Stella Babiana, 93, of the Villa at St. Antoine, North Smithfield, died January 13, 2022.
She was born in Woonsocket on April 22, 1928 to the late Pericles and Olympia (Babu) Babiana. After the death of her mother, she was raised by her father and the late George and Mary (Andry) Babiana.
Stella lived in a family surrounded by love, song, laughter, pride, and community. She was dedicated to her faith and was involved in many positions in the St. John the Baptist Romanian Orthodox Church. Stella’s parents were founding members and she was dedicated to continuing their legacy to preserve the beauty of the church and its community. She began her service to the church as a choir member and became the passionate long-term director. Through the years Stella had many leadership roles including Sunday School teacher, cemetery committee member, building and maintenance chairman, member of the Ladies Auxiliary (Reuniunea Femeilor), a delegate to the National Romanian Orthodox Church Assembly in Michigan, many assorted sundry activities, and long-time Parish Council Treasurer.
Stella was a board member of the Society Farsarotul in Easton, Ct. which is dedicated to preserving the Aromanians (a Baltic ethnic group) in the United States. She was a pillar in the religious community.
You were lucky if you received one of Stella’s Treasures: delicious ethnic desserts presented in elegant packaging. Stella’s persistence for perfection, grace of heart and perseverance greatly benefited the community.
She was able to support, protect, and enhance her spiritual vision and ancestry. For example, she would engage Archbishop Nathaniel’s advice for recommendations, clarifications, and decisions about church doctrine. She was proud, strong, social, vibrant, inquisitive, optimistic, and polite – always helping others with guidance and special instructions.
Stella was a proud graduate of Woonsocket High School and began working as a manager for a local liquor distributor – Capitol Beverage – before finding her business passion in the fashion retail industry. Stella was a buyer, salesperson and office manager for Carriage Trade, McCarthy’s Department Store, Catamaro Men’s Furnishing, and Reid and Hughes Department Store. She had a penchant for sharing her life stories from her modeling days with Bunny North to her interesting traveling stories from Canada, Greece, Romania, Italy, Austria, Bermuda and Portugal.
It was always an adventure with Stella with her flair for fashion and conversation. She had numerous tips for her nieces in fashion, posture, poetry, popcorn and pizzazz.
She is survived by her sister, Florence Costulas of Fairfield, CT; three nieces: Christine Chiacu-Forsythe and her husband, Kenton, of North Smithfield; Debra Chiacu and her partner, Charles O’Neal, of Woonsocket and Bolton, MA; and Karen Recco and her husband, Jack, of South Natick, MA; her great nephews and great niece: Jeremy Forsythe of Providence; Jonathan Forsythe and his wife, Mimi, of New York, NY; and Kendra Slafta and her husband, Andrew, of New York, NY; and numerous other loving nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
She was the sister of the late Victoria Chiacu, Andrew Babiana, Sylvia Fatse, Virginia Gingras Baker and James Babiana.
A special thank you for the care she received from the Villa at St. Antoine, the short stay at the Transitional Care Unit at Saint Antoine Residence, her primary care physician Dr. Micaela Iovonel and her longtime friend, Father Remus Blahu.
Her funeral will be held Wednesday, January 19, 2022, with a service at Noon in St. John the Baptist Romanian Orthodox Church, 501 East School St., Woonsocket, RI 02895 and may be viewed online at https://client.tribucast.com/tcid/4232004846 Burial will follow in St. John the Baptist Romanian Orthodox Cemetery, Mendon Rd., Woonsocket.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Holt Funeral Home, 510 South Main St., Woonsocket.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. John the Baptist Romanian Orthodox Church.
To send flowers to the family or plant a memorial tree in memory of Stella Babiana, please visit our Tribute Store