Norma Jean Legge Morelli died peacefully at home in the early morning hours of Monday, March 8, 2021 after a long battle with Alzheimer's Disease and a short battle with pancreatic cancer.
Born in Aliquippa on April 21, 1934, she was the daughter of the late Felice and Giacinta (Crisi) Legge, both immigrants from the small Abbruzese town of Ripa Fagnano Alto, Italy.
As the proud child of immigrants, Norma grew up on Plan 7 in Aliquippa's boom days of steel production. She treasured her memories of those years living in a neighborhood filled with diverse people from all over the globe; she entertained others with countless stories of her time there. In her youth, she spent many days at the public library, where her love of books, reading and writing was nurtured and blossomed. Upon graduation from high school, she got a job as a switchboard operator at The Beaver County Times; when the newsroom staff discovered she could write as well as or better than any of them, she was promoted to work as a reporter. She remained at the Times for 15 years until her marriage in 1967, upon which she shifted her life focus to the domestic realm as wife and mother. Norma was devoted to her family, and would do absolutely anything for them and those she loved.
Full of life and light; Norma lit up any room and charmed everyone she met; her husband likes to say that “a day without Norma is a day without sunshine”. She was outgoing, funny, and sharp-witted, even when her mind was stricken with Alzheimer's and her body weakened by cancer, she laughed and joked nearly until the day she died. As a proud Italian wife and mother, she fed every visitor to her home with exuberance, and graced them with her sense of humor and kindness. Her generosity and open-heartedness were boundless, and she leaves the memory and feeling of it behind in those whose lives it touched. She was also a member of St. Monica’s Parish.
She is survived by her adoring husband of nearly 54 years, Robert L. Morelli of Beaver Falls; her children Maria Morelli (Rob McQuillan) of Sewickley; Robert Morelli II (Melanie Maslo) of Monaca; her brother, Aldo Legge, Sr. (Patti) of Aliquippa; her sister-in-law, Rose Operhall; her "double-crossed" cousins, Jeannette and Antonette Crisi of Aliquippa; numerous beloved nieces and nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews, cousins, paesani, and friends near and far.
In addition to her parents, Norma was preceded in death by her sister, Mary Ann Tarquinio; three sisters-in-law, Patti Legge, Eleanor Morelli, Mary Magnifico; and three brothers-in-law, Joseph Morelli, Gilbert Tarquinio, Thomas Magnifico, Sr.
Norma's family extends their deepest gratitude to the extraordinary caregivers she had in the last years of her life, most especially Debbie Rummel, her “buddy and pal”, and the home hospice team at Good Samaritan, especially Kathleen, Renee, and Jessica.
Due to COVID 19 restrictions, the visitation and funeral service will be private. Memorial donations may be made in Norma's name to St. Monica's Angel Fund; The Alzheimer's Association; the American Cancer Society; or the B.F. Jones Memorial Library, Aliquippa.