It is with both great sorrow and in celebration of a life well-lived that the daughters of Madeline Feleci Rancilio announce her death at the age of 101. Madeline experienced good health, a sharp mind, and a good heart throughout her life. She died on February 20, 2017, in Madison, AL.
She was born in Murphysboro, IL, November 15, 1915, the daughter of Givanna Cartiabelotti and Antonio Feleci, and moved to Herrin, IL, in the 1920s. She was preceded in death by her husband Herman “Hawk” Rancilio, her parents, her brothers Paul and Sam Feleci, and her sisters Angeline Messina and Mary Aleo.
Madeline grew up dancing to the Big Bands in the 1930s, and dancing remained a joy throughout her life. At the start of the Second World War she served her country becoming a munitions worker loading high explosive ordnance. She then left home to marry Lt. Herman Rancilio in December, 1943, at the Nashville, TN, Army Air Corps Chapel. He was the boy across the street, the love of her life, and with him she danced and traveled across America as he served in the military during WWII. When that big adventure was over they returned home to Southern Illinois where they both worked and raised their two daughters, JoAnna and Felicia. They all traveled as much as they could, always including dancing in their trips. When they retired, Herman and Madeline made long tours and a cruise, and won several dancing contests.
Madeline came to live with her daughter Felicia and her husband Paul when Herman, her husband for 62 years, passed away on Christmas Eve 2005. She quickly adapted to her new home in Alabama taking on yet another big adventure. She enjoyed her time living in the South and was always grateful to God for what she said was a “wonderful life.” She retained her strong faith in God, knowing that her Redeemer had maintained her throughout her long life for a purpose, and that He had a better home for her already prepared.
Madeline was a member of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church. She leaves two daughters and their husbands: JoAnna Rancilio Oldani and her husband Robert, Scottsdale, Arizona; and Felicia Rancilio Miller and her husband Paul, Harvest, Alabama.
A graveside service will be held at 2:00pm on Saturday, February 25, 2017 at San Carlo Cemetery in Herrin with Monsignor Ken Schaefer officiating. Family and friends are asked to gather directly at the cemetery. Johnson-Hughes Funeral Home in Herrin is assisting the family with final arrangements.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Huntsville Hospital Foundation: http://www.huntsvillehospitalfoundation.org/ways-to-give/giving-options/