Mary Violet "Vi" Piracci, matriarch of a well-known Baltimore family, died of complications of old age Thursday at Brighton Gardens in Towson. The former Baltimore resident was 90.
The daughter of a streetcar conductor, she would often regale her grandchildren with stories of riding the rails with her father, Harry Campbell, who would introduce her to the passengers. She attended Baltimore public schools.
Mrs. Piracci was the widow of Dominic A. Piracci Sr., a contractor who built many of the area's public buildings, including the Morris A. Mechanic Theatre and the Hirshhorn Museum at the Smithsonian Institution.
The couple had eloped as teenagers - she was 15 - and were married more than 50 years at the time of his death in 1982. Margaret D'Alesandro, the eldest of their six children, is the wife of former Baltimore Mayor Thomas J. D'Alesandro III.
Mrs. Piracci enjoyed painting, sculpture and ceramics and was an avid bridge player.
"She was creative and artistic, but most of all she enjoyed family gatherings," said a grandson, Nick D'Alesandro of Towson. "She thrived on family and was often heard to say, `Did I start all this?'"
A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 10 a.m. today at the chapel of Villa Assumpta, 6401 N. Charles St.
In addition to her daughter and grandson, survivors include another daughter, Jacqueline Y. DeNolfi of Ocean Pines; two sons, F. Lamont Piracci of Baldwin and Thomas M. Piracci of Abingdon; 10 other grandchildren; and 18 great-grandchildren. A son, Dominic A. Piracci Jr., died in 1984, and a daughter, Susan A. Roggio, died in 1986.