 2016, when she graciously decided the time had come to accept a space at Harbourstone. Here she embraced new friends and a new community with her usual enthusiasm and good cheer.
Throughout her final months, she faced her illness and ultimately death itself with courage, faith, and sheer determination. And as always, she did it her way.
Bibiana is survived by her children, Blaise (Rosalind), Dominic (Aileen) and Vincenza (Vincey) Delaney (Cliff); her grandchildren, Gina Goduto, Domenica Goduto (Scott), Don Carlo Goduto (Larissa), Matthew Delaney, David Delaney and Jonathan Delaney; her great-grandson, Hunter Goduto; her brother, Andrew Emanuele; sister, Rose DiSantis; sister-in-law, Angelina Goduto and many nieces and nephews.
Besides her parents, she was predeceased by her husband, Alfredo; her baby sister, Josephine; her sister-in-law, Lucy Emanuele and brother-in-law, Pat DiSantis.
There will be no visitation. A funeral mass will be held at Holy Redeemer Church, Whitney Pier on Saturday, February 4, at 10 a.m. with Rev. Paul Murphy officiating. The family will receive visitors at a reception to be held in the Whitney Pier Legion immediately following the funeral. Memorial donations may be made to the Cape Breton Cancer Center, the Holy Redeemer Building Fund, or charity of one’s choice.
Online condolences may be sent by visiting www.twcurry.com.