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Elvira (nee Busuito), passed suddenly on September 6, 2013, at the age of 82, while visiting Florence, Italy with her daughter Rossella and husband Jon. Elvira lived in Fort Lee, NJ, and previously resided in Hudson County in the town of North Bergen, NJ, for 44 years, where she raised her four children. She vacationed in her summer home in southern Italy - Salerno.
Elvira grew up in Salerno, the youngest of six, in the arms of a well respected loving family. She was raised by her mother Clelia Busuito who was also widowed at a young age. Clelia and her family gave Elvira the encouragement, confidence and fortitude that Elvira was known for.
In her 20s, Elvira met her husband Gennaro Giannella an urologist whose office was situated across the hall from Elvira's family apartment. Within no time at all, they were married and on their way to settle in America. He had to start studies over in America. While studying to be an anesthesiologist; Rossella, Vivian, and Cynthia were born in North Jersey. When Gennaro finished they purchased a beautiful home in North Bergen and Joseph was born. Within two years, Elvira's husband became sick and passed; leaving her a widow at the age 37 with four children and a house purchased on the anticipated salary of an anesthesiologist.
Most women would have packed up and moved back to her family in Italy. Elvira believed as her late husband did that the opportunity was here in America. So she decided not to take the easy road, not to complain, not to ask why. Elvira took her determination and just moved forward and made a life for herself and her children in America. As Elvira began to rebuild her life, along the way, she made strong relationships, and strong friendships that would last a lifetime.
Remarkably, Elvira would be whoever she needed herself to be…a loving mother (and sometimes father), she was the sister you never had, a close friend, a mentor, and a confidant to so many.
Her friends can hear her wonderful accent saying: "too sweet too sweet," "too much salt," "Basta Basta," "mi raccomando," "Buono con Buono fa Buono," "O-K."
She raised four children who became productive members of society. Rossella Derickson lives with her loving husband Jon in Los Gatos, CA. Vivian McDevitt lives with her loving husband Michael in Mt. Laurel, NJ and has a child, Darya. Cynthia Sylvestri lives with her loving husband Michael in Rivervale NJ; with their children Augustino, Gennaro, Michael, and Valentina. Joseph Giannella lives with his loving wife Patricia in Fair Lawn with their children Olivia and Nicole.
Rossella said about her mother "Mom was an empathic person. People felt her warmth and her welcoming style within minutes of connecting with her. She was highly critical at times which served her well when she had to make big decisions. She would say, 'you can make small mistakes, but not the big ones.' We fought a great deal in my teenage years, but as an adult we became friends moving beyond the mother daughter relationship. I will always be grateful that she taught me to look out for those in need. There are many stories of the people she gave a helping hand. To my mother, I attribute my learning to be of service and make a difference in the world."
Cynthia said about her mother "Whether coming home for a bite to eat or coming for a full sit down Mom always made every meal special. High above, Mom's table is set with her "famous peppers." "Oh, what a glorious feast she has prepared. BUON APPETITO, MAMMA."
Vivian said: "my Mom will Always be in my heart."
Joe said about her: "My mother was my hero."
Alessandra said to Joe about Elvira: "She was the loving mother I never had. And you and your sisters were truly blessed to have been her children."
Aldo-Our Neighbor in Salerno said: "Elvira created a synergy amongst the neighborhood people that made everyone happy to see 'La Famiglia On a final note, Elvira Giannella was an extraordinary person who had the innate ability to unite with people, herself and also link her people and other people she knew. This type of person is rare and is known as a "connector"… a term used for a personality type coined by the renowned author Malcolm Gladwell, in his book titled "The Tipping Point." Connectors