Virginia Baker Aliffi Castilian (94) died peacefully Friday, January 15, 2021, surrounded by her loving family. She was a native Savannahian and a graduate of Savannah High School. Virginia was a Cadet Nurse at St. Joseph’s Hospital School of Nursing, Savannah, and Mount St. Agnes College, Baltimore, MD. She received a BSN from AASU. She worked for the Chatham County Health Department as one of only three Genetic Counselors for the State of Georgia. She ran the Genetics Clinic at Memorial Medical Center from the mid-70s to 1991, where she also performed newborn screenings and checking for hereditary diseases or disabilities.
As engrossed as she was in her professional life, Virginia loved family, church, service and community. Who are you going to call if the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist needs 30 or so cakes for a bake sale, or if St. Francis Cabrini’s Catholic community needs a roast and potatoes for a family in bereavement, or her family of 30 or so needs a pot of Italian meatball soup or lasagna? Everyone knew to call Virginia Aliffi Castilian! She was always looking to help others, especially the call to feed the hungry. She was a member of many groups that did service for the community as well, including the Ladies Auxiliary of the Elks Club, the Happy Geechees, and the Savannah Italian Club Women’s Auxiliary. All six of her children attended Blessed Sacrament School where she volunteered to do everything from serving food to assisting in the library. For many years, she was an enthusiastic member of the Blessed Sacrament Church Choir. She also was a member of the Kwan Loma Dance Club and the Penguin Club where she and Tony, her husband of 54 years, would dance the night away. She was a member of the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist Church.
Virginia was an amazing mom who could work an all night shift and be home in time to give everyone breakfast and send them off to school. She made time for art activities, field trips and family vacations from Tybee Island to Walt Disney World to NYC and beyond! Her passion for movies and live theater was contagious! She knew all the words to every musical and was not so secretly in love with actor, Hugh Jackman. She was a fabulous dresser who could wear a hat in all seasons and styles. Although she was Italian only by marriage, Virginia’s roots go back to England (the Morgans who came to Georgia with the Salzburgers prior to 1783) and from Scotland (the Galloway and Chalmer families of Dundee and Fife Shire.) Virginia enjoyed saying that she was related to the famous early American pioneer, Daniel Boone who married Sarah Morgan in the 1700's. Virginia's fiery red hair and fair complexion are testament to her heritage. The family hopes that the next generation will host a redhead in her honor.
Virginia Aliffi Castilian was preceded in death by her husband Antonio (Tony) William Aliffi, Sr. After Tony’s death, Virginia married Dr. Louis L. Castilian, who died in 2018. She was also preceded in death by her parents, Earl Preston Baker Jr. and Helen Baker Brewer, her brother Earl Baker, and sister Jean Hernandez.
Survivors include Virginia’s children, Antonio Aliffi, Jr. (Alva), Don Aliffi (Linda), Carmela Aliffi (Jane Fishman), Salvatore Aliffi, Anna Kaluzne (Paul) and Thomas Aliffi (Stephanie); her grandchildren, Emily Aliffi Purcell, Jenny Aliffi Maddi (Doug), Sarah Aliffi-Baez (Ian), Jessica Green (BJ), Jenna Alstad (Travis) , Dr.Merritt Dammeyer (Chris) and Kate Hunt (Alex); her great-grandchildren, Sheppard & Griffith Purcell, Neville Maddi, Tripp & Viviann Green, Wills & Barrett Baez, Baker & Bennett Alstad, Matthew Hunt, step-children, Mary Castiglione (Sue Pritchett), Luigi Castilian, Amelia Castilian-Moore (Stevie) ; grandchildren, Jennifer Carter (Bill) and Armando Miccoli (Crystal) and great-granddaughter, Isabella
We would like to thank Hospice of Savannah (on Eisenhower) and Habersham House for their loving care as well as Vickie’s Helping Hands.
Due to COVID-19, the family will hold a private service and burial at Bonaventure Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, remembrances can be sent to the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist or Blessed Sacrament School, Savannah, GA. Please sign our on-line guest book at www.foxandweeks.com.
I was so sorry to learn of sweet Virginia's death. My love, thoughts and prayers are with each of you during this difficult time and I pray God will surround you with HIS tender loving arms and give you peace and comfort.
- Mary A. Garvin, Savannah, Ga.
My condolences to the family. She was beautiful inside and out. She will be missed.
