Antoinette M. Marinelli

April 22, 1919 – July 12, 2014

Antoinette Marie Marinelli, 95, died Saturday at Garvey Manor Nursing Home, Hollidaysburg.

She was born in Brooklyn, daughter of Peter and Gatana (Grippo) Castellano. She married William Marinelli on Nov. 11, 1939, at the Church of St. Teresa in New York City, and he preceded her in death April 21, 2011.

Antoinette was very proud of her husband, William, who was a teacher and principal in the Altoona schools. They were married 71 years.

Surviving are a daughter, Susan Webster (Ted) of New Bern, N.C.; five grandchildren: John Orr (Wendy) of Flemington, N.J., Tanya Orr Bird (Eliot) and William Orr (Michele), both of Richmond, Va., Natalie Schweninger (Rob) of Pittsburgh and Kelly Soltroff (Stewart) of Chambersburg; and eight great-grandchildren: Alex, Grady and Hunter Orr, Annie and Will Bird, Carson and Campbell Schweninger and Lily Orr.

Also surviving are a sister, Fay Murray of Newport Beach, Calif.; a brother, Peter Castellano of Staten Island, N.Y.; a son-in-law, John Hunter Orr of Altoona; her special friend, Becky DeHaven of Altoona; and all her good friends at Garvey Manor.

She was preceded in death by a daughter, Olga Jean Orr; four sisters: Jean, Delores, Nina and Mary; and four brothers: Charles, Louis, Angelo and Peter Castellano.

Antoinette was a student at Seward Park in New York and a graduate of Altoona High School. She worked as an examiner at Sylvania and as a waitress at the original Walgreens on 11th Avenue in Altoona. In later years, she was a most talented demonstrator for many Altoona area supermarkets.

She was proud of her Brooklyn/Manhattan roots. During WWII, she worked at Horn & Hardart, the iconic New York City automat company, while her husband served in the U.S. Army in the sweep across France, Belgium and Germany.

Antoinette was a wonderful cook known for her Italian cuisine: the family’s traditional seven fishes Christmas Eve dinner, baked eggplant, homemade ravioli, wedding soup, sauce and meatballs, and also home-baked Italian cookies, including bow knots, biscotti, and especially her cavezunes, a sweet fried “ravioli” filled with chocolate and chickpeas. It was all about food!

She was a member of Sacred Heart Church and also belonged to the Altoona Lions Club and the Catholic Daughters of the Americas. For years she walked several miles daily to Mass at Sacred Heart Church from her home in Pleasant Valley. She enjoyed nearly the same route with her grandson in frequent visits to the public library.

Antoinette loved her porch with the view of her roses, prize peonies, pine trees and the incessant traffic along Pleasant Valley Boulevard.

In recent years, she liked listening to talking books delivered to her by the library.

Friends will be received from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, July 17, 2014, at Santella Funeral Home, where a vigil for the deceased will be held. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Friday, July 18, 2014, at Sacred Heart Church. Committal will be at Calvary Cemetery.

In memory of Antoinette, contributions may be made to the Antoinette Marinelli Audio Book Fund, c/o the Altoona Area Public Library, 1600 Fifth Ave., Altoona, PA 16602.