March 12, 1934 – May 14, 2020
On Thursday May 14, 2020 Nancy Pignatano, loving wife, mother and grandmother, passed away at age 86. Nancy was born on March 12, 1934 in Brooklyn NY to Frank and Marie Romandino.
She was a selfless, loving and generous woman who consistently placed the needs of everyone she loved before her own.
Nancy is survived by her husband Joe of 66 years, their two sons, Neil and Frank, grandchildren, Joseph and Alexis, and several cousins, nieces and nephews.
Viewing will be held on Friday, May 22nd from 4-7PM at Hodges Funeral Home, 525 111th Ave N. Naples, FL 34108. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Saint John the Evangelist, 625 111th Ave N. Naples, FL 34108 on Saturday, May 23rd at 12:00 p.m.
Nancy Pignatano Eulogy, 23 May 2020
Good afternoon everyone. I was given the rather daunting task of synthesizing 86 years down to a few minutes. What came out is mostly biographical, mixed with some personal perspectives. I hope you find my words acceptable.
Today we are gathered to celebrate the life of my mother Nancy. For those of you who don't know me, I'm Neil, her eldest son.
Mom came into the world on Mar 12th, 1934, the youngest of two daughters. Born into humble beginnings in Brooklyn, NY, both of her parents immigrated from Italy as children. Pappa, as we called my grandfather, was a cobbler. Nanny, our grandmother, was a seamstress.
Mom married her devoted husband of 66 years, Joe, about six weeks shy of her 20th birthday on Jan 23, 1954. She met pop on what was a double date. She had believed that her date was going to be someone else. So when pop showed up, she said, rather unenthusiastically and somewhat dejectedly, "Oh, it's you." The rest, as they say, is history.
I came along less than 15 months later in April of 1955. Pop was playing in the Texas league at that time and was in Ft Worth when I was born. He finally got to see me in June. My mom loaded us on plane and we trundle off to Texas. This says a lot about her strength: take a two month old baby on what was likely an 8-10 hour trip from Brooklyn, by herself.
Frankie, my little brother, was born in November 1956. As a ball player's wife, she was frequently separated from pop during the baseball season. So, she spent a lot of time raising us by herself. We were a hand full and used to drive her crazy. It's amazing that she didn't put us up for adoption. Nonetheless she loved us. At the same time, she was very protective. When Frankie and I were old enough to join the Cub Scouts, mom was adamantly against it. But we were relentless. She eventually gave in, but she had to be our den mother. We were the only ones in the troop who had their own mom as den mother. How embarrassing! But it just showed how serious mom was about keeping us out of harm's way.
We led a very simple, but comfortable, life in Brooklyn, just like any other working class family. Back in those days, baseball players didn't make a lot of money, and pop had a regular day job during the off season. Mom was pretty much the stereotypical house wife.
That all changed in 1969 when my parents had saved enough to buy a small house in Staten Island. Pop was coaching for the Mets and for the first time, was home most of the year. It was here that mom came into her own. Now she had enough room to properly entertain family, friends, and pop's teammates. The house had two fully equipped kitchens, and she made use of both of them. The food she served was all the rage. No one turned down a dinner invitation to Nancy's kitchen. If you left hungry it was because you didn't eat. To this day, I still don't know where she learned how to do all that. Back in Brooklyn, she used to burn water. The only time I looked forward to her cooking was on Sunday when she made macaroni and meatballs.
The family moved back to Brooklyn in 1977. It was a smaller house with a tiny kitchen. But that didn't stop mom... the dinner parties continued and the food just kept getting better and better. Mom had found her true calling: chef, hostess, socialite. She was truly in her element entertaining others, a testament to her big heart.
Mom was a devoted, if not doting, grandmother to Frankie's two kids: big sister Alexis and her kid brother Joe. Mom was like a second mother to them. She adored them and the feeling was mutual. In retrospect I think mom spoiled them like any other grandma. Nevertheless, my niece and nephew came out of it relatively unscathed.
