Obituary of Annie Schiappa
Annie (DiCampo) Schiappa passed away at the Woburn Nursing Center on Wednesday morning, October 24, 2018, three weeks after a joyous 96th birthday celebration with her children and 30 nieces and nephews.
The daughter of the late Stanislao and Josephine (Polito) DiCampo, Annie was born September 30, 1922 in Somerville, a middle child in a large family of five brothers and three sisters. When she was about 7 years old, the family traveled to Gaeta, Italy where Annie’s grandfather was a ship’s captain. They lived with extended family a year and the children attended school and became fluent in the language. On return to Somerville, Annie attended parochial school, Southern Jr. High and graduated from Somerville High School, class of 1941. That year, she met the love of her life, Frank Schiappa, who was working as an auto mechanic in a business across the street from her home. Charmed by her, he introduced himself and offered to carry her school books. On July 23, 1944, they were married in a joyous ceremony and settled in Somerville. Annie worked in the business office at New England News until 1947 when her first child, Charles, was born. Ten years later her daughter, Maryann, was born and the family moved to a larger home on Cherry St. near Porter Square. With her encouragement, Frank attended night school, graduated from Wentworth Institute and taught automotive repair at Somerville Trade High School until his death in 1968. In their 24 years together, Annie and Frank entertained, hosted a fun-loving “cousins’ club,” and worked in The Eddie Hayes Show, a musical cabaret for inmates and patients in state facilities, in which Charles played accordion and Maryann danced.
After the sudden loss of her beloved husband, Annie volunteered at Somerville Hospital and then worked in the Medical Billing Dept. until retirement in 1985. She learned to drive and bought a new Plymouth Valiant. She enjoyed the freedom and independence of a car and continued to drive until her heart attack in 2011 at age 89.
In 1992, Annie became an “empty nester” when her daughter moved to Maryland and she moved to a condo in Burlington. Despite the downsized kitchen, her cooking skills expanded as she tried and adapted new recipes. A gracious hostess, Annie welcomed planned and unexpected guests to a table laden with culinary delights. Her feast of seven fishes Christmas Eve dinner was always a masterpiece and she was “famous” for her Italian biscotti made from her mother’s secret recipe. Her table settings and dishes always matched the season and she decorated with the pineapple as a symbol of hospitality.
In retirement she developed her talent for floral design into a crafts business, creating silk flower arrangements she sold at church fairs and gave many beautiful pieces to family and friends. Her trademark was the cornucopia which she loved as a symbol of the abundance of God’s blessings. She also enjoyed visits with her daughter, Maryann, in Maryland and Delaware where they toured Longwood Gardens, Amish country and Colonial Williamsburg.
Not to be left behind by modern technology, she bought a computer and took a Learning in Retirement class at Tufts University. Recently when sitting at her desk became tiring, she purchased an I-pad at age 92. Living on her own until July, 2018, she banked electronically, paid her own bills, and retained a sharp, clear memory.
A devout Roman Catholic, Annie attended St. Malachy Church, Burlington. Recently housebound due to declining health, she attended nightly Rosary service via television and Sunday Mass from Basilica of the Sacred Heart at the University of Notre Dame. From the early loss of her husband to her multiple health issues in recent years, Annie’s deep faith in God was the source of her strength and courage.
Annie was the beloved wife of the late Frank C. Schiappa and loving mother of Maryann of Dracut and Charles & his wife Barbara of Carlisle. She is predeceased by 3 sisters and 5 brothers. Funeral from the Edward V. Sullivan Funeral Home, 43 Winn St., BURLINGTON (Exit 34 off Rt. 128/95 Woburn side) on Monday, Oct. 29 at 9 a.m. Mass of Christian Burial in St. Malachy Church, 99 Bedford St. Burlington at 10 a.m. Burial to follow in Woodlawn Cemetery, Everett. Visiting hours will be held at the Funeral Home on Sunday, Oct. 28 from 2-4 p.m. Memorials in Annie’s name may be made to Rosie’s Place, 889 Harrison Ave., Boston, MA 02118. www.rosiesplace.org.
Edward V. Sullivan
43 Winn Street
Burlington, MA 01803
Ph: (781) 272-0050