Obviously they were in great demand. But Amelia's entrepreneurial activities didn't end there. She and her late husband, Pasquale "Patsy" DeAngelo, ran a popular Italian restaurant, Silvy's, at 6th and Pike streets that was a community asset from the '40s to the mid-'70s.
"She had the entrepreneurial spirit," said her daughter Elissa DeAngelo. "She was very successful at everything she did."
Amelia DeAngelo, who was born in Castelfranco, Italy, and brought by her parents to the U.S. when she was 6, died of cancer on Wednesday. She was 91 and lived in Center City.
"She touched many people's lives," her daughter said. "She was a feminist before her time. She was very independent, very talented and very aware of the needs of whatever community she lived in."
Her parents, Leonard Riccio and the former Giovannina "Jenny" Marcantonio, brought from the old country a passion for family and hard work that inspired Amelia as she grew up in North Philadelphia.
She attended Taylor Elementary School and Simon Gratz High School. She was still a teenager when she and her sister started their business from their home on 6th Street.
She married in 1944, and she and Patsy DeAngelo took over Silvy's, which was started by her husband's father, Silvio DeAngelo, after World War II. Amelia worked as hostess and organized banquets and parties for weddings, christenings and other festive occasions.
All the while, she continued with her dressmaking. She also taught sewing at a night school.
Amelia herself, of course, was always dressed fashionably.
After she and her husband sold the restaurant in the mid-'70s, they moved to Ventnor and eventually settled in Margate. She remained committed to her community and successfully fought a developer who wanted to build a miniature-golf course behind their home.
"No matter what it was, she always found a way to get it done," her daughter said.
After her husband died about nine years ago, Amelia lived alone. She drove a car until she was 89. She was also a devoted gardener.
Besides her daughter, she is survived by another daughter, Sylvia DeAngelo; a son, Leonard DeAngelo; five grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
Services: Funeral Mass 10:30 a.m. Monday at St. Francis Xavier Church, 24th and Green streets. Friends may call at 9 a.m. Burial will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Cheltenham.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Foundation for Breast and Prostate Health, fbph.com.
Contact John F. Morrison at 215-854-5573 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @johnfmorrison.