November 22, 1926 – September 27, 2019
Shirley VanAsco on September 27, 2019 of Sound Beach, LI. Beloved wife of the late Thomas R. Loving mother of Patrice Perreca and her husband Jim and Thomas VanAsco and his wife Barbara. Cherished grandmother of Craig and Lauren Fasullo, Sarah Mortensen and her husband Wayne and Joseph VanAsco and his wife Jenna. Adored great grandmother of Wayne, Aria, Chase and Gianna. Dear sister of Edward and Charles Torre and the late Carol Hand. Reposing at O.B. Davis Funeral Homes, 1001 Route 25A, Miller Place, LI. Visitation on Tuesday, October 1st from 2-4 and 6-8 PM. Funeral Service Wednesday at 11 AM at the Mt. Sinai Congregational Church. Interment to follow at Washington Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Alzheimer's Association.
Tribute by Patrice Perreca:
I was in the car the other day, coming from babysitting my precious new granddaughter, Gianna and driving to see mom at the Water’s Edge, where she was staying for rehab after a week in the hospital. My mind was spinning ...where would Mom go when she was discharged, would she be able to stand up on her own, will she walk again... Stopping at a red light at the corner of Echo, I noticed the Sound Beach Community Church sign board on the corner. It read, “Stop focusing on how stressed you are and remember how blessed you are.” I sat there a little amazed, said “wow” to myself and then wasn’t all that surprised. I like to refer God to that spirit in the sky (trying to erase that catechism class image of an old man with a long white beard.) I thought I often get a great deal of segnos (signs from God, for my non Italian friends). Many of you have been subject to my boasting for the past six years with my four generation pictures. I have been so very blessed that I have had my mother in my life for so long. We had a big celebration for her 90th birthday .She was the picture of health. Every doctor visit, be it the cardiologist, the nephrologist, the eye doctor or the general practitioner, would be amazed at how wonderful mom looked and when asked how she was feeling, the answer was always, “Great!”.
I don’t remember much about the early years. We moved to Plainview when I was 5 or 6; after living with my Nana and Gramps on South Ocean Avenue in Patchogue. My brother Tom and I are 13 month apart and she told me that he always called me “sister. My mother would walk me to Kindergarten around the corner and the memory of me being so upset with the brown shoes she made me wear is still vivid in my mind. I retaliated later in life when I was a pre-teen. I would walk out of the house wearing shoes and change into my sneakers when I got to the bus stop. Needless to say, we had many issues with clothing, cleaning up my room. You know, the typical mother-daughter angst. There is a video, which was actually a movie back in the 50’s, my dad took of me on the front stoop of the house Easter morning, mom trying to coax me into walking to the car wearing a coat that I definitely did not want to be wearing. I have many happy memories. Mom was my Brownie and Girl Scout Leader. Some of my high school friends still reminisce about our camping trips to Camp Edy. Recently At my 50th High School reunion in August, one of my classmates told me that mom had been an inspiration for her. She had a daughter and she had become a Girl Scout Leader.
Mom played Mahjong at night with ladies from the neighborhood. I loved when it was held in my house. Aside from the goodies she served, I was allowed to stay up a little later then 7:30. Some 50 years later we were playing together. As some of my church friends know, she was very serious about the game and they would not be surprised when she pulled the last tile and yelled, “Mahjong!”
We did a lot of things together. She loved clothes and jewelry and would never turn me down when I told her we were going to the Mall. She honestly could not pass by a jewelry counter without looking and usually buying a pair of earrings. When we took clothing into the dressing room, she always told me how good the bathing suit looked, or the dress; whatever it was I was trying on. We bought matching outfits a few times and laughed hysterically while looking in the mirror!
We used to take the train into the city. We both loved to watch Dr. Kildare on T.V. some of you may remember that show. So when Richard Chamberlain was in the Sound of Music, on Broadway there was no question we had to go see him. We took my daughter, Lauren along but I don’t think she was as thrilled as Mom and I were as Captain Von Trapp and Maria walked down the aisle for the wedding scene! (and yes I did have an aisle seat!)
Another wonderful experience we shared was seeing Liberace perform at Radio City Music Hall. Both of us played the piano. I can still remember how we thrilled at seeing him ride onto the stage in his pink Cadillac and tickle the ivories with all of his classic pieces.
When I was young, I used to go through all of my mother’s sheet music. My best friend Janet from the down the block and I would perform talent shows in the backyard, singing Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra. So naturally when Barbra Streisand came to Madison Square Garden we had to spend $225.00 a ticket to see her; though we actually couldn’t see her because we sat so far back in the rafters! But mom said we were in her presence, and that’s all that counts!
Mom always loved the beach. She would take my brother and me to Bayville where I learned how to swim in the Sound. On Sundays in the summer we would pile into Dad’s station wagon and drive to Tobay to splash in the ocean waves. Vacations were spent at beach places too; Montauk, Atlantic City and Lake George. When my parents retired, naturally they bought a condo in Marco Island, Florida where they had been going during Easter Holidays. They lived next door to the Presbyterian Church where her brother Ed and his wife Betania were very active members. Mom started to go to church with them. She adored the pastor and thoroughly enjoyed Marv, the very talented pianist. Jews for Jesus had previously found Mom and Mom found Jesus. A non-practicing Jew for most of her life, she made the decision to get baptized and she became a Christian. She attended Bible classes and participated in church activities while in Marco. When my parents came up north for the summer months, she would come to church with me. That’s how many of you have come to know her and are sharing this difficult day with me.
This past year was hard for mom and difficult for my family. She had her physical health but her memory was disappearing steadily. In the last month, to have her suddenly unable to stand and walk, was an insult added to injury. On the last day of my mother’s life, I went to see her at the rehab center. She was sitting by the nurses stations. They had to keep an eye on her, because she thought she was able to get up and had fallen on one attempt. I said, “Hi how are you feeling?” She always said, “Good. She was feeling good.” Then she told me I had to get her suitcase because she was going home today. I had to pack up all of her clothes. They didn’t have a bed for her tonight. I did show her to her room and the bed she had been sleeping in for the past two weeks. Then I wheeled her to the dining room. A movie was just starting and I positioned the wheelchair so that she could see and hear it. I told her I would be going on a cruise and would see her in a week. She said okay and we said goodbye.
Although there won’t be any more 4 generation pictures, mom’s spirit will live on in us...in so many little ways; her love for Mahjong in me, her love for playing cards in my daughter, Lauren; her love for fancy clothes and jewelry in my granddaughter Aria, her love for cooking in my brother, Tom, her love for reading in my son, Craig, her love for antiquing in her brother, Charles, her love for family in all of us. Mom went home in her purple dress and red hat to that place in the sky we call heaven. She joins Dad now to watch over our precious family, in spirit and in love and in peace. She’s home.
Oct. 1, 2019
- Visitation Tuesday, October 1, 2019
- Funeral Service Wednesday, October 2, 2019
- Interment Wednesday, October 2, 2019
October 1, 2019
Tom, Joey, and Sarah:
So sorry for your loss to you and your families. Cherish the memories.
October 1, 2019
Dear Tom, Joe, Jenna & family,
Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you.
Bruno & Sylvia
James and Joanne McKinnon
September 30, 2019
Joanne and I are very sorry for your loss.
My Mother died a few years ago from dementia and I know its a tough thing to go thru.
May God Bless her —and be with you and your Family during this difficult time.
We will make a donation to the Alzheimer’s Association in your Mothers name.
Our prayers are with you,