My dad was born in Newark NJ. He grew up in the Ironbound section, before moving to the North Ward section of Newark. At 12 years old he was forced to grow up quicker than most when his dad and mother( Louise) divorced . He quit school and went to work to help support his 6 yr old sister (My "Aunt Lou", Lucille Dennis) and 1 yr old brother (My "Uncle Vinnie" ,Vincent Vitelli). Eventually, when his family moved to the North Ward, they landed on Parker Street where he would live across the street from his life partner of 62 years, my mother Celeste. I previousy labled my mom as "Unselfish" and "Big Heart". Dad was that plus "Generosity". While mom was the more gregarious one, Dad was mostly quiet, but picked his spots for a laugh or to respond to someone taking advantage of him or a loved one. He helped out his sister and brother when they were out of work and raising my cousins. My Uncle Vinnie and Aunt Lou always reciprocated with him and later on they helped me with my family. They were all so very special people in my life.
My dad worked blue collar jobs, A leather factory and soup factory. He then worked for years driving a liquor delivery truck. In the mid to late 60's my mother wanted a French Provencial TV. Dad took on a part time job at night . bartending to be able to get it for her. After being robbed twice during the riots in the late 60's, when his employer of his delivery truck refused to provide him with a partner, dad ripped up the list of deliveries in his face and told him what to do with it !
Immediately after, he purchased a deli on Parker St, across the street from where we lived. He made the best tasting and most affordable subs around. Barringer High School students was his main source of income. He catered to his customers. He sponsored a yearly trophy for the football team's MVP(Former NFL stars Pete Shaw and Andre Tippet among them) .My dad followed me around state in my 4 years of playing ball for Seton Hall Prep. In almost 150 games he missed most of one game (only),because I gave him bad directions ! Of course I had one of my best games that day( which meant I heard about more on the way home). He was terrific. He never pushed me to participate in any sport, but once I did, he made sure to tell me after every game whatever I did right and wrong. He also brought my teammates and I subs from time to time.
Dad never had a retirement besides social security so between 65 and 80, dad continued to work as a security guard(and he loved it). At age 80 dad was first recognized to have Dementia and Alzheimers. Later on Parkinsons. We placed dad in Assisted Living Memory Care a few years ago. He became instantly popular for many reasons(lol) and earned the respect of the entire facility. Everyone called him Papa !
We thought that he would outlive us at one point. However, we came up against an ailment we could find no treatment or cure for him. On June 13,2017 my mother, Anthony's everything and life partner passed away unexpectantly. He may not have understood when I tried to tell him, but after 6 trips to see him without her, I'm sure it had registered in his mind. My dad did not eat for 11 days before he passed. The medical examiner will come back with pneumonia,renal failure or something along those lines for cause of death. I and others in my family know, it was from a broken heart. He is now at peace with my mom. I love and miss them both so much.