Adelheid G."Adi" Naples,88, passed away peacefully Tuesday, June 13, 2022 at Masternick Memorial Care Center.
Adi was born in Silesia-Breslau, Germany Sept. 13, 1933, daughter of Paul and Selma (Nitschke) Exner. As a young child, she was raised in Zwoenitz, East Germany after enduring the hardships of World War II and relocation by the Russian occupying Army.
She initially escaped to West Germany as a young teenager after learning her brother Horst was critically injured in a mining accident. Dressed up as an "older woman in a babushka" she hiked across the frontier and across the border alone to provide aid to her brother while staying in a cloister. Once her brother recovered from his injuries, she became homesick and then returned to East Germany to be with her parents.
After a few years she realized she could not remain in East Germany under the oppression of communist rule and again escaped, this time permanently, and declared herself to the West German officials and became a West German citizen. She relocated to the town of Waldfischbach-Burgalben where her brother Gunter had settled. She found work in local shoe factories but also found another career in modeling.
Her job as a fashion model took throughout Europe including France and Italy. Not long after, at the recommendation of her best friend Christa, she was introduced to the love of her life, Mike Naples, an American Italian GI who was stationed in Landstuhl with the United States Seventh Army.
Mike recalled on their first date, the sight of Adi, in a glamorous dress and matching hat and scarf pulling up in her convertible 2 seat Simca sports car, only to run out of gas within minutes of pulling out of the military base.
Undeterred by that minor setback, their romance blossomed and they became inseparable. Unbeknownst to Mike’s Italian-American parents, they were engaged in Germany. Mike returned home after his deployment and sent for Adi and they were married April 28, 1962 at Saint Anthony's of Padua Church in Briar Hill, Youngstown.
Starting out in a small one bedroom house on the Eastside of Youngstown Ohio. Adi worked multiple jobs including factory work at Weatherby Coat factory in order to supplement Mike's income as a Youngstown Police Officer. They then moved to a larger house on the Westside and she continued to maintain the household raising her 2 sons and still finding time to do extra work for added income for a better life for the family.
She was an outstanding cook and created amazing international dishes both German as well as Italian dishes that she learned from her mother-in-law Rose Naples. Whenever friends would come to visit, you would be greeted with a warm hug and a kiss,(unless you had not been around for a while, in which case she might get up little slap on the arm followed by "where have you been for so long "in a thick German accent with a big smile).
Adi was very proud of becoming an official US citizen in 1972 and received a proclamation from Mayor Jack C. Hunter. She was an active fraternal member of the Youngstown Saxon Club
Her work ethic was unmatched. She later became involved in sales working for Patricia Gayle Cosmetics doing "make-up parties" all over the area in the evenings. She later pursued her love of high fashion and opened a boutique in Canfield Ohio, Adi's International Showcase.
Adi loved to travel and especially enjoyed trips to Cancun, Acapulco as well as Europe. After retirement she would spend weeks with her family in Germany. She was always physically active, working out on a daily basis until a severe motor vehicle accident almost took her life. She was still able to recover from her near fatal injuries and maintain an independent and active lifestyle. Most recently those injuries took their toll and she moved to Windsor house assisted living where she was well cared for by the staff.
Adi is survived by her sister Brigitte (Exner) Seller in Germany, sons Dr. Sandy (Katie) Naples, Michael (Claudia) Naples. Her loving grandchildren, Angelo, Lucia, Sofia, Colette, Cara and Chelsea, as well as numerous nieces and nephews here and in Germany.
She was preceded and death by her husband Mike, her parents Paul and Selma Exner, her mother and father-in-law Sandy and Rose Naples, and her brothers Horst and Gunter Exner.
There will be no calling hours however there will be a mass of Catholic burial at Saint Anthony's of Padua Church 1145 Turin St., Youngstown, OH 44510 on Saturday, July 9. Visitation will be from 9:00 to 10:00 AM followed by the mass.
The family would like to thank the staff at Windsor Assisted Living and Masternick Memorial Care Center in New Middletown for their outstanding care. They would also like to thank Dr. Art Duran and his staff at Poland Medical Center for the wonderful medical care they provided over the years.
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