Mary Rabai Operated bakeries

November 11, 1990

A Mass of Christian burial for Mary Vicarini Rabai, who operated a succession of bakeries with her husband, will be offered at 10 a.m. tomorrow at St. William of York Catholic Church, Edmondson Avenue and Cooks Lane.

Mrs. Rabai, born in Paris in 1896 to Italian parents, died of heart failure Thursday at Meridian Nursing Center on Fusting Avenue in Catonsville. She was 93.

The daughter of a stonemason, she came to America with her parents as an 8-year-old and grew up in Baltimore's Little Italy.

In 1914, she married John B. Rabai, and the couple began running a series of businesses around town called Rabai's French Bakery, which had stores downtown and was known for the French bread and hard dinner rolls it provided local restaurants. The bakery also sold some retail pastry.

Several of the couple's children were born in rooms above the family bakeries before the couple moved to Ten Hills, where they lived for many years. Mr. Rabai died in 1961 while vacationing near the Italian village where he was born.

The last family bakery, at Edmondson Avenue and Payson Street in West Baltimore, was sold seven years after Mr. Rabai's death.

A volunteer in the auxiliary at Bon Secours Hospital, Mrs. Rabai sewed baby clothes to be given away to mothers of poor infants.

Mrs. Rabai is survived two daughters, Ermine DePasquale, of Long Island, N.Y., and Edith Segraves of Catonsville; a son, John F. Rabai, of New Bern, N.C.; four sisters, Rose Brusini, of Baltimore, Josephine Miglioretti and Catherine Cioeffi, both of Parkville, and Savarini Prevosto, of Catonsville; 13 grandchildren, and 28 great-grandchildren.

Memorial contributions can be made to the American Heart Association.

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