We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Heritage-Dilday Memorial Services
Nina Marie Merlino, 82, of Huntington Beach, CA., passed away July 22, 2022, at 4:30 AM. During the few weeks prior to her passing, she was surrounded by family and friends who loved her and prayed with her.
Nina was born to the late Vito and Mary Bruno, June 08, 1940, in Los Angeles, CA. She graduated from Montebello High School in 1958. In the early 1960’s, Nina started her career in modeling and by the early 1970’s soon founded her own modeling agency, “Nina Marie Studios,” in Santa Barbara, CA. Nina is survived by her three siblings, Mary Costigan (Joe), Jeannie Merlino (Doug), and Tony Bruno.
Nina married the late Leonard Cacioppo in 1963, had two children Darrin and David, and they lived together in Lompoc and Santa Barbara until 1976 with Leonard’s passing. She remarried to the late Donald Merlino in 1977, who then later adopted her two sons, and they resided in Huntington Beach until 2022. Nina is survived by her two children: Fr. Darrin Merlino C.M.F., of Los Angeles; and David Merlino (Lisa), of Huntington Beach/Edmond, OK., and four Stepchildren: Mike Merlino (Kami), of Roseburg Oregon; Suzanne Galbreath (Brad), of Springfield Oregon; Richard Merlino, of Roseburg Oregon, and Donald Merlino, of Portland Oregon. She is also survived by 15 grandchildren: Nicholas Merlino, Hannah Merlino, Jacob Corwin, Jeremy Corwin, Jordon Corwin, Meranda Ruiz, Ashley Lindsey, Josh Galbreath, Mason Merlino, Kyndal Merlino, Kylie Merlino, Tyler Merlino, Marisa Merlino, Morgan Merlino and Zoey Merlino, and eight great-grandchildren; Bronson Corwin, Emmitt Corwin, Benjamin Corwin, Elijah Corwin, Amelia Galbreath, Benjamin Galbreath, Londyn Lindsey, and Roman Ruiz.
Nina was a prayer warrior, daily Mass communicant, and very involved at her parish St. Mary’s by the Sea, Catholic Church. She was a Bereavement Coordinator, Religious Education Teacher, Altar Guild, and always volunteering to support church functions.
Viewing and Rosary will be held on Friday, July 29, 2022, at 9:00 a.m. at Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic Church, 2046 Mar Vista Drive, Newport Beach, CA. 92660. Funeral Mass at 10:00 a.m. The reception is at the church hall immediately after, and the interment will take place at 2:00 p.m. at Pacific View Cemetery, 3500 Pacific Vi