Velia Colombo (DeRose)

Date of Death: 
November 10th, 2021

Velia Colombo, born Velia DeRose, died on Wednesday, November 10. She was 92 years old. Velia was an Italian by birth, an American by choice, and the chef by which all others in the family (and suburban Philadelphia, some may reckon) are measured. By her 18th birthday, she left her hometown of Roggiano Gravina, outside of the city of Cosenza in southern Italy, and arrived at Ellis Island. She had come to follow her father, who had found work on the railroad in the United States. English came to her slowly, but the peril of learning a new language did not stop her from meeting a charming redhead named Louis Colombo, whose Italian family had already settled in Philadelphia, which Velia came to call her home. After meeting at a wedding, Velia and Lou began dating, but they needed some help. Because Velia couldn’t understand English and Lou couldn’t understand Italian, her brother Tony had to sit between them and translate. That obstacle did not stop them and over the next six decades, Velia and Lou made a life together, complete with a butcher shop in Northeast Philadelphia, four loving daughters, and enough grandchildren to ensure Velia’s legendary meatball recipe was always put to good use. A private, soft-spoken person, Velia came alive as a cook and mother. Perhaps her proudest moment was living to see the birth of her 12 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. She is predeceased by Louis, her husband of nearly 70 years, and is survived by children Julie Setzer (the late Edward), Velia McCabe (Jim), Susan Langenstein (Will) and Laina Spinelli (Dan). Velia, who once started life anew on a ship to a strange, new world, lived to see herself become an American and the matriarch of a family made in her image. She will be deeply missed. Relatives and friends are invited to call Monday, November 15th from 9:30 to 10:45am at St. Rose of Lima Church, 424 S. Main St. North Wales, PA 19454. Her Funeral Mass will follow at 11am. Entombment will take place at George Washington Memorial Park. --

Memories and Condolences

We are very sorry for your loss. We will be making a donation to a charity in your mother’s memory.
Please accept my sincere condolences Julie & family. May the wonderful memories of your mother live in your heart forever. Blessings & Love, Carol Giandonato.
so very sorry for your loss Julie, our sympathy to you and your family
Aunt Velia will be missed. I’ll always remember dropping something off or picking something up at the butcher shop and Aunt Velia and Uncle Lou always talking me until Dad or Mom called to see what was taking me so long to get back. They always took time to talk to me and were the best Aunt and Uncle I could ask for! She will be missed, but in the words of Frank Sinatra (slight change) “She did it her way.” Our hearts and prayers are with you as we celebrate her life.
Julie & Family...My deepest nd sincerest sympathy on the loss of your mother/grandmother/great-grandmother. She will always be with you in your memories and in your heart.
Susan and family - your mom had such a warm heart and was always so gracious to anyone that came by. I'm so sorry for your loss- may your memories provide some comfort to you and may you know your mom is now finding joy with your dad.
Velia and Lou were Neighbors of ours. The friendship and hospitably they showed to us was more than friends. They were a second family.If they needed help We were there for them. If we need help both would jump in to help us.. God be with them both in their new journey again together. Always in our hearts The Hibbert Family Rest in Peace Velia, and Lou We will meet again, Love you both
Colombo and DeRose families. We are so sorry for your loss. We enjoyed being in Valia's company many times over the years. She always made you feel like we were close family. We will keep all of you in our thoughts and prayers. She will be missed.
So sorry for your loss, Julie. Your constancy and devotion to your mom is to be commended, and I know was done out of love.
Julie, We are so sorry to hear of your mother's passing. No matter how grown up we are we will always miss our mothers. She sounded like quite a loving force.

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