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Mildred Ruth Ferrando

October 5, 1928 ~ May 12, 2017 (age 88)

The Piano Brothers

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Mildred Ruth (neé Mirabella) Ferrando of Sonoma, our beloved family matriarch, passed away on Friday, May 12, 2017. She was 88.  Mildred (Millie) was born in Brooklyn, New York, on October 5, 1928. She was the daughter of Peter and Mildred Mirabella, and the younger sister to Ruth and Peter Mirabella, Jr.

Millie grew up in New York and attended Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic elementary school in Brooklyn. She went on to graduate from a Catholic high school in New York and then went to college.  She continued to study very hard to receive credentials as a Secretary and Administrative Assistant.  These credentials provided her the opportunity to travel to Africa and Algiers, where she worked with Aramco (Arabian American Oil Company), today, the world's most valuable company. In the early ’50s she found her way back to the New York and New Jersey area and continued working as a secretary and administrative assistant for Colgate-Palmolive in New York.

Her passion for traveling to new sites and opportunities also sustained her courage to do so, and thus Mildred found her way out to California independently. Along this trip she met her first husband, Walter Davis. They married in June 1954 in Alameda County, bought a home in Richmond in early 1959 and had their first child.  In 1963 they had a second child and moved to Sonoma Valley to a larger home.

This marriage didn’t work out; however, years later in 1980 she met Tom Ferrando of Sonoma, who was more than honored to lovingly take her hand in marriage. They began an extraordinary life together, combining their two life’s passions into one, complementing one another upon an incredible journey ahead.

Within their mutual life's values, they enjoyed participating in the Sonoma County community by getting involved in the local charities, benefits, and fundraisers. They loved helping and supporting this community in any way they possibly could and thus relished being a part of it.  They were often found on outings at many of our premier local Sonoma & Bay Area events. They absolutely loved being together at the theater, plays, musicals, culinary/wine, and community events, and in turn living their lives to the fullest. They indeed didn't stop there; they often set sail and traveled the bountiful world together.

In between these magical years, they wholeheartedly remained forever loving and generous with time to their family and grandchildren, while sharing within it all they possibly could. There were seemingly endless school functions which were attended in support of their grandchildren, where they immensely prided themselves as Grandma and Grandpa. They always made time to do what was important within their core values, and because of this, Millie and Tom were truly a match made in heaven, and thus remained “happily ever after.” She and Tom just recently celebrated their 36th wedding anniversary, and by the looks of it, we'd swear that they were still in the honeymoon stage.

Millie Ferrando’s passions consisted of an unsurpassed fearless and courageous will, which was said to be recognized as a young girl (and perhaps a bit ahead of its time). Her steadfast independence paved an affirmative path of inspiration for many people, friends and colleagues whom she positively influenced towards a new horizon, beautiful and full of adventure. It was these very qualities that, coupled with her magnificent unwavering faith (and despite limited resources at the time in the latter 1960s), she still made certain to find a way to place her two children into St. Francis Solano Catholic school. She was involved in her children’s lives and in the school in any constructive way she could; this was important to her. She volunteered her time at school functions and fundraising benefits, and she truly loved being a part of it all.

Growing up, she and her friends often entertained themselves with many shows, musicals, and theater. They were also often together at Coney Island Amusement Park enjoying the beach and rides, where she loved the thrill of it all, especially the famous roller coaster. Later she had brought her children back to the East Coast a few times, where they enjoyed the World’s Fair in 1964-65, along with Flushing Meadows Corona Park and other such attractions which had previously helped to mold and enrich Millie’s own life.

In the early ’70s, while fully embracing her commitment to motherhood and homemaking, she joined the Sonoma Valley Chorale as a soprano, to help rekindle the youthfulness of her upbringing. As a young mother, she loved cooking, gardening, and tending to her children and their lives, which included the recognition and celebration of each and every holiday, birthday, and important event as that “very special moment in time” that it was for them. This was also genuinely and thoughtfully expressed every given day throughout the tremendous extended network of her family and friends; she was continually writing and sending cards and other meaningful sentiments year after year. Her forever loving, caring thoughts, notes and gestures will always be remembered by many. She was indeed an exceptionally special person.

She is survived by her husband, Tom; her children, Jan and Andy Davis; and grandchildren Jason, Keaton and Arabella Davis. She is also survived by her niece and nephew, John (Caroline) Ferrando and Bobbi (Larry) Hall; great-nephew Eddy Hall; and numerous other cousins and their extended family and friends, whose East Coast roots came in through Ellis Island and from there found their way throughout America.

Friends are invited to attend a Celebration of her life and Memorial services at Duggan's Mission Chapel, 525 West Napa Street, Sonoma, CA, on Saturday, June 24, 2017, at 11:00 AM.

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