Antoinette "Anne" (Rizzo) SammartinoSeptember 20, 2017
Antoinette ‘Anne’ Sammartino, 88, of Cranston, passed away surrounded by her loving children and grandchildren Wednesday September 20, 2017. She was the beloved wife of 57 years of the late Walter Sammartino.
Born in Brooklyn in 1929, Anne was the youngest of six of the late Antonio and Antoinette Rizzo. She attended St. John’s University, and later at 46, graduated Summa Cum Laude from Johnson and Wales Culinary Arts School. There the creativity, precision and artistry of her culinary skills won multiple awards, including the top individual award at the Boston Food Show.
While raising a family and running a business, Anne was compelled to make time to care for the needs of her community’s young. As president of the Elmhurst Junior Women’s Club in the early 60’s, Anne received an award in Washington DC for her leadership in organizing and conducting galas and fundraisers to help establish and furnish the Fogarty Center, the first of its kind in the US to offer free services and outpatient clinic for developmentally delayed youths. They also equipped Nickerson House with an optometry clinic.
Alongside her public work, Anne’s focus was her family and friends. Always productive, always generous with all she had to give, she never failed to beautify whatever her hands touched. Her home was open to whoever needed help, sanctuary or respite. She fed dozens, nursed sick and elderly relatives, and entertained with unforgettable holiday feasts. A highly accomplished woman who mastered any project she tackled, she’s still remembered by the old neighborhood kids for her lessons on pickling mushrooms, candle-making, knitting, refinishing furniture, and piano-playing.
While Anne dedicated herself to being a wonderful, inspiring mother, as an entrepreneur she also ran antique and gift shops, later teaching international and gourmet cuisine while running a catering enterprise. Most importantly, she was her husband Walter’s constant ally and partner, diligently working alongside him in the daily operation of their jewelry manufacturing firm, Sammartino Inc. She also reveled in white-water rafting, camping, traveling through Europe, Mexico, Canada and Asia, and playing poker with him and their friends. As she always said, Walter was her treasure.
Throughout her life Anne truly lived her faith. Her beautiful, luminous smile, serenity, and open, giving heart will forever be seared into the memories of all who knew her.
While residing at Cedar Crest Nursing Centre, Anne received the most loving and dedicated care possible. The staff there enriched her life, and she loved and adored them all for everything they did. Some of those angels were nurses, Bette, Abby, Felicia and Lydia, as well as CNA’s Xiomara, Mekdes, Fatima, Ashley, Melissa, Ruth and Christine, along with her remarkable private CNA’s, Judy and Rachel.
Anne is survived by her devoted daughters and sons-in-law, Anita Sammartino, Emilia Sammartino and Avak Martirossian, Nina Sammartino Birmingham, Tonya Sammartino-Zezza and Alessandro Zezza. She was the cherished grandmother of Bianca, Alex, Nicholas, Chloe, Lucia and Marco, and sister of the late Anthony Rizzo, John Rizzo, Rose Gullo, Jean Marrapodi, and Joseph Rizzo.
Her funeral will be held Saturday, September 30, 2017, 9 -10 AM from the MACERONI Funeral Home, 1381 Smith St., North Providence, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 11 AM at Immaculate Conception Church, 237 Garden Hills Drive, Cranston. VISITATION Friday 5-8 PM. Donations in Anne’s memory may be made to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.
St. Jude Tribute Program
PO Box 1000 Dept 142, Memphis TN 38101-9908