Gaetana Capozzi

Obituary of Gaetana Capozzi

Gaetana “Tina” Capozzi a homemaker, mother, grandmother, and great grandmother passed away after a short illness on Monday morning, September 17, 2018 surrounded by her five children. She was 86 years old.

Tina’s entire being revolved around “la famiglia” (the family). She was born in Prata, Italy. It is a small town in the Province of Avellino, east of Naples. It was not an easy time to grow up. Her family endured the strains of Benito Mussolini and Nazi Occupation of Italy, and education and jobs were limited. She spent half her childhood knowing only hardship and war. At the age of 21, she married Joseph Capozzi and they immigrated to the United States. They settled in Woburn in 1954. Tina couldn’t speak English then, but was determined to embrace her new country. She went to night school to learn English and became a U.S. citizen in 1958. She worked part-time to help support her growing family and her recently immigrated mother and sisters. Jobs she held included assembler at the Watch Factory and the Paper Box Co., seamstress for Greco Brothers, cook’s assistant at Rudy’s Café, and clerk at Stop and Shop’s Bakery Department. She was helpful in supporting her family, but Tina’s primary and most valued role was that of mother and homemaker. Although she had a generous spirit in the kitchen, always welcoming friends and family around the table, she prided herself in being thrifty and taught her kids important lessons in working hard and preparing and saving for the future. She encouraged them to ''economize''!

Tina learned much of her values and skills as a parent and homemaker from growing up in Italy. She remained true to her upbringing that her family was the most important aspect of her life. She loved keeping her family close. Traditions were very important to her. Sunday dinners, holidays, family celebrations, cookouts, and any other activity that included family were what she cherished. She was a strong and supportive mother who encouraged her family, especially during challenging times. She was ever present, yet careful not to control her family’s lives.

Tina kept her old traditions, but was receptive to new experiences. From her childhood, she was very aware of being self-sufficient and not wasteful. She always had a large vegetable and flower garden. She would spend endless hours tending her crops. What she didn’t use immediately, she would preserve for the winter months. Her “cantinella” was always filled with hundreds of jars of tomato sauce and various canned vegetables and fruit. She used rain barrels, recycled, and composted long before it became fashionable. At the same time, she embraced her new American home. She welcomed opportunities to chaperone field trips when her kids were young. Later, she became a very active member of the St. Anthony’s Club. She participated in socials, festivals, and charitable events. She volunteered and participated at the Woburn Senior Center. She always loved to dance! When one of her favorite line dances started to play, like the “Hully Gully” or the Macarena, she was one of the first on the dance floor and the one whom others could follow. She loved going to functions and outings. After raising her family, she enjoyed traveling when she could and returning to her birthplace. She was blessed to have a full life, filled with laughter, love, and family. We will remember her hearty laugh and the joy it brought her to bring laughter to others!

Tina was the loving mother of Domenic & his wife Mary of Wakefield, Antonietta ''Toni'' Costanzo of Burlington & son-in-law Frank Costanzo also of Burlington, Carmelina Tortola & her husband Robert of Woburn, Lia Capozzi of Wakefield & son-in-law Mark Sullivan of Reading, and Nancy Albert & her husband Vincent Albert of York, ME. She was the former wife of the late Joseph Capozzi. She was the sister of Pompilio Petrillo of Malden, and the late Aurelia “Lia” Centrella and the late Carmela Barletta. Tina was the extremely proud grandmother of Michael, Brian, & Kevin Capozzi, Caitlin Capozzi Bond, Michael & Christopher Costanzo, Tanya Napoli, Katherine, Emily, & Elizabeth Sullivan, and Hannah, Eli, & Joseph Albert, and the great grandmother of Lily & Caroline Capozzi and Ava Napoli.

There will be no visiting hours, however friends and family are invited to a Mass of Christian Burial to be celebrated on Saturday, September 22 at 10a.m. at St. Anthony Church, 851 Main St., Woburn. Interment at Holy Cross Cemetery, Malden. Memorials in Tina’s name may be made to the American Heart Association, PO Box 417005, Boston, MA 02241-7005. Arrangements by the Edward V. Sullivan Funeral Home, Burlington.

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