Julieta Canfarotta, loving wife, mother, grandmother, sister and aunt, died peacefully in her sleep in the early hours of Tuesday, December 27, 2022 at 86 years young.
Julieta was born February 16, 1936 on a small farm in Sao Felipe, Bahia, Brazil. She was the strong willed and independent daughter of Tiburcio Santos and Maria Rosa Sales. One of seven children, she left her small town in Bahia and moved to Rio de Janeiro, where she worked as a companion to an elderly woman who shared her home, life lessons and most importantly, taught her how to cook some of her best loved dishes. After a few years she moved to Sao Paulo, and while taking care of newborns in a hospital nursery, she met the love of her life, Gioacchino Canfarotta, or Mimmo as he was known to his friends and family.
The story they told was that Julieta was on the way to watch a Cary Grant film when she walked by a handsome young man waiting by the bus stop. He followed her to the movie theater, bought her ticket and popcorn and then walked her home. She bragged that even though he spoke very little Portuguese and she spoke no Italian whatsoever, that she met the man she was going to marry. They dated for several years, and were finally married the morning of August 12, 1964 at City Hall and Julieta boarded a flight to the United States at 6pm that evening. Our father would joke that he “never even got to taste any wedding cake!” They were married for close to 47 years, and renewed their vows four times. Julieta said “it was to make sure that the wedding stuck” and Mimmo stated “that I just want the honeymoon I didn't get the first time.” They truly loved each other through 47 years of marriage, raising children, through good times and bad. Julieta was heartbroken when Mimmo passed away in August, 2008.