Liliana "Chief" Vita Maria (Palmigiani) Gragg

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Liliana "Chief" Vita Maria (Palmigiani) Gragg, 88, Nevada, Mo., passed from this life on Sunday, June 14, 2015, at Moore-Few Care Center, in Nevada. She was born on Sept. 11, 1926, in Bari, Italy, the daughter of the late Vincenzo Sgobba and Pellegrina Teresa Maria Palmigiani.

Liliana attended neighborhood schools in Bari, Italy, from 1932-39 and repaired socks for a merchant in Bari from 1942-44. In June of 1944 she began working at the rest and recuperation camp for officers of the Allied Forces, in Bari, where she met Clarence Harlan Gragg, of Nevada, who was stationed with the Army Air Corps in Italy during World War II. Harlan had been hospitalized in Bari and then had been stationed there. They married in an Italian civil ceremony on Jan. 31, 1946, and then married a second time in the chapel at the military camp the following day. In June 1946 Liliana made the trip by ship to the United States alone since Harlan was not scheduled to return until July. She rode the train from New York to Missouri where she was met by her husband's family. Later that year Harlan and Liliana bought a farm near Montrose, Mo., where they lived for several years, during which time their two sons were born: Clarence Harold on Nov. 29, 1946, and Larry Dale on March 6, 1950.

In 1958, Harlan and Liliana, along with Harlan's brother, Don, purchased Campbell's Greenhouse which they renamed Gragg Brothers' Greenhouse. The family operated the business for a number of years and son and daughter-in-law, Harold and Edi Gragg, later purchased it from his parents. Harlan passed away on April 1, 1996, but Liliana continued to work at the shop until its closing.

Through the years Liliana visited her family in Italy four times. Iole, Liliana's twin sister, also visited the United States. Both Iole and Liliana's older sister, Lina, preceded her in death, but she has many nieces, nephews and other family members still living in Torino, Italy.

Survivors include her son and daughter-in-law, Harold and Edi Gragg; her son and daughter-in-law, Larry and Doris Gragg; granddaughter and husband, Jenny and Corey Allard; granddaughter and husband, Sara and Mike Trecek; granddaughter and husband, Julie and Curt Cullmann; three great-grandchildren, Owen Trecek, Claire Trecek and Case Allard; along with many nieces, nephews, and other family members.

Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m., Wednesday, June 17, at the First Baptist Church, in Nevada, with the Rev. Hubert Fox officiating. Interment will follow in Moore Cemetery, Nevada. Friends may call now until the hour of service and the family will receive friends from 6 to 7 p.m., Tuesday, June 16, at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made in her memory to the First Baptist Church in care of Ferry Funeral Home.