Martha “Rita” (Resteghini) Giannoccari passed away on Saturday, December 4, 2021, peacefully at home surrounded by her loving family at the age of 96. Rita called her family together to share it was her time to go. She let each of us know just how much she loved us. Never showing an ounce of regret and always smiling, her body and soul were filled with gratitude and love for her life and her family.
Born on Cooper Street in the North End on September 2, 1925, Rita was the beloved daughter of the late James and Maria Resteghini and the youngest of five children. She grew up in Somerville where she graduated from Somerville High School in 1943. It was there that she met the love of her life Alfred “Al” Giannoccari during their high school years. They were married on October 9, 1949, and later resided in Stoneham where they raised their family.
Rita was a woman of deep faith whose heart was filled with kindness, patience, compassion and endless love. An avid sports fan of the NE Patriots and Boston Red Sox she often wore their jerseys to bring them good luck. Rita found great joy in cooking homemade meals for her family. From her infamous pasta and meatballs with her red “gravy”, to her macaroni and cheese made from scratch, she had a talent for taking anything in the house and whip it into a delicious meal. The holidays would never be complete without her ricotta pie for Christmas dessert or her Easter bread for morning breakfast. Her recipes, all handwritten have been coveted by all. Food truly was a way of spreading love as far as Rita was concerned. When she asked “Would you like something to eat” you knew what was coming before you could get the answer out, a plate full of food. She loved gardening and tending to her rose bushes and tomato plants. She was quick to show her beautiful smile, had a great sense of humor and loved to laugh. Rita, always thinking of others, would never miss sending out a birthday or holiday greeting card.
In her later years, Rita started going to the Stoneham Senior Center. She participated in “cheap eats”, holiday parties, tai chi, chair yoga and canasta where she made many new and lasting friendships. Rita enjoyed being around people and found great pleasure working at the local gourmet candy store. Be it a holiday or family gathering, she would always bring boxes of chocolates and other sweet treats that were the finishing touch and a staple on all our tables.
Rita was the beloved wife of Alfred and loving mother of five daughters, Linda Bosse and her husband Paul, Martha Lussier and her husband Gerald, Mary Jeanne Giannoccari and her fiancé Kurt Legner, Lisa DeCola and her late husband Paul, Janet Poulin and her husband Frank. Rita (affectionately known as “Nonna Babes”) was a devoted grandmother of eight; Lyle Core and his wife Gina, Lee Core and his wife Eliza, Leighton Core and his wife Kim, Michelle Parsons and her husband Ryan, John Paul Bosse, Esq., Alycia DeCola, Joseph Andrews and Brianna Andrews. She was also blessed to be the great-grandmother of nine; Brandi, Ethan, Charlie, Julia, Nathan, Andrew, Micah, Anderson, and Kayleigh.
Rita is predeceased by her siblings Genevieve, Edith, Joseph and his wife Gertrude and Alfred and his wife Myrna. Rita also leaves behind many cousins, nieces and nephews, all of whom she loved dearly.
Rita lived a long, full and healthy life. We were truly blessed to have her in our lives for as long as we have and will continue to tell her story and carry on her traditions. She had a warm and radiant smile that will be deeply missed by all who knew her.
Visitation will be held for Rita in the Funeral Home on Friday, December 10th from 3-7pm. Relatives and friends are invited to attend a Funeral Mass on Saturday, December 11th at 10am in St. Patrick’s Church, 71 Central Street, Stoneham. PLEASE go directly to the church. Interment will be at Lindenwood Cemetery, Stoneham.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Martha Rita’s memory to Boston Children’s Hospital, and mailed to Boston Children’s Hospital Trust, 401 Park Drive, Suite 602, Boston, MA 02215-5301 or online at bostonchildrens.org/givenow.
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