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Carmela Ciotta, seamstress, cafeteria worker

June 29, 1931 – April 1, 2016

Carmela Ciotta, a retired cafeteria worker at Buffalo State College and a seamstress at the former M. Wile & Co., died Friday in Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, Amherst, after a short illness. She was 84.

The former Carmela Gammacurta was born in Campobello di Licata, Sicily.

She emigrated to Buffalo with her family in 1948 when she was 17. She was one of nine children of Rose and Peter Gammacurta. In America, the family’s name became Gambacorta. Shortly after she arrived, she began working at M. Wile on Goodell Street, sewing men’s suits. She attended night citizenship school at Hutchinson-Central High School.

In 1952, she returned to Campobello di Licata to marry John Ciotta. He died in 1994. They returned to make their home in Buffalo, living first on the West Side and then North Buffalo, where she lived on Sterling Avenue until her death.

She became known for her annual St. Joseph’s Day tables.

She worked at Buffalo State College as a cook and server in the Moot Hall cafeteria for 15 years, ending in 1990. She was a member of Societa Femminile Campobello di Licata.

She is survived by two daughters, Rose Ciotta Cultrara and Jane Ciotta Wheeler; and two sons, Charles and Peter, all of Amherst; five grandchildren; a great-grandson; and a sister, Maria Teresa Francoforte.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered 8:45 a.m. Monday in St. Gregory the Great Church, Amherst. Burial will follow in Mount Calvary Cemetery.