Inez Clara Garbarino was born Jan. 25, 1931, in Portland to Arthur and Mary (Calcagno) Garbarino. The youngest of two daughters, she was raised in Northeast Portland and graduated from Parkrose High School in 1948. When she was 19, her cousin Augie Calcagno set her up on a blind date with a young sailor who was in town. They met and danced the night away at a local dance hall. Six months later, on Oct. 8, 1950, she married Sam Amato at St. Philip Neri Catholic Church in Southeast Portland. For years after that, the young couple continued spending many nights swinging to big band music.
In 1952, they welcomed daughter Jeanette, followed later by second daughter Denise. Inez enjoyed her life as a homemaker and mother; she cared for her daughters while an active volunteer at their schools and 4-H events. In addition, she was the bookkeeper for Amato Garbage and Sanitation Company, the family business. Inez loved to cook; later in life she was an avid fan of the many cooking shows on television.
She is survived by daughters Jeanette Tobie and Denise Amato-Oakley. She is predeceased by sister Rose Sisson and husband Sam Joseph Amato.