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Michelina (Nardella) Villani

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Published in April 2021

Michelina (Nardella) Villani, 83, skilled seamstress and dressmaker, of Shrewsbury and formerly of San Marco in Lamis, Foggia, Italy, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, April 27, 2021 after a lengthy battle with ALS.

She leaves her beloved husband of 61 years, Michele Villani; her children: Angelo Villani and his wife Gilda Grassi, of Shrewsbury, Rosanna Villani and her husband Anthony Dixon, of Boylston, Giuseppe (Joe) Villani and his wife Heidi, of Shrewsbury, Luciano Villani and his wife Michele, of Shrewsbury, Mario Villani and his wife Gail, of Boylston, and Davide Villani and his wife Christina, of Shrewsbury; her brother, Luigi (Gino) Nardella and his wife Caterina, of Shrewsbury; her grandchildren, Michael, Olivia, Gabriella, Isabella, Michelangelo, Savina, Davide, Jack, Domenico, Giuseppe, Sophia, and Francesco. Michelina was predeceased by her brother, Angelo Nardella, of San Paolo di Civitate, Italy.

Born to the late Maria LaPorta and Michele Nardella, and raised by Arcangela Masullo and Giuseppe Villani, Michelina was educated in her hometown and apprenticed as a seamstress. She and her husband emigrated to the U.S. in 1971 and settled in Shrewsbury with their five children to begin their life in the U.S.

Michelina owned her own seamstress business for over 40 years, creating some of the most beautiful wedding dresses with clients throughout the Northeast. Her greatest gift was giving that special bride a unique item on their wedding day. She had a way of making everyone feel special. Her shop was full of pictures of brides on their wedding day and pictures of her family and grandchildren.

One of her greatest pleasures was Sunday lunches, a gathering of 26. A full house was her love. She saw her family grow from 6 children to 6 spouses and then 12 grandchildren. She will simply be remembered as Nonna!

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Compassionate Care ALS (

Relatives and friends are invited to visit with the Villani family between 10 and 11 AM on Saturday, May 1, 2021 at St. Mary’s Church, 640 Main Street, Shrewsbury – her funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11, followed by burial in Mountain View Cemetery, Shrewsbury. The Britton-Shrewsbury Funeral Home is honored to be assisting with arrangements.