Friday, 21 May 2010 00:00
Funeral services were held Friday at St. Raymond’s Church in East Rockaway for Antoinette Grieco, 107, who died May 9 at White Oaks Nursing Home in Woodbury.
Ms. Grieco was known for maintaining good health, a sharp mind, and a happy disposition throughout her life. Family and friends often marveled at her energy and continuing interest in life.
She was born Antoinette DeMilia on Jan. 23, 1903, in Boston, Mass., to Salvatore and Maura DeMilia, one of six children. The family moved in 1911 to Lynbrook where she attended school through sophomore year.
“I loved school,” she often recalled, but at her family’s urging she went to work. Working first at odd jobs, including sewing, she later went to business school and became a stenographer for an accounting firm in Jamaica.
In 1926, she married Edward Catena, an accountant. They had four daughters — Vivian, Dolores, Janet, and Ronnie — all of whom went on to higher education.
In 1958, her husband died. She later married Victor Grieco, the widowed father of her son-in-law, Joseph Grieco, who had married her daughter, Dolores. They also enjoyed a happy marriage, traveling frequently, until he died in 1984.
She remained in Lynbrook at the Nathan Hale Senior Village. She continued to drive into her 90s and later walked around Lynbrook. She enjoyed playing poker and bridge and was remembered for dancing at family weddings and playing her harmonica. Following the fire at Nathan Hale in 1999, she moved to Oyster Bay.
Family members celebrated her 100th birthday at the Grieco home in Oyster Bay and the Doubleday Babcock Senior Center in Oyster Bay hosted a party for her 106th birthday.
Members of her family recalled her insistence on performing chores in the house, her enjoyment of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and her reciting of Shakespeare’s “The quality of mercy is not strained,” at family gatherings.
In 2008, Lynbrook High School presented her with an honorary diploma.
She moved to White Oaks last year.
She leaves three daughters: Dolores Grieco of Oyster Bay, Janet Ambrose of Maryland, and Ronnie Fluken of California. Another daughter; Vivian Neuweiler, died earlier. She also leaves 12 grandchildren, a score of great-grandchildren.
Calling hours were at the Perry Funeral Home in Lynbrook Wednesday and Thursday. The funeral Mass was held Friday at 9:45 a.m. at St. Raymond’s in East Rockaway. Burial followed at St. Charles Cemetery in Farmingdale.