Carolina Mascagni (née Tabellini)
February 5, 1923 - February 2, 2024
It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of Carolina Mascagni (née Tabellini), who passed away peacefully at University Hospital in London, Ontario on the evening of February 2nd, at the incredible age of 100. Carolina will be remembered as a generous parent, doting grandmother, loving great-grandmother, and steadfast friend. Known as the “Lasagna Lady” of London, she was an extraordinary chef, culinary instructor, virtuoso gardener, and captivating storyteller.
Born in Castel St. Pietro Terme, a rural farming community outside Bologna, Italy, she was the youngest (and last) of her thirteen siblings. They were bonded during good times and hard, especially during the German occupation during World War II, and emerged stronger for it. Predeceased by her beloved Amedeo (d. 2008), she was survived by her daughters: Claudia (John), Julie (John), and Grace (Paul); six grandchildren: Christin (Mark), Cathrine (Kennet), Leila (Asier), Nicole (Matt), Faith, Sean; and five great-grandchildren: Wesley, Cameron, Oliver, Bastien and Alaia.
In February of 1956, Carolina left her home for the first time and immigrated to Canada with her two daughters Claudia and Julie. Without speaking a word of English, they travelled by boat to New York City, before taking the train to join Amedeo in London, Ontario. She became a Canadian citizen in March of 1968. Carolina received formal culinary training in Bologna as a young woman, she specialised in traditional Italian food. She worked in numerous kitchens in London including the Western University cafeteria, nursing homes, was the Head Chef at the Marconi Club for many years and was the owner and operator of The Wheel restaurant.
Carolina created a second kitchen in her Glen Cairn basement where she ran a catering business for events and also sold homemade lasagna and tortellini to customers. Although some deemed it too much work, she refused to slow down and even taught some of her recipes and techniques to close friends and family well into her nineties. For those that knew her, she certainly wasn’t shy in pointing out when people weren’t following her recipe! She was very proud of her authentic Bolognese style of cooking; in her opinion, it was the only true way to cook.
After Amedeo’s passing, Carolina maintained her house and shared her garden with friends and neighbours. Her bounty of tomatoes, pears, artichokes, fennel, eggplant, and zucchini made their way into her dishes and were often sent home in heaping bags with every visitor. Her kitchen was a gathering place where stories were shared, bread was broken, and sambuca was sipped.
Eventually, she moved into Windermere on the Mount retirement community and later Richmond Woods, both providing great service of care during her happy final years. Carolina will be admired for her practical approach to life and invaluable wisdom she passed on to her family, which was always punctuated by the phrase “ah, life is life.” Her family thanks Dr. Jo-Anne Hammond for the exceptional care she gave and also the doctors and nurses for their kindness and dedication during the final week of her life in the palliative care unit at University Hospital.
Carolina is missed deeply, thought of fondly, and will be remembered often. Funeral service will be conducted at Westview Funeral Chapel, 709 Wonderland Road North, London, Ontario on Thursday, February 8, 2024 at 3:00 p.m., with visitation from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, those wishing to make a donation are asked to consider the James J. Hammond Fund (jjhfund.org).
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Claudia, Julie, Grace and families, I was saddened to hear of Carolina’s passing. I have so many fond memories of her visiting with my mom. I would often find the two of them in my mom’s kitchen gabbing over a coffee. I also remember your mom from the Marconi Club. I loved her food, especially her lasagna. Your mom has been reunited with your dad now. May they both find peace and joy in Heaven. L. Pirocchi
On behalf of the residents and staff of Richmond Woods Retirement Residence we would like to extend our heartfelt condolences on the loss of Carolina. May you take comfort in the memories of love shared and find peace now, and in the days ahead.
From three sisters to three sisters, we are saddened by your loss and we share our sympathy. Your mother was an original! She was a lively compatriot of our father and floor-mate of our mother at RW. Our parents enjoyed their time spent reminiscing with Carolina over the years. We all enjoyed her lasagna at our family gatherings for as long as we can remember, and we toasted her at each one of them (it was truly the best)! She will be missed.
Our sincere condolences to the family on the passing of Carolina, We have fond memories that we will cherish. May she RIP. Joe Arcese, Rob Arcese and Family
Claudia, Julie and Grace and Family, my sincere condolences for the passing of your mom. Her lasagna was my dad's favourite. I meet her once when I visit her home, looking for some green tomatoes to make "chow chow". I was able to make 10 large Mason jars for the box thatI gathered. I remember telling her at the time, I just could possibly take any more tomatoes. She was a treasure.
Dear Grace and family, Please accept our condolences on the death of your sweet mamma and nonna Carolina. Hers may be the most beautiful obituary I have ever read. She was a brave, strong and talented, loving woman. I wish I had met your mamma and tasted her food. I’ve only spent 2 weeks in Italy and 11 days of those were in Bologna. I fell in love and can’t wait to go back. Having said that, I can really almost taste Carolina’s meals and smell the aromas in her kitchen. And I imagine you all learned some tricks from her, a beautiful way to keep her memory close. (Beautiful shoutout to a wonderful doctor, Jo-Anne Hammond and wonderful choice of org. to honor Carolina’s memory.) Sending love to you and to your extended family and all who love Carolina, Liz and Frank
Services for Carolina Mascagni (née Tabellini)
Visitation will be held at:
Westview Funeral Chapel
709 Wonderland Road North,
February 8, 2024 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Funeral Service will be held at:
Westview Funeral Chapel
709 Wonderland Road North,
February 8, 2024 3:00 pm
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