It is with great sadness that the family of Josephine Licciardi Pipitone announces her passing on Wednesday, August 21, 2019, at the age of 90 years.
Josephine — “Pina,” “Nonna” — will be lovingly remembered by her daughters, Nina (Thomas Morrisson) of Newtown and Rosemary (Paul Heintzinger) of Kill Devil Hills, N.C.; her grandchildren, Thomas (Melody Tam) of White Plains, N.Y., and Rosalie (Bradley Mauney) of New York City; her cousin, Fr Giuseppe Licciardi of Detroit, Mich.; her sister-in-law, Nina Davi, and niece, Giovanna Pipitone, of Altofonte, Sicily; numerous family and friends in the United States and Italy; as well as her great-grandpuppy, Ayla, and three grand-kittens.
Josephine will join her husband, Rosario, who died in 1982.
Josephine was born in Danbury on May 19, 1929, to Rosaria D’Ignoti and Salvatore Licciardi. At the age of 14 months, she moved with her parents to their family home in Altofonte (formerly Parco), Palermo, Italy. Pina was a voracious reader, loved school, and excelled academically. An only child, she was doted upon by her large extended family. She (reluctantly) learned to sew from her tailor aunt; the technical skills she acquired combined with her mother’s elegance and elan helped shape her into the woman we all knew and loved. She returned to Danbury in 1955 with her husband, Rosario, and 5-year-old daughter, Nina “Nuccia.” A second daughter, Rosemary, was born two years later.
She remained in close correspondence with her family in Sicily, especially her mother. She eagerly looked forward to the Anna Bella magazines her mother sent, which allowed her to remain in touch with the current Italian culture and fashion. The fashion forward Anna Bella inspired her to visit Carole’s Textiles in Danbury frequently, purchasing designer fabric remnants from New York City’s top fashion houses, outfitting herself and her daughters with her creations.
Retiring from Amphenol RF after 30 years, Josephine enjoyed more than 25 years of carefree living, making the most of her life devoting her time to her family, her friends, and her faith. She enjoyed meeting her friends for coffee at the Danbury Fair Mall and walked four miles each day, five days per week. Her end point was frequently Macy’s, especially for their one-day sales. Pina was a generous person and enjoyed giving gifts to her family and friends. Josephine valued higher education, encouraging and supporting her children and grandchildren to take advantage of their opportunities and to pursue their dreams.
She was an avid traveler and frequently visited her childhood home in Sicily to spend time with her large extended family. Josephine was a superb hostess who loved to celebrate occasions with traditional Sicilian, Italian, and American fusion cuisine. Many of the vegetables she served were grown in her garden, and she grew especially beautiful flowers that surrounded her Danbury home of more than 50 years. Her grandchildren adored their Nonna and loved going to her house. As they grew older, Tommy and Rosalie’s friends were welcome and frequent guests for her famous Sunday dinners.
Josephine was a devout Catholic and a member of St Joseph Parish, Danbury. She prayed the Rosary daily and prayed to The Blessed Virgin Mary, St Anthony of Padua, and to Saint Padre Pio for intercession.
A Mass of Christian Burial was held on Monday, August 26, 2019, at St Joseph Church, Danbury. Honoring her Nonna’s request, lyric soprano Rosalie Licciardi Morrisson sang Schubert’s “Ave Maria” and Franck’s “Panis Angelicus” during the Mass. Interment followed at St Peter Cemetery, Danbury. Honan Funeral Home, Newtown, handled the funeral arrangements.
Donations can be made in her memory to The Padre Pio Foundation of America, 463 Main Street, Cromwell CT 06416; or at padrepio.org/donate.