Elsa Rastelli

Obituary of Elsa Rastelli

It is with sad hearts that we announce the passing of Elsa (Manini) Rastelli, age 84, of Stellarton on November 15, 2022, in the Evan Hall memory care unit, Shannex Parkstone, Halifax. A beloved wife, mother and nonna (grandmother), Elsa passed away peacefully in her sleep. Daughter of Mario Manini and Ines Zilocchi, she was born in San Rocco Al Porto, Italy, in 1938. She came to Canada in 1958, aged 20, expecting to stay a couple of years and have an adventure. She ended up staying and building a wonderful life with the man of her dreams. After living through World War II as a child, with first the Germans and then the Allies occupying their house, Elsa arrived in Canada through Pier 21 aboard the SS Olympia. We heard stories of young people singing on the deck during the long journey, and bouts of sea-sickness. She arrived in Halifax, Canada in December to mountains of snow. She worked at Donato Faini Textiles for 13 years, where she grew close to Luigi, the Italian she considered the most beautiful man she had ever seen, who she would later marry. Elsa and Luigi started their own business - Rare Knits Ltd., which they operated for 33 years in Stellarton. Knitting machines from their operation can be found on permanent display at the Museum of Industry in Stellarton. Elsa was passionate about her children and grandchildren, her garden and her cottage. She remained close with her sisters in Italy. Their children also developed close relationships that continue and the bond with Italy remains strong. Elsa developed friendships with the Italians that immigrated to Canada with the Faini operation, as well as with residents of Pictou County. Her children remember frequent get-togethers with the “Italians” and the “Canadians.” Her friends and neighbours were amazingly supportive when her beloved Luigi passed in 2013, and her family is forever grateful to them. She had a full life. For the past several years, Elsa resided at Shannex in Halifax, first at Aberdeen Hall and then in Evan Hall, where she liked to teach Italian to the staff. They came to refer to her as “Bella.” She was well cared for and loved there, with much affection shown by warm and caring people. We are forever grateful to the staff at Evan Hall and Aberdeen Hall for their kindness and compassion. She is survived by daughter, Patrizia (Ron Patterson); son, Massimiliano (Max); and grandchildren, Connor, and Nathan. She was predeceased by her beloved husband, Luigi; father, Mario; mother, Ines; and sister, Carla. Cremation has taken place under the care of T. J. Tracey Cremation and Burial Specialists, Halifax. There will be no visitation by request. A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, November 26, in Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Stellarton. Reception will follow at the Sister Catherine Steele Centre. Friends will be welcome to share a few memories or words. In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Elsa may be made to the Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia or to a charity of one's choice. Online condolences may be sent to the family through T.J. Tracey Cremation and Burial Specialists, Halifax, at tjtracey.com.
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