Our family is greatly saddened by the loss of our much-loved mother, grandmother, and great grandmother Theresa Lucy (DiMenna) Litzie on January 1, 2021. Born on December 19, 1932, during the cold Bridgeport, Connecticut winter to Antonio DiMenna and Maria Carmella (Pomarico) DiMenna. As a child, Theresa loved going to school, was passionate about learning and reading, and loved sharing good times with all her extended family and friends. Shortly after graduating from Warren Harding High School in Bridgeport, CT, she married her one and only love, Anthony Kenneth Litzie, Sr. She lived the life of a typical 1950s Navy wife. Theresa became a fabulous cook and made a lovely home for her young husband. A few years later they welcomed son Anthony Jr. (Kenny), and she found her calling as an exceptionally caring and devoted mother. Following the early years of their marriage, Theresa and Ken Sr. took the gamble of their lifetime and picked up their small family and moved across the country from Connecticut to the Golden State, California. There, Ken Sr. worked as an electrician and later in management with the Los Angeles city schools. Theresa devoted herself to Kenny’s school and religious education, and ferried him back and forth to a steady stream of activities. A few more years passed, and Theresa was overjoyed to welcome a beautiful daughter, Cindy Marie, whom she also showered with immense affection and attention. Theresa was extremely involved in all of Cindy’s activities, their parish, volunteering at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church and School, Marriage Encounter, and so much more. Theresa made a house a home and always had enough food and homemade baked goods to feed the entire neighborhood. She loved to host Sunday dinners and the smell of her Sunday “gravy” warmed many hearts. After her children left her oh-so-comfortable nest, Theresa travelled abroad with Ken Sr. She also served as the administrative assistant to several principals at Bishop Alemany Catholic High School in Mission Hills for 24 years. She brought her usual magic there; everyone, in every aspect of her life, felt cared for and truly heard when they interacted with her. And, she always had a stash of candy for all visitors including her palliative nurses in her later years. After Ken Sr’s. passing in 2001, Theresa relocated from her home of 37 years in Granada Hills, CA to Long Beach, CA, where she enjoyed many happy adventures with her children, their spouses (Sandy Litzie, John Bareford), her four granddaughters (Angelise Alexander, Nicole Litzie, Isabella Bareford, and Antonia Bareford), and her two great grandsons (Jake and Brandon Alexander). Theresa, even in her final years, while dealing with numerous physical health issues, was a constant presence at St. Bartholomew and St. Hedwig masses as a Eucharistic Minister, volunteered at Long Beach Community Hospital, and at the American Cancer Discovery Shop in Belmont Shore. And, she never missed any of her granddaughters’, Isabella and Antonia, activities and sporting events. Everyone affectionately referred to her as Mama Theresa, Mama T or Nana. Theresa is also survived by her brother, Joseph DiMenna Sr., and sister-in-law, Frances DiMenna, and many cousins, nieces and nephews both in the United States and in Italy. What an incredibly fortunate family we are to have been loved and cherished by such a selfless, compassionate, wise, and faith-filled person. Theresa may have been petite, but her presence was immense and will always be a part of the fabric of her family and friends.
As we've been asked by family members and friends about honoring our mom/Nana, we appreciate your thoughtfulness. Please consider one of these two organizations in memory of Theresa. God bless you all!
· George L. Graziadio Center for Italian Studies at California State University Long Beach (CSULB): The Graziadio Center is committed to offering outstanding programs in Italian language, literature, and culture and hosting various events throughout the academic year. The Center was established to serve as a point of intersection for the University and the local Italian-American community. Theresa highly valued her Italian heritage and education. After relocating to Long Beach, her first friends were from her Italian courses, St. Bartholomew parish, volunteering at the Discovery Shop in Belmont Shore, etc. Please consider donating in Theresa’s honor: https://www.csulb.edu/george-l-graziadio-center-for-italian-studies
· Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation: The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) drives discoveries for new treatments, accelerates groundbreaking clinical trials and fuels the most robust data-driven initiatives in cancer research. Their goal is to find a cure for each and every patient diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma. Although Theresa passed away from Covid-19, she gracefully navigated Multiple Myeloma for almost a decade. If you wish, please donate in Theresa’s honor to MMRF: https://give.themmrf.org/fundraiser/3334150
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Theresa Lucy (DiMenna) Litzie, please visit our floral store.