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Obituary: Elvira Intintoli D’Amelio

Elvira Intintoli D’Amelio, born June 7, 1926 in Torella di Lombardi, Italy, died on May 14, 2010. Her love for family, especially children, gave her the loving name, “zizi” (“auntie” in Italian) to dozens of nieces and nephews, blood-related and otherwise.

Her family history is an interesting one. Her father, Giuseppe Intintoli, came to America seeking employment in the 1880s. Like so many European immigrants at that time, he found work in the sand mines of Port Washington. He married and began raising a family. However, WWI created hard economic times in the U.S., particularly for immigrant laborers. In 1915, he returned to Italy with his wife and five children.

Thirteen years and five more children later, Giuseppe returned alone to Port Washington to work in the sand mines again. His wife and children gradually immigrated to the United States, with most settling in Port Washington. Elvira was youngest of the 10 children and didn’t emigrate from Italy until 1954. Accompanied by her brother, Joe Intintoli, she went back to Italy in 1958 to marry Alfonso D’Amelio. They were married in the famous Church of Pompeii, then returned to the U.S. in 1959. Elvira lived in Port Washington her entire life in America, giving birth to her daughter, Antonetta, in 1960.

Family always came first for Elvira and cooking was her greatest passion and talent. Her standard question to every child who entered her home was, “Do you want something to eat?” Of course, the answer was always, “Yes, please!” since she was an excellent cook. She also loved flower and vegetable gardening, knitting, collecting china and crystal, and dressing up for any occasion.

Elvira is survived by her husband, Alfonso, daughter, Antonetta Pawlak, son-in-law, Gary Pawlak, granddaughter, Kathryn Pawlak, sisters, Palma Petito and Florence Toth, and many loving nieces and nephews. Donations in her memory can be made to Saint Francis Hospital.