Frida (Zuliani) Leonessa passed away at Maples Rehab and Nursing Center on Tuesday evening, February 8, 2022. The beloved wife of the late Claudio Leonessa, she was 88 years old.
Frida was born in Pola, Italy. She was raised in Torino, Italy. She married her husband Claudio in 1953. In 1956 Frida, Claudio, and their young daughter immigrated to the United States. They moved to Burlington in 1961 where they would raise their family. Frida delighted in her three daughters, and they spent many hours “chiacolare” (the Italian word for “chatting”) with many “riddiolini” (“laughs”). She looked forward to school vacations, especially during the summer when she would spend every day with her daughters in the family pool.
Frida co-owned Leonessa Engineering with her husband and they worked side by side for over 20 years, designing and manufacturing signal processors for weather satellites. As a result of this influence, each of their three daughters started their careers as Electrical Engineers. Frida and Claudio took road trips, driving from the East Coast to the West Coast of the United States, and also took trips back to Italy to visit family. Frida’s husband passed away in 2000, and in 2002 she moved to Franklin to be closer to her youngest daughter Lesley. Frida had a passion for crocheting, having learned how to knit and crochet as a child, and was able to crochet with lightening speed without looking. In 2001 she opened an online business “Crocheted By Frida” where she hand crocheted baby blankets and doilies, and hand knitted a pair of baby booties for each of her tiny customers. Her online business kept her surprisingly busy. It brought her much pride and joy, with many repeat customers, and some families making a tradition of each new baby receiving their own uniquely different set of “Crocheted By Frida” baby blankets. Frida will be remembered as a sweet, kindhearted, and loving woman. Funeral Services were private.
Frida was the Beloved wife of the late Claudio G. Loving mother of Patrizia R. Desmarais & her husband Robert of CA, Nellina M. Roberts of TX and Lesley A. Leonessa, Esq. of Franklin. Proud grandmother of Dr. Alex G. Roberts, DO of SC and Ashley Rose Desmarais Smith & her husband Luke of UT. Great Grandmother of Thrall Gabriel Smith of UT. The Leonessa Family would appreciate simple acts of kindness toward one another in Frida’s memory. Please be kind and sweet to each other, just like Frida.