- Tonia Johnson, SAVANNAH, GA
Cousins, sons and daughters of my beloved Aunt Virginia, I send my love and wishes for God's comfort. Aunt Virginia was a joy to our mom, her sister Jean, and the four of us. Aunt Virginia was on the front porch with mom after our dad's death. She helped Mom choose the name for our sister, Joy Virginia, who was born a few months later. Your mom always brought us joy and laughter. Joy's name shows how important your mom was to our mom. Aunt Virginia knew how much we loved her. Please know how much Bob, Helen, Joy and I love all of you. Nancy Mitchell
- Nancy Mitchell, Savannah, Ga
I am so sorry for your loss. I am blessed to have known and loved Virginia. She was a beautiful lady and I know she will be greatly missed. My thoughts, prayers and much love are with you all. God bless you all.
- Connie McBride , Tybee Island , GA
We send sincere condolences for the loss of your dear mother. Her children and grandchildren display the kindness and care that she modeled for you. May God rest her soul.
- The Geoghagan Family (William & Denise) , Alexandria , Virginia
She was beautiful, super intelligent, soft spoken, a designer’s knack for the perfect outfit on any occasion, a chef’s chef, a wonderful wife and a loving mother, grandmother, great grandmother, a talented ball room dancer . I could go on and on. Most importantly she was my Aunt Virginia, who forgave me my inadequacies, gave me self healing advice and told me love of family was the most important thing for all of us. Thank you, Aunt Virginia, for listening. Heaven has a new angel and we will never be the same without you here on earth.
- Nanci Aliffi, Villa Rica, Georgia
Aunt Virginia was a special lady in so many ways. She had a spirit and passion that was infectious. She lived a good life, loved her family, and was always there to lend a hand when there was a task that needed to be done. She will be missed by so many whose lives she touched. Rest in His arms!
- Patrick Aliffi, Greenwood, SC
- Agnes Thurlow , Savannah , Georgia
My most sincere sympathy goes out to the Aliffi Family.I count it as an honor to have known her.
- Jan Pointer, Vidalia, GA
Rest peacefully in the company of God, all the angels and Saints and all the family and friends who have gone before you , surrounding your spirit in your heavenly home .
- The Jon Gary Branans, Claxton/Athens, Ga
Virginia was always pleasant and kind. We know that her memory will be a blessing to you all.
- Kristen, Paul, and Emmeline Richards , Basye, Virginia
I am so sorry for your loss. I know she is in heaven dancing the streets with Grammie Jean.
- Heather Santos, Augusta , Ga.
- Jan Holland Ethridge , Alpharetta , Ga
Virginia was an inspiration and awe inspiring woman! A True Steel Magnolia! How blessed her children are to have her as their mother. She will rest peacefully now knowing her family was shown how to live life to the fullest. She will always be cherished in the hearts of her family and friends. The wonderful memories of her will see you all through this difficult journey. Rest in peace beautiful Virginia, until we meet again.
- Kandi & Pat Maddi, North Las Vegas, NV
I will truly miss Aunt Virginia's kindness, compassion, wisdom, the wonderful visits with her and dear Uncle Lou, and their presence at very meaningful occasions in my life. My heartfelt condolences go out to the entire Aliffi family. May her memory be eternal.
- Anita Castiglione, Coral Gables, FL
A beautiful lady and a great nurse. What a joy to have known her.
- Gayle Grevemberg Arberg , Marietta, Ga
We are holding you all in our hearts during this difficult time and are sorry for your loss. Mom (Mary) told us that Virginia was surrounded by her family as she passed away which is a beautiful image. Not growing up in Savannah, we feel fortunate to have had an opportunity to know and love Virginia during the years that she and Grandpa were married. Much love to you all.
- Jennifer and Bill Carter, Denver, CO
So sorry for your loss and will keep family and friends in my prayers.
- Rhett Mouchet, Savannah, GEORGIA
I am so sorry to learn of Virginia's passing. She and Tony were wonderful next door neighbors and made me feel welcome to live on 48th Street and to Savannah. And I hope she knows Frosty the cat still walks over to look for her in the back yard. May Virginia rest in peace in the arms of Jesus.
- Paula Bermann, Savannah, GA
Godspeed Aunt Virginia until we meet again! May your surviving family be comforted in your legacy, your remembrances, and the fulness of your Life! Enjoy your Heavenly Celebration full of tears of Joy and the Radiance of His Glory!
- Earl Preston "Buzz" Baker Jr, Pike Road, AL
Services under the direction of:
Fox & Weeks Funeral Directors, Hodgson Chapel
- A Private Service Will Be Held