Hilda J. Francolini, 92, of Red Bank, NJ passed away peacefully on Sunday, May 5th, 2019. She was born in Buffalo, NY on June 25, 1926 to Riccardo and Angelina Marchetti. She proudly lived most of her life in Buffalo but moved to New Jersey when she was 81 to be closer to her children and grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband Carl, her parents and her brother Louis Marchetti. She is survived by her three children, Shelley Maher and husband Brian of Florida, Carl Francolini and wife Judy of New Jersey and Paula McIlveen and husband Rich of Massachusetts. She is also survived by eight grandchildren, Tracey (Felipe), Jason (Katie), Kevin (Amanda), Brian (Elena), Patrick, Courtney, Brendan, Jacob and 5 great-grandchildren.
She was a loving wife and mother. She and her husband owned and managed the Salem and South Legion Apartments in Buffalo until his death. She often joked to him that they ran the apartments like a retirement home as most of the tenants were elderly and Hilda and Carl always took good care of them.
She lost her husband unexpectedly at a young age in 1979 and never re-married, dedicating the next 40 years of her life to her children. She always said that her family was the most important thing in her life and everyone sought her loving and practical advice. She took up golf, bowling and attended Buffalo Philharmonic Pops concerts with her many longtime friends, as well as avidly watching all kinds of sports events on television. She was excellent with a needle and sewed, knit, quilted and did needlework. She knit beautiful heirloom afghans for each of her grandchildren. It took her years to finish them and as she finished each one, she put it in the trunk her father-in-law used to emigrate to the United States from Italy. She presented them to the grandchildren one Christmas and each was allowed to choose one. When the great-grandchildren were born, she knit baby blankets for them.
Hilda was also an excellent cook. She learned from her mother and mother-in-law the many Italian dishes her family so loved. She made cappelletti in broth for each Christmas until she was 91. She was also an excellent baker and made Christmas cookies, Easter breads and the best pies and cakes. She was proud of her Italian heritage and taught not only her children but also their spouses the art of making Italian food. She even spoke the native language of Friuli, the northern Italian province where her parents were born.
When she moved to New Jersey she made new friends and continued her activities which included card games and rummikub. She was a devout Catholic and started and finished each day with prayers.
The family will receive friends in New Jersey on Wednesday May 8th 4-7 pm at the Holmdel Funeral Home. Mass of Christian Burial Thursday, May 9th 9:15 am at Church of St. Catharine, 108 Middletown Road, Holmdel. Her final resting place will be in Buffalo next to her husband Carl. Viewing and a service will be held on Saturday, May 11th from 9-11 am at Amigone Funeral Home, 1132 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, NY. Mass of Christian Burial will follow at Blessed Sacrament Church, 1035 Delaware Avenue at 11:30 am. Flowers are gratefully declined. Donations may be made to the American Heart Association or a charity of choice.
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