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Eulogy Florence Gagliardi

Eulogy Florence Gagliardi

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Published by Andrea Gagliardi
Florence Gagliardi December 8, 1915-September 15, 2013. A eulogy delivered by her son, Anthony Gagliardi and written by her granddaughter, Andrea Gagliardi.
Florence Gagliardi December 8, 1915-September 15, 2013. A eulogy delivered by her son, Anthony Gagliardi and written by her granddaughter, Andrea Gagliardi.

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Published by: Andrea Gagliardi on Sep 23, 2013
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Written by: Andrea GagliardiDelivered by: Anthony “Tony” GagliardiMy mom was born in the southwestern town of Perdifumo, Italy in 1915.Her early years were marred with sadness. Her mother Magrina and sisterDulia died from Spanish Flu in 1918 when my mom was just three yearsold. Her Uncle Sabato and her Aunt Emilia helped out my grandfatherGiuseppe in raising my mother, her sister Nicoletta, and her brotherEduardo. My mother moved in with her uncle in Rome. Nicoletta andFiorentina (her Italian name) went to school in Croatia.Meanwhile, my father Pasquale had come to America and become acitizen. My mother and father were married in Italy in 1936. My father
ʼ
sfamily name is Gagliardi, and so is my mother
ʼ
s. Here, it would be like aSmith marrying a Smith. I was born 10 months later, just two months aftermy mother crossed the Atlantic by ship.My mother came to a new country, with a new language, new culture andcompletely different socioeconomic status. She was just 21 years old, fouryears younger than her only granddaughter. She did her best to assimilate.She learned English. But American life wasn
ʼ
t easy for her. My mother wasa stay at home mom. My father worked in the Navy Yard in Brooklyn. Hewas also a barber. She tried to raise me as a boy growing up in high classItaly, not working class America. That was the world she knew, the worldshe left behind.Four years after I was born, my brother Gerard was born. My mothervolunteered at our school P.S. 100. She ran the after school film program.This allowed children who
ʼ
s parents were working to watch educationalvideos. In 1951 my youngest brother Robert was born.My mother used to call me “Il Spiritoso” or the “the spirited one”. And yes, Idid give her some trouble. Once my friends and I went bike riding in ConeyIsland and I missed my curfew. I told her 1that Coney Island was in adifferent time zone than Brooklyn, and therefor I was not late. She believedme.
1 Euology, Florence (Fiorentina) Gagliardi
September 18, 2013
 
When I later went to the University of Kansas, my mother referred to it as“running away from home”. My brothers both went to the School of VisualArts. I
ʼ
d like to think I made the path to American Life easier for my mybrothers. It
ʼ
s not easy raising a mother.My brothers and I each went on to get married and have children. Gerardmarried Anna Marie and they had Phillip and Paul. Robert married Joannand they had Bobby Jr. and Michael. Then I married Susie, and soonfollowed my honey bunny, Andrea.My mother took care of all of them at one time or another. She vettedbabysitters for us, and man did we have some doozies before we foundAnna, who became like a second daughter to Susie and I. My motherwatched Phillip and Paul every day while their parents taught school. Shebabysat for Bobby and Mikey too. Every year the grandkids looked forwardto Christmas with Grandma
ʼ
s spaghetti.We had a family of a lot of boys, and Andrea. Then last year, Phillip and hiswife Illana evened out the family by giving my mother, 3 greatgranddaughters: Celeste Elena, Leah Marie, and Olivia Florence. She wasable to meet them and they brought her much joy during her last weeks.My mother led a simple life. She didn
ʼ
t run into burning buildings to savepeople, she left that to my father. She was very involved in the church. Shegrew up with many priests in her family. One of her uncles was even thephysician to Pope Pius XII. In Brooklyn, she volunteered at the gift ship ofOur Lady of Grace. She attended Eucharistic Adoration weekly. Sheespecially loved the virgin Mary, so much so that she used the statue tohide her stash of pills.My mother and father were married for 59 years. After my father died in1996, we took my mother on some trips with us. We went to Atlantic City.Then we took her on her first plane ride to Las Vegas for her 80th birthday.The next year we took her back to Italy one last time. She got to see herold house, knock on the doors of neighbors, visit with family members andmeet the nurses that took care of her sister, Nicoletta.
2 Euology, Florence (Fiorentina) Gagliardi
September 18, 2013

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