My first memories of Angelo were when he was dating my Aunt Theresa. I remember that he was young, strong and so very handsome and kind. I remember going to their wedding with my mother and sister. I remember seeing my uncle visiting my grandfather.
I was just a boy, but I could tell that my grandfather liked Angelo a lot and that they truly enjoyed being with each other. I remember visiting my aunt and uncle’s apartment on North 7th Street in Brooklyn and remember well when Louise was born.
My mom, sister and I would visit my Aunt Theresa and Louise often. Louise was a beautiful baby and looked so much like her father.
Angelo was born in the Istria region of Croatia. Angelo had told me that the area he was born was actually part of Italy at his birth, then became Yugoslavia and then back to Croatia. Angelo spoke Croatian, Italian and English.
He was in the Croatian Navy as a young man and worked there as a cook. When he came to America, he continued his career as a cook. He worked at various Italian Restaurants till he started working at Forlini’s Restaurant on Baxter Street in lower Manhattan.
Angelo became the head daytime chief at Forlini’s and worked there for over 50 years. Forlini’s was a very popular restaurant and was near City Hall. Every NYC Mayor ate at Forlini’s. I understand it one of Mayor Koch’s favorite restaurants. Angelo worked long hours there and worked 6 and sometimes 7 days a week. When he was off, his favorite thing to do was to take Louise to the park. Louise always talks about the good times with her father at the park. Angelo would take his family on vacation to the Catskill Mountains each year.
I really got to know and love Angelo over the last 10 or so years. My aunt was ill for a long time and became bedridden for the last 2 and half years of her life. Angelo fed, bathed and cared for his wife every day. It was a difficult job and we needed to bring an aide to help my uncle care for my aunt and Louise. Angelo was 100% devoted to the care of my aunt and Louise. After my aunt’s passing in 2016, my uncle’s health became an issue. He developed congestive heart failure and would fill up with excess water.
I took my uncle to various doctors, who helped him so very much. He had to use a walker and we added lifts inside and outside of the house. He was doing fairly well till he got Covid in February 2021. He was in the hospital for a month and then a rehabilitation facility for almost 3 months. When he returned home, he was no longer able to walk and we needed a hoyer lift to transfer him from the bed to the wheelchair.
Fortunately, we brought in a Physical Therapist, Mr. Mohamed, who helped Angelo so that we were able to transfer him without the hoyer lift. Dr. Alfred DeRosa visited my Uncle every Monday for the past 2 years. With Dr. DeRosa’s help, and some medicine that the Cardiologist added, my uncle did well till just a few weeks ago when he started to weaken. Angelo passed peacefully last Saturday with Louise and Temy at his side.
I am thankful that Angelo did not suffer and that he got to spend the last years of his life with his daughter and wonderful caring aides. I particularly want to thank our aides. Temy has been with Angelo and Louise full time for the last 2 years. Jessica was with him for one year before Temy. I also want to thank Sonia, Christine, Dr. DeRosa and Mr. Mohamed. You all made Angelo’s last years so special. Angelo ‘s strength and love for his wife, daughter and family is what I will always remember. May he rest in well deserved peace with the lord.
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