Catherine Mancuso, 74, of 'Lioi's'

March 23, 1994|By William F. Zorzi Jr. | William F. Zorzi Jr.,Sun Staff Writer

Catherine Lioi Mancuso, a retired retail saleswoman who as a child had immigrated to Baltimore with her family, died Saturday in Orlando, Fla., after an 18-month battle with cancer. She was 74.

She had lived in Little Italy and later in Timonium and most recently was spending the winters in Orlando and the summers in Ocean City.

The former Catherine Lioi was born in Sant' Andrea Apostolo dello Ionio in the Calabria region of Italy. At age 10, she traveled to the United States with her mother, the late Rosario Lioi, and brother, Andrew A. Lioi, to meet her father, the late Bruno Lioi, who had emigrated earlier and settled in Baltimore's Little Italy.

She attended public schools and, after graduating, she married the late Joseph J. Seminazzi, a city worker who also lived in Little Italy. In the early 1940s, she and her parents opened Lioi's Confectionery, a Little Italy landmark known as "the drugstore" on the northwest corner of Pratt and Exeter streets that attracted teen-agers from all over the city.

The family was forced to sell the business in 1953, just before the block was cleared to make way for the Flag House Courts public housing complex.

A long-time seamstress, she enjoyed sewing and crocheting, and, in the early 1950s, worked on the first band uniforms for the drum and bugle corps at St. Leo Roman Catholic Church in Little Italy. She later opened a small dress shop with another woman on nearby Stiles Street, before moving to Northeast Baltimore.

She worked as a retail sales clerk at Lakein's Jewelers, both in Fells Point and in Hamilton, and in the late 1960s managed the Linda Lynn women's clothing store at what is now Westview Mall.

In 1970, she married Graziano "Gus" Mancuso and moved to Timonium. Mr. Mancuso died in November 1975. When Mrs. Mancuso retired the next year, she was working in the office of Michael L. Di Liello Insurance Co. in Little Italy. Two years later, she moved to Orlando, though she returned each summer to Ocean City where she had a condominium.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 9:30 a.m. today at St. Dominic's Roman Catholic Church, 5310 Harford Road, Baltimore.

She is survived by two sons, Andrew C. Seminazzi of Orlando jTC and John J. Seminazzi of Baltimore; a daughter, Joanne S. Cullotta of Orlando; four brothers, Paul J. Lioi of Orlando and Andrew A. Lioi, John B. Lioi and Gerard P. Lioi, all of Baltimore; a stepson, Frank J. Mancuso of Millersville; a stepdaughter, Michele M. Gault of Towson; six grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and her companion, Frank La Notte of Orlando.

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