But I think the most amazing thing she did was leave Brooklyn and get out of the rat race to the peaceful surrounds of SW Florida. What's so amazing about that you ask? Mom was a city girl through and through. New York was in her blood. She loved the city. It took years to convince her. Finally she realized that the house in Brooklyn was too much. So mom and pop bought a place in the same community that they would frequent in the winter with their snow bird friends. She never looked back. This was her new home and her new life. She touched so many lives. A true testament to her Italian heritage, she was kind, generous, devoted to family, especially pop. And let's not forget her awesome culinary skills! She will be with us in our hearts always. Riposa in pace, Mamma. Rest in peace, Mom.
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
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May 24, 2020
We are so sorry for the loss of Aunt Nancy😞..we know the feeling all to well to lose a Loving Mother, Grandmother and Wife who holds our Families together. OUR hearts go out to you all. As life goes on and we all move in different directions, please know you are in our thoughts and prayers for we are FAMILY❤️ We have shared SO MANY CHERISHED MEMORIES through the years...Aunt Nancy’s Smile and Laughter along with her generous heart will always be remembered...We wish our condolences, prayers and strength that you find Peace and Health during this difficult time🙏🏻
Helen Lucille and Anthony
Adele and Tony Monaco
May 23, 2020
Tony and I will always remember the good times on Dorothy Street. You and Joe were great neighbors. I spoke to you only two weeks ago and am so saddened to hear this news. Joe, Neil Frankie and family we send you our deepest condolences. She waits for us.
Shari and Bill Mink
May 22, 2020
We had so many fun times over the years. We golfed in many events, wore amazing hats for Derby Day, shared meals at each other’s homes so many good times. We will miss her smiling face and sense of humor. It was always a fun time when we got together. We will miss her greatly
May 21, 2020
Nancy....One of the absolute most special ladies I remember growing up. Always a smile, always generous, always kind. I was blessed to have her be part of my life as a young child. She will be missed by many but never forgotten.
May 21, 2020
Aunt Nancy always had on her beautiful smile. Always a Lady...Chris and I will miss her.
May 21, 2020
Nancy, my cousin, you always had a smile and always could make me laugh. I will miss our phone calls. You were a light in any room you walked into.
May 21, 2020
Rest in peace Aunt Nancy
Andy & Alfina Capelli
May 20, 2020
Nancy- You will always be remembered as a dear friend and the loving wife of Joe. We were honored to join you at your 50th Wedding Anniversary celebration in Maui 16 years ago . Our love and prayers are for you, Joe and the entire "Piggy" family. May the good Lord welcome you into your rightful place in Heaven. May you Rest in Peace.
May 20, 2020
To my MOM!!!!! You were the rock of our family, with daddy working all the time to support us, you where the one to keep the household together!!!! You made sure we were always fed , had clothes on our back and did our homework!!!! I know you and I locked horns on many occasions , that wasn’t your fault, and I’m so very sorry!!!!! You’ll always have the biggest part in my heart!!!! I wish I was able to really let you know what you meant to me!!!!! I just want you to know that you don’t have to worry about pops, promise we all take care of him!!!!! YOU meant the world to me and I’m going to miss you dearly!!!!! Say hi to All the rest of the dearly departed family and most of all ,save pops and me a spot!!! Miss you with the very fabric of my heart!!!! Forever your nemesis and loving son Frankie!!!!!going to miss you so much!!!!! Frankie!!!!!!!
Gerry and Chuck Connors
May 20, 2020
Nancy was a dear dear friend. I loved her like a sister. She was a very special lady who added so much happiness to our lives. Fancy Nancy that’s who she was. My golfing buddy for many years. Our memories go on and on. She will be forever missed in our hearts. Life will surely not be the same. Rest In Peace Nancy we love you
Marc and Sydell Nusbaum
May 20, 2020
Our sincere sympathy on the passing of Nancy. She was a lovely, sweet woman. We always enjoyed seeing her.She will be missed. Marc and Sydell Nusbaum