Salvadora Zappacosta, 97, homemaker, storyteller

April 30, 2003

Salvadora Zappacosta, a homemaker and family storyteller, died of heart failure Sunday at Stella Maris Hospice in Timonium, where she had been a resident for nine years. She was 97 and had lived in Baltimore's Northwood neighborhood.

Born Salvadora Cira in Cefalu, Sicily, she came to Baltimore at age 16 and lived with an aunt on Greene Street near Lexington Market.

A seamstress early in life, she married a tailor, Luigi Zappacosta, in 1923. Her husband died in 1974.

During World War II, Mrs. Zappacosta worked at a cousin's produce stand, Liberto's, at Lexington Market.

Family members said she enjoyed cooking for her family and singing Italian songs with her friends and children. They said she also told stories about her experiences during the 1920s and the Depression of the 1930s. Dora, as she was called, also shared stories about downtown Baltimore.

"Her hobby was shopping for her grandchildren at the old department stores in downtown Baltimore," said her daughter, Anna Yanney of Havre de Grace.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 10 a.m. today at the Stella Maris Chapel, 2300 Dulaney Valley Road.

Survivors also include two sons, Paul Costa of Lutherville and Sam Costa of Parkville; 12 grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren; and a great-great-grandson.

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