Passed away on May 13, 2019
Gertrude “Trudy” Ferrantello, born Gaetana Palillo, 88, passed away on May 13, 2019. She was born on December 7, 1930 in New York, NY to Joseph and Filomena Palillo.
While only graduating the 8th grade, she was extremely smart and talented achieving more than what her education level indicated. In her late teens and early twenties she was a Vogue model and then moved into jewelry and retail with her career culminating as an office manager for a large retail chain.
While living in Long Island, she was a member of the Sons and Daughters of Italy. In her later life, she was the “Mother Hen” of a hard-working group of knitters and crocheters known as the “Knitwits”, located at the Mandarin Senior Center – they knitted hats, donating them to homeless shelters, as well as, making blankets, vests, and capes which were provided to veterans’ groups and cancer centers in multiple states, as well as, to Afghanistan with the USO. Additionally, she taught knitting at the Library and the YMCA. She loved knitting, Crocheting, sewing, attending the Coffee Series Symphony and the Alhambra Dinner Theatre. While living in New York, she was a brownie and Girl Scout leader; loved ice skating, roller skating, and was an avid bowler belonging to multiple bowling leagues.
She was known as a Spitfire and/or Pistol as she was quick and direct. And she was most proud of “Her Girls” as she would share that she was truly blessed and had no complaints. Family meant everything to her and holidays were her favorite. She loved to bake and would make peanut brittle and cookies and deliver them to “her ladies” and friends. She was always there to support – helping with her children, grandchildren and/or great grandchildren, family and friends. Living during the depression era, she was quite cost conscious and she did her own electrical, plumbing and acted as her own contractor until her death – a demonstration of the pioneer she was as woman in that day did not do “a man’s job” – she did what she needed to get things done.
She is preceded in death by her parents, Joseph and Filomena Palillo and her husband, Vito George Ferrantello.
She is survived by her brother, Alphonso Palillo; her three daughters, TJ, Vicki, and Vanessa, her husband Dennis; her three granddaughters, Amber, her husband Paul, Autumn, her husband Stephen, and Apryl; her two great granddaughters, Kyleigh and Leilani and two great grandsons, Taj and Landen; and her constant companion “V”, and her dearest, closest family and friends.
A Gathering of Family and Friends will be held from 1:00 to 2:00 pm on Sunday, May 26, 2019 at Hardage-Giddens Funeral Home of Mandarin. The Celebration of Life will take place at 2:00 pm on Sunday May 26, 2019.
Donations preferred to St Jude’s Children’s Hospital.
Gathering of Family and Friends
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Hardage-Giddens Funeral Home
11801 San Jose Blvd
Celebration of Life
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Hardage-Giddens Funeral Home
11801 San Jose Blvd
Art & Sandy Costa
May 19, 2019
Sandy and I were fortune to be close friends with Trudy. She amazed us with her ability to cut right to the chase wherever confusion abounded. Frugal yet so generous with her expert crocheting gifts to those in need and generosity especially to those who served our country in the military.
We might have to go through life without her peanut brittle, but deep in our hearts Trudy will always be there. And, certainly, her legend will continue with the wonderful group of "Knitwits" as they keep up the charitable contributions that helped define Trudy's strength and determination.
Now, God will have to deal with her, but, I don't think there will be any regrets... She was a magnet for LOVE here on earth and surely will be in Heaven as well.
May 18, 2019
When meeting "Nana" for the first time you will understand, where her daughter's and my beautiful daughter in-law, Amber Dawn got their strength and hard working, ethics. She was so entertaining when we got the chance to see her and she deeply loved her family. You will be missed, but so thankful for the blessings you shared. .
May 17, 2019
Trudy was the leader of the Knit Wits, which creates blankets for the Navy Marine Corps Relief Society, as just one of their many projects. We always enjoyed the visits from Trudy when she was dropping off the blankets to our office for the military families! She helped participate in a pilot program of testing new yarns and leading the women in the group with that project. Her "Angel Wing" blankets were a favorite of the new parents. She personally made over 100 blankets for the Navy families expecting babies! She also took the time to create special Christmas gifts for the NMCRS staff and volunteers. She made time to come to our awards ceremonies, even when they fell on her birthday! She even had a great idea of creating a lanyard for the Knit Wits to display their award pins. She always had a new idea to try or a way to improve things for the ladies under her wing. We all enjoyed her spunk, tenacity and zest for life! She was an amazing lady and we were glad to know her at NMCRS Jacksonville!
May 16, 2019
My Nana was spitfire. She feared nothing and gave life her all! She was constantly busy playing cards with her girls, teaching her dearly beloved KnitWits & most of all, the time she spent with her family, most importantly her 3 girls. Family meant the world to her. Just the day before she passed, Mother’s Day, we had a fantastic time with her. She even played cornhole! 88 yrs young I told her that day. She was still sharp as a whip! This was completely unexpected and very hard to digest but I take comfort in knowing she was with the ones she loved, one last day and is now with Small grandma & my Papa in Heaven. Gods Speed Nana. Until we meet again, I will do all I can to uphold all of your Sicilian traditions and keep your memory alive. I love you.❤️ Amber
May 14, 2019
Trudy made my daughter, now 10, the most beautiful baptism gown. She also gave me the cutest sweater for my other daughter, now 3. She always came into the Y checking on us