In Memory of

Filomena

Petta

(Colaneri)

Obituary for Mrs. Filomena Petta (Colaneri)

A Tribute to the Quiet Force, Our Unseen Anchor, Our Mother

April 24, 1936 - August 27, 2023

Filomena Petta was born to Antonio and Marietta Colaneri in the quaint Italian town of Castelmauro. She later married her lifelong partner, Alfonso Petta, and together, they journeyed to Thunder Bay, Ontario, to cultivate a life built on love, respect, and the promise of new beginnings. She leaves behind a tightly-knit family that adored her: children Angelo, Gina Roy (Ken), Nellie Desilets (Mike); grandchildren Alicia (Ben), Kevin, and Melissa Roy, Lauren, Ethan, Paige, and Sienna Desilets; sisters Antonietta Sticca, Teresa Cianfagna; and sister-in-law Maria Liberatore. Filomena was predeceased by her husband, Alfonso, her parents, and numerous other family members.

Filomena was like a lighthouse in the storms of our lives. She never tried to be the center of attention, but her presence was like the sun that brightened up all of us.

Her life was a masterclass in giving without ledger, loving without clauses. She was a gardener who didn't cultivate plants but nurtured souls, not seeking applause but fulfillment in providing a sanctuary for her family.

She instilled in us a philosophy that goodness needs no audience and integrity is its own reward. She often said, “Focus on your own affairs, put in the work, and above all, cherish your children.” This moral compass she instilled has guided us through the complexities of life with grace and purpose.

While she may not have been an engineer in the conventional sense, she was an architect of resilience and emotional fortitude. She didn’t erect buildings; she built a fortress of values, an emotional stronghold that fortified our spirits.

We grew up setting our sights on the latest toys and gadgets, but our parents gambled on a different kind of wealth—a treasure chest filled not with trinkets but with emotional gold bars. In retrospect, their investment strategy was ingenious, reaping dividends of love and wisdom.

For us, home was wherever Mom was. From hot meals to neatly ironed clothes, she had this ability to make simple things feel special. Mom was always the last to eat but the first to serve. She would feed the entire family before sitting down herself.


She was a woman of few words but a library of wisdom. Her unspoken motto could have been, "Let people live their lives while you live yours to the fullest."

Though she never had the privilege of formal education, her insights into life and love were as profound as any doctoral dissertation on philosophy. She mined her knowledge from the rich earth of lived experiences, nourished by her relentless work ethic.

Filomena was an unsung diplomat. Her neutral stance on contentious subjects wasn't a sign of indifference but a symbol of her wisdom. She knew when to interject and when to let things naturally unfold. Like a ship's captain avoiding an oncoming storm, her diplomatic skills often cleared her family of unnecessary conflict.

She extended her role as a guardian angel to her grandchildren, always vigilant, their well-being her primary objective. Her unwavering gaze served as a warm blanket of assurance for them.

Even as the fog of time clouded her memory, the melodies of Italian songs served as the bridge to a happier, distant shore. Her laughter and clapping were the notes that filled those songs.

Nothing in this life can prepare you for the moment when the person who has been your constant, your North Star, begins to fade away from this world. Her guiding light may have flickered out in this world, but it has kindled a fire within us that will never go out.

We love you, Mom, today, tomorrow, and through eternity

We extend a heartfelt thank you to our beloved Zia Antonietta for her unwavering and unconditional support. We are grateful to the dedicated healthcare professionals, friends, and family who have stood by us during these challenging times. Your support has been invaluable and deeply cherished.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Northern Cancer Fund or Thunder Bay Alzheimer Society. In memory of Filomena, we encourage everyone to make the world a bit warmer by treating each other with kindness, patience, compassion and unconditional love.