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In Loving Memory...

by William J. Girimonti III

Anna Maria Marullo Girimonti: (05 Aug 1895- 17 Nov 1994)

Anna was born on August 5th, 1895 in Caccuri, Catanzaro, Italy to Ross Marullo and Clara Falbo. Much of her earlier life is not known up to her marriage in 1915. She was married the very day she arrived in America to her fiancee, Michael Dominic Girimonti. Her son, Charles Girimont from Hillsboro, Ohio comments, "Together, they had a total of 16 children, 8 of which died at birth or shortly thereafter." She spent the rest of her adult life in Montgomery, West Virginia with her family until her death on November 17th, 1994. Charles also relates, "She devoted her life to her children and to her church. She is sorely missed by family and friends. A great woman. She is survived by 2 daughters, 3 sons, 11 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren and 5 great-great-grandchildren." The following is an excerpt from a letter to me from John Girimont of Lanexa, Virginia...

November 17, 1994

"My great-grandmother, my 'Ninie', died today."

"My great-aunt Jancie, who cared for her since my great-grandfather [Michael Dominic Girimonti] died over twenty years ago, says it was a most peaceful death; Jancie was able to say prayers over her, and Ninie kissed her before she closed her eyes and drifted away. She would have been 100 years old next August."

"...I wish I could have known my great-grandmother better, but the language barrier and infrequent visits made it very difficult in my youth. Later, when I would have wanted to visit and introduce her to my daughter, when I would have had the brilliance to use my aunt as interpreter and perhaps get to know her a little better, her age kept her bed-ridden and semi-lucid, and my father always counciled against it. But then, when it is too late, those excuses seem petty indeed."

"My memories of Ninie are of an elderly woman, short of stature but full to overflowing with love of God and her family. I can't remember ever once stepping into her small home, two blocks from the railroad tracks which ran through the center of Montgomery [West Virginia], without being overcome with the heavenly smell of food cooking in the kitchen, and the promise of a huge meal, no matter what time of day it was. And every Christmas Eve for the first eighteen years of my life, my family would drive the two hours to the heart of West Virginia, and partake of a feast so large, it seemed it would be next Christmas before you could possibly think of food again. Spaghetti, meatballs, fish, chicken, salad, colerettas, pastries, the menu was endless. Despite the rigors of the kitchen, Ninie would always find some point in the evening to speak with each one of her great-grandchildren-- the older folk could talk to her while she worked, she didn't have to concentrate on her English for them. She would sit in her favorite chair (overstuffed, much as we would be before the evening was out), and in what little English she commanded would ask if I was being a good boy, and comment on how big I was (at well under five feet in height, it wasn't long before all her babies towered over her). But despite her broken English, there was never any doubt that she loved all us kids very much, and our being there was a source of joy for her. I do wish I could have known her better..."

From all those who knew and loved her, may she rest in peace.

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