Cooking 02

Theresa Marie Novelli

March 13, 1928 ~ July 7, 2022 (age 94)


Theresa Marie Novelli, 94, of Wexford, PA and formerly of Johnstown, passed away July 7, 2022.  She was born March 13, 1928 to Joseph and Mary (Capatch) Chirillo.  When Theresa’s mother died shortly after childbirth, she was raised by her father and six older siblings.

Theresa attended Johnstown High School, where she met her future husband, Ralph Novelli, and graduated in 1947. They were married in 1951, raised four children, and spent 41 happy years together until Ralph’s death in 1992.

Known for her delicious cooking and baking, Theresa was always ready to welcome friends and strangers alike to her table. In the early 1960s, she expanded her culinary talents to making chocolate, and was soon running a successful candy business.  In 1966, Theresa and Ralph acquired Em’s Sub Shop in Roxbury and operated it for 10 years. The store became a neighborhood staple, popular for their sub sandwiches. 

Theresa was a strong, resilient, and faith-filled woman, who carried rosary beads in her pocket everywhere she went. Her religious conviction and courage saw her through many obstacles in life including the loss of her eyesight in her senior years. She was a long- time member of St. Anthony’s Parish (St Clare of Assisi Parish) and a member of the Catholic Mother’s Sorority.  For many years Theresa and Ralph were members of the ISDA, Joseph Johns Lodge.

A beloved wife, mother, and Nana, Theresa is survived by her children Eugenia (Al Vitiello), Michael (Bethia Horner), Natalie (James DeWeese) and Theresa (Brian Conlon); grandchildren Danielle DeWeese (Christopher Ross), Alexandra Conlon (Sam Waltemeyer), Adrienne Vitiello, Gabrielle Conlon (Brian Reed), Eric DeWeese, Christine Novelli (Adam Harding), Tyler Conlon, Andrew Vitiello, and Stephen Novelli (Erynn Molettieri); and great-grandchildren Patrick, Margot, Savannah and Frances (and counting). She is also survived by many loving nieces, nephews, and godchildren.

Theresa was proceeded in death by her parents, husband, in-laws Herman and Bella Novelli, brother-in-law Richard Novelli, sister-in law Leanora Karr, and her siblings Mary (Tony Chieppor/Mike Piro), Josephine (Ben Kapitan), Carmen, Peter (Matilda Florina), Joseph (Fannie Stumpo), James (Helen Litz), and her nephew Anthony Chieppor.

She was known as Nana not only by her grandchildren, but by many friends and neighbors of the family. Nothing got her on her feet faster than a classic Frank Sinatra tune, and her memory of and ability to hum big band standards remained with her nearly to the end. Her kind and loving personality, wisdom, and joyful spirit will be dearly missed by everyone she touched.

Friends are invited to her Memorial Mass held at 11:00 AM on Monday, August 15, 2022 at Our Mother of Sorrows Catholic Church, 515 Tioga Street, and friends will be received prior to mass from 10 AM to 11 AM at the church. Interment, St. Anthony Cemetery, Geistown.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Charlotte Lynch for educational purposes. Charlotte was Theresa’s dedicated hospice aide for ten months and was not only a wonderful aide and friend but helped guide the family through this difficult time. After six years of carrying out this special work, Charlotte will begin nursing school this September. We would like to honor her commitment to helping others. Checks, which will be forwarded to her, should be made payable to Charlotte Lynch and sent to Theresa Conlon, 470 Pinkerton Rd. Wexford, PA 15090.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Theresa Marie Novelli, please visit our floral store.

Memorial Tree
A Memorial Tree was planted for Theresa

We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Westmont Chapel

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August 15, 2022

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Our Mother Of Sorrows
415 Tioga St
Johnstown, PA 15905

Memorial Mass
August 15, 2022

11:00 AM
Our Mother Of Sorrows
415 Tioga St
Johnstown, PA 15905


St. Anthony Cemetery
101 Cemetery Drive
Johnstown, PA 15904


Theresa Conlon
470 Pinkerton Rd, Wexford PA 15090

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