November 11, 1935 – March 12, 2023
VISITATION: Sunday, March 19th, 2pm, followed by a 4pm VIGIL at Christ the King Catholic Church, 654 S. 86th St.
MASS OF CHRISTIAN BURIAL: Monday, March 20th, 10am, at Christ the King Catholic Church.
Interment: Holy Sepulchre
In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.
To view a live broadcast of the Vigil and Mass, please visit www.heafeyheafey.com and press the “View Live Cast” button at the top of the homepage.
Caterina Malara, 87, entered into eternal rest on March 12, 2023, surrounded by her loving family. She was born on November 11, 1935, in Reggio Calabria, Italy. After marrying her childhood love Luigi in 1953, they moved to Buenos Aires, Argentina, and welcomed their first three daughters: Carmen, Maria, and Gracie. During their time in Argentina, they owned a small bakery and lived close to Luigi’s family. Caterina and her growing family immigrated to Omaha, Nebraska, in 1964 to care for her mother, Maria Baldanza. Shortly after arriving in Omaha, their fourth daughter, Anna, was born. Tragedy struck the young family when Luigi died and left Caterina to raise four girls by herself. Caterina became the sole provider for her daughters and vowed to do everything it took to keep her family together.
She was immensely talented in the kitchen and as a seamstress. She sold homemade frozen raviolis and pasta out of her basement and made her daughters’ wedding dresses. With her strong will and determination, her dream became reality when she opened her own restaurant in 1984. Daughters, sons-in-law, and grandchildren were willing and able to waitress and bartend, pass out sausages and pizza at Summer Arts Festivals, and so much more. Since then, the Malara family has grown to include the special generation of great-grandchildren who Nani loves exponentially.
One thing has always remained important and constant in Caterina’s life: family.
She is preceded in death by her husband, Luigi Malara; mother, Maria Baldanza; and daughter Carmen Rotella.
She is survived by daughters: Maria Szablowski, Gracie Benak, and Anna Ruzicka; sons-in-law: James (Becky) Rotella, Richard Szablowski, Ron Benak, and Kevin Ruzicka; grandchildren: Rocky (Jen) Rotella, Nina (Rob) Fox, Gina Rotella, Angela (Greg) Christensen, Ashley (Hector) Gomez, Amanda (Chase) Couture, Ricky (Gretchen) Szablowski, Alex (Paul) Kuta, Timothy Benak, Kevin Ruzicka, Emma (Samuel) Szablowski; great-grandchildren: Giovanni, Sebastian, Nathalia, and Gabriella Gomez; Sofia and Rocco Rotella; Sam and Gigi Fox; Dominic and Carmela Christensen; Isabella, Everleigh, and Gianna Kuta; and Willow Couture.