LARATTA MARGHERITA "MARGARET" born December 8, 1924, devoted her life to her family. She was the eldest daughter in a coal-mining family in Fairmont, West Virginia, headed by her resourceful jack-of-all-trades father Luciano and mother Maria Rende. However, when her mother fell ill, it was 12-year-old Margaret who took over the household, cooking, cleaning, and caring for her younger siblings and ailing mother. In 1942, she married her sweetheart Louis Laratta, and the couple moved to Detroit, Michigan, where they had 3 children, Richard, Maria, and Louis Junior. During World War II, she worked in a factory supporting the war effort and raised her children while Louie fought overseas. Illness again struck her family when Louie later developed debilitating heart disease at age 48 and was unable to work. Margaret then supported the family working days as a press operator at a factory and nights as a department store clerk, and she continued to work after Louie's early death in 1973. Years later she found love again with Bill Clark. They retired to Florida in 1990, until Bill passed away in 1994. Margaret loved people, particularly children, and was devoted to her pets. She had boundless energy and stamina. Even in retirement, she would be up by 5 a.m. to start her day of cooking, gardening, community service, meeting with friends, movies, knitting, bingo, and watching the Food Network. Margaret had a love of cooking that she used to express her creativity and love for her friends and family. Every day she experimented with new dishes, cooked up old favorites for her children and grandchildren, and wouldn't rest until everyone had cleaned their plates. Margaret was authentic, genuine, and had a gift for easily connecting to people. She could keep going and keep a sense of humor even when times were tough. Her family and friends adored her and she will forever be missed. Margaret passed away on December 1, 2012, in Nashville, Tennessee, after a brief illness, with her son and his family by her side. She faced death with the same quiet courage and strength that exemplified her life. She is preceded in death by husband Louis Laratta, son Richard Laratta, daughter Maria Betz, and second husband Bill Clark. She is survived by son Dr. Louis J. Laratta, daughters-in-law Ellen Clark and Lovina Laratta, and grandchildren Lisa Scott (Wayne) of Florida, Heather Feher (Jimmy) and Jackie Betz (Kim) of Michigan, Märgen and Margaret "Maggie" Laratta of Tennessee, and great grandchildren Ryan and Ricky Scott, Joshua and Garrett Feher, and Dominic Betz. There will be a private remembrance and celebration of Margaret's life on December 8, 2012, at the home of her son, Lou, in Franklin, Tennessee. An additional service will be planned in Detroit, where she will be interred with her late husband, Louie. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Autism Speaks or The American Humane Society. WILLIAMSON MEMORIAL FUNERAL HOME, 615-794-2289. www.williamsonmemorial.com
From The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press
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