The memory of a good person is a blessing- Proverbs 10:7
Born into this world to Emilio and Nicoletta Cornacchione in Fossalto, Italy, on June 7, 1936, the 7th of 9 children, Liberato grew up in a family that worked hard and cared for each other’s needs.
As a young teenager, he aspired to goals beyond working the family farm! This led him to apprentice under their town’s master tailor Carrelli, where he learned a skill that shaped the rest of his career and life. He went on to study and work in Rome, Italy, at the age of 18. In 1965, following the lead of some of his brothers and “paesani”, Liberato emigrated to Barberton, Ohio, where Giovanni and Antonietta Cornacchione adopted and welcomed him into their home.
Liberato met Concetta in 1970. When she saw his smile and heard him speak of the importance of family, she knew he was the one for her! He proposed to her on June 13th of the same year and they married September 5th at St. Anthony of Padua Parish. Their two children, Fabiola and John, arrived within their first two years of marriage.
He worked as a tailor at Bond’s Clothiers before starting Leody’s Clothiers in 1974 with Ody Frangioudakis. They sold fine and custom-tailored suits, sport coats, shirts, ties and accessories. Eventually Liberato independently moved the store to the new and upcoming Montrose area. While he worked long hours behind the sewing machine, iron and press, his wife and children worked in various ways in the store, helping out while giving them more family time together.
His beloved customers, who called him “Leo”, respected him as a true artisan who made them look impeccable in perfectly fit clothing. Leo, too, will always be remembered for his own signature, precisely-pressed style, even in his later years!
Even though he didn’t want to become a farmer, he enjoyed gardening and landscaping, and spent many hours nurturing vegetable plants and keeping trees and hedges well manicured. The huge fig trees he managed to keep alive in Ohio’s winters produced thousands of beautiful and delicious figs over the years which he loved to share. Two of his greatest joys were making wine each year and gathering family and friends around the regulation-size bocce courts that he built in his backyards. He loved to share his homemade wine with family, friends, customers and sometimes even strangers!
Above all, he will be most remembered for his devotion to his family and his quiet faith. He attended Mass weekly with Concetta, and supported each parish he attended. He welcomed Stephanie Sanzone, John’s wife, and Raphael Vaccaro, Fabiola’s husband, as if they were his own children. He loved each of his granddaughters, Claudia, Natalie, Isabella, Francesca, Julia and Cecilia with deep affection and generosity.
He left this world for the home promised for him on Wednesday, June 16th, after battling complications of advanced Parkinson’s disease. In Concetta’s words, “He was a humble man. He went to get his reward.”
He will be deeply missed by his family, including his brothers and sisters-in law, Francesco and Carmelina, Guido and Vincenza, and Domenico and Theresa; brothers-in-law, Renato D’Agruma and Mario Cornacchione; many nieces, nephews, cousins and other family members both in the United States and Europe.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Nicola, Teodoro (Giuseppina); sisters, Mariannina (Giuseppe), Palma and Antonietta (Bertino); sisters-in-law, Caterina Russo and Giannina Pianalto, as well as many extended family members.
The family wishes to express gratitude to the nurses and caregivers who helped him through his most difficult health challenges. A very special thank you to Paula Howard of the Justin T. Rogers Hospice Care Center who truly attended to his every need with utmost skill, kindness, and compassion to the very end.
Liberato’s Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Friday, June 25th at St. Hilary Catholic Church at 11:30 a.m. Family will receive friends in the church one hour before the beginning of Mass.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to two charities close to his heart - St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the St. Hilary Parish Foundation. Private interment will be at Holy Cross Cemetery.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Liberato (Leo) Cornacchione, please visit our floral store.