Josephine Rossi Giannella
November 26, 1920 - January 17, 2012
Funeral service for Josephine Rossi Giannella, 91, Lawton, will be 10:00 a.m. Monday in the Becker Funeral Home Memorial Chapel with Father Joseph R. Ross officiating. The family will greet friends from 3-5 pm Sunday at the funeral home.
Mrs. Giannella died Tuesday in a Lawton hospital.
Entombment will be in the Calvary Cemetery in Paterson, New Jersey. Arrangements are under the direction of the Becker Funeral Home & Cremation Service.
Mrs. Giannella was born on November 26, 1920 and emigrated from Castellabate di Santa Maria, Italy when she was 15 years old, where she was reunited with her father and other family members living in New Haven, Connecticut. In 1938 she married and Italian hometown acquaintance, Mario Giannella, also an immigrant nine years her senior, with whom she remained joined until Mario’s death in 1980. Mario and Josephine settled in Paterson, New Jersey where with his father and brother, he established the Giannella Baking Company, which flourished into a leading Italian bakery in Northern New Jersey and New York. Josephine was part and parcel of the business and contributed to its success while devoting herself to their three children. Mario and Josephine, with little command of the English language in the early years and little formal education, believed in and attained the “American Dream”. They understood and valued the education of their children; Raphael Giannella, a medical doctor, Theresa Giannella Baxter, a speech pathologist, and Mario Giannella, Jr., a physicist at the Oak Ridge National Laboratories.
Josephine was known for her strength of character, her innate intelligence, her love of family, and her delightful Italian accent. After her husband’s death Josephine single handedly managed her own “M. Giannella Delicatessen” in Westwood, New Jersey. She was an astute businesswoman in her own right, and became an involved and loving grandmother and great grandmother. In 2004, Mrs. Giannella relocated to Lawton, Oklahoma, to join her daughter.
Josephine is survived by her three children, Dr. Ralph Giannella and his wife Patricia of Cincinnati, Ohio, Theresa and her husband, MG (R) Lee Baxter of Lawton and son Mario, Jr. and his wife Lana of Knoxville, Tennessee. She also leaves two grandsons, Andrew Giannella of Cincinnati, Ohio and Christopher Giannella and his wife Erin of Baltimore, Maryland; two great grandsons Tillman and Matteo; two step grandchildren, Jason D. Baxter and his wife Deborah of Ypsilanti, Michigan and Kelly M. Baxter and her husband Michael Comiskey of Des Moines, Iowa; three sisters, Irene Rossi, Anna Rossi Fasano and Lydia Rossi Sansone; as well as several nieces and nephews.
Her husband and a brother, John Rossi, preceded her in death.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Comanche County Memorial Hospital Foundation, P.O. Box 2309, Section 1, Lawton OK 73502.
Born: November 26, 1920
Place of Birth: Castellabate di Santa Maria, Italy
Death: January 17, 2012
Place of Death: Lawton, Oklahoma