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Grace Cafaro

January 11, 1927 November 24, 2021
Grace Cafaro
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Obituary for Grace Cafaro

Peoria- Grace Cafaro, age 94, of Peoria, passed away at 2:18 AM on Wednesday, November 24, 2021 at OSF Richard L. Owens Hospice home with her family by her side.

Grace Cafaro, nee Grasso, born January 11, 1927 in Brooklyn, New York to Salvatore Grasso and Josephine Nicosia Grasso. A graduate of St. Brendan High School, Grace worked part time throughout her teen years in her parents’ grocery store and as a dental assistant, all while helping with the care of four younger siblings. On a career tip made by a patron of her family store, and with the encouragement of her mother, she enrolled in the Stenotype Institute of New York and became a court reporter. Her first job was with Nathanson, Lindenbaum & Young, a large and well known Brooklyn law firm, that famously represented Donald Trump’s father in his real estate transactions. In 1946, she met Charles Cafaro at a Halloween party. They fell in love and married a little more than a year later on her 21st birthday.

Grace put her work as a court reporter on hold while their family grew, raising three young children and supporting Charles as he advanced in his career with Nationwide Insurance Company. His work transferred them from their home near extended family in Borough Park, Brooklyn to eight different cities over several years. During their relocation to Columbus, Ohio, Grace resumed court reporting on a part time basis. In 1961, Grace and Charles finally settled in Central Illinois where they built their dream home in Dunlap. She found full time employment in Peoria at Reynolds Reporting Service, an agency owned by Mary Reynolds, who hired Grace “on the spot” as the first machine court reporter in the area. Over the years, Grace was masterful at managing her callings as a wife, mother and careerist.

Grace eventually bought Reynolds Reporting Service, and, changing with the times, transitioned as the first in Central Illinois to computer reporting. Following Charles’ death in 1978 and daughter Diane’s in 1980, Grace immersed herself in her work, traveled widely, and yet had time to serve as a supportive and devoted role model for her children and grandchildren. Throughout her career, which spanned two generations of lawyers, she was witness to a wide variety of human experiences, exposure that enriched and fulfilled her life in many ways. She was twice featured in the Peoria Journal Star for excellence, professionalism and achievements in her career.

Since her retirement at age 84, for the last ten years of her life, Grace enjoyed many close friendships in her neighborhood, initiating regular and well attended Friday night wine and cheese parties in her garage. On any pleasant day, she was seen sitting with her beloved dog, Pia, in her front yard, knitting for family and friends.

She is survived by her loving daughter Denise (John) Noell of Hinsdale, IL and son Charles (Suzanne) Cafaro of Edwards, IL, 8 adoring grandchildren, John (Megan) Noell, Charles Noell, Ann Marie (Gregory) Moye, Grace (Michael) Whalen, Charles S. Cafaro, Alaina Cafaro, Peter Noell and Anthony Cafaro, and 6 great grandchildren, John Noell IV, Cecilia Noell, Josephine Whalen, Rosemary Moye, Luke Whalen and Maeve Moye.

Grace was preceded in death by her husband of 31 years, Charles and her daughter Diane Lucia.

Visitation will be held on Tuesday, November 30, 2021 from 9:30 AM until time of Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00 AM at St. Thomas Catholic Church. Msgr. Jason Gray will officiate and entombment will follow in Resurrection Mausoleum.

In lieu of flowers memorials in Grace’s memory may be made to OSF Richard L. Owens Hospice Home.

Friends and family may sign the online guestbook by logging onto www.wrightandsalmon.com.

Upcoming Events

Visitation

Tuesday

30

Nov

9:30 AM 11/30/2021 9:30:00 AM - 11:00 AM 11/30/2021 11:00:00 AM
St. Thomas Catholic Church

904 E Lake Ave
Peoria Heights, IL 61616

St. Thomas Catholic Church
904 E Lake Ave Peoria Heights 61616 IL
United States

Funeral Mass

Tuesday

30

Nov

11:00 AM 11/30/2021 11:00:00 AM
St. Thomas Catholic Church

904 E Lake Ave
Peoria Heights, IL 61616

St. Thomas Catholic Church
904 E Lake Ave Peoria Heights 61616 IL
United States

Cemetery Details

Location

Resurrection Cemetery & Mausoleum Final Resting Place

7519 N Allen Rd
Peoria, IL 61614

7519 N Allen Rd Peoria 61614 IL
United States

Memorial Contribution

OSF Richard L. Owens Hospice Home

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