At age ten, Anna Di Nardo left Sant’Eufemia, a tiny mountain town in Abruzzo, Italy with her mother and siblings, to join her father in America. When she arrived, she exclaimed to her father as she looked around, “These streets aren’t made of gold!”
As she didn’t speak English, it took her a while to catch up in school, but she had kind teachers who would give her extra help, and she continued through 8th grade. They would also ask her to sing for them. She had a love of music all her life and would often sing around the house or to the radio.
The family settled in Old Forge, Pennsylvania. There she met and married her first husband, Louis Florimonte. They operated a dance hall in Rocky Glen Park, where the likes of Sammy Kaye, Louis Prima, and other swing bands would come and play. Her husband Lou also owned trucks and hauled coal from the mines. In 1941 the family moved to McKees Rocks, PA, near Pittsburgh. Shortly thereafter, her husband died, leaving her with 3 small children.
During World War II as a single mother, she took a job at RB&W (Russell, Burdsall & Ward Bolt and Nut Company) -- a true “Rosie the Riveter!” She worked the night shift “because it paid a few pennies more an hour”. Yet she was thrifty enough to give her parents money to buy a house. She was strong and tough and overcame despite obstacles to provide a home for her family.
Through mutual friends, she met Rocco Mancini, a single father with two children and they married in 1948, combining their two households. Five children became six when they had a daughter and Anna became a housewife once more. Rocco worked hard and she was very thrifty. She managed their money so well that she and Rocco were able to buy a new house in 1953. They also always bought their cars with cash.
In 1993, after Rocco died, she moved to Valencia, California and later Huntington Beach, to be near family. She ultimately celebrated her 100th birthday in 2017 surrounded by family and friends.
On Saturday, April 25th, she passed away peacefully in her sleep.
She is survived by a sister, Eufemia Stempkowski, three sons, Ralph (Madeline), Louis (Alexandra), and Joseph (Linda) Florimonte, step-son, Vince Mancini, step-daughter, Lucille Mancini Pantone, many nephews, nieces, grandchildren, great-great-grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husbands, Louis Florimonte and Rocco Mancini, her daughter, Angela Mancini Maizie, her brothers Carmen and Frank Di Nardo, and her granddaughter Laura Florimonte Navarette. Her life was long and full. She witnessed several generations of changes in this country and she managed to adapt and find cheer in her situation. Anna always tried to do her best and she will be long remembered for her love of family, her wonderful cooking, her smiles, her frequent and easy laughter, and her beautiful voice.