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Philippina T. Cusmano

September 24, 1919 ~ March 10, 2018 (age 98)

Philippina “Phil” Cusmano went home to receive God’s blessings for ninety-eight years of a life well lived on March 10, 2018.  Born September 24, 1919, in St. Louis Missouri, she was preceded in death by her husband, Sam Cusmano.  She was raised in Mexico, Missouri, where she graduated from high school.  A first generation American, her parents emigrated from Sicily.  In keeping with an “old country” practice, Phil’s parents arranged her marriage to Sam with his parents.  It turned out to be long, successful match. A lifelong, devout Catholic Phil lived her faith every day.  She believed in Jesus’ message of helping others.  Toward that end, she volunteered tens of thousands of hours to many worthy causes.  Just a few of the groups she gave her time to include: the Battle Creek Soup kitchen, St. Joseph Catholic Church where she was president of the council for many years, St. Vincent DePaul, Burnham Brook Senior Center, Catholic Women of the Kalamazoo Diocese, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, and Boy Scouts.  Her children are particularly proud of the recognition she received for her volunteer work from the state legislature thanks to her “special son,” then State Senator Mark Schauer.  Phil also worked with her husband and family at Sam’s Market on Main Street, in Battle Creek for five years where the local community knew her as “Mrs. Sam”.  She always had a book nearby to read and game shows were her favorite TV entertainment. What gave her the most pleasure was helping others.  Phil was the embodiment of selflessness.  She was always the person she thought of last.  Her four children survive her: Christine Price (Scott) of Portage, MI. Anthony “Tony” Cusmano of Battle Creek, MI, Mary Anne Payne (Randy, deceased) of Springboro, Ohio, and Frank Cusmano (Cynthia) of Haslett, MI.  Her grandchildren Monica Price, Nick Price, Andrew Payne, Christopher Payne, and Sam Cusmano, and great-grand son, Kai Price also survive Grandma Phil.  There will be a rosary and mass celebrating her life Friday, March 16 starting at 11:30 a.m. at St. Joseph Church, in Battle Creek. Interment will follow at Fort Custer National Cemetery.  In lieu of flowers or other contributions, the family asks that you follow Phil’s example and volunteer time to a cause you value and know she is smiling down on you. Arrangements by the Richard A. Henry Funeral Home.

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