Candida D'Anella, 79, who was active in charity work and particularly in the South Philadelphia Lioness Lions Club, died Saturday after a brief illness.

The oldest of six children, Candida Russo graduated from South Philadelphia High School for Girls in 1947, and for 60 years afterward helped plan reunions of her class. She attended the 60th class reunion in April.

In 1950, she married Vincent "Robideau" D'Anella, who was well known in South Philadelphia for his trucking and warehouse business. Together they raised four children. He died not long after the couple celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2000.

Mrs. D'Anella devoted 30 years to the Lioness Lions Club, serving on virtually every committee at one time or another and as chapter president. She was a member of the Knights of Columbus, the Sons of Italy, and for the last 30 years made it a point at Christmas to visit the Rudolphy Mercy Douglass Home for the Blind.

"With all the charitable work she did, she did just as much work with the family," said her daughter Donna D'Anella.

"She always wanted to celebrate things," and not just the big events either, her daughter said. "Somebody going away on a trip, we'd come over and have cake and coffee. It was just every little thing, she wanted to mark it."

Her oldest daughter, Candida Lowery, said, "She shared with us her love of dance, art, and especially the opera. Her favorite,

Madame Butterfly

."

In addition to her daughters, Mrs. D'Anella is survived by another daughter, Mary; son Vincent III; four sisters, and 11 grandchildren.

Friends may call from 7 to 9 tonight at Pennsylvania Burial Co., 1327 S. Broad St. A Funeral Mass will be said at 11 a.m. tomorrow at St. Monica Church, 17th and Ritner Streets. Burial will follow at Calvary Cemetery, Cherry Hill.

Memorial donations may be made to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, 225 City Ave., Suite 104, Bala Cynwyd, Pa. 19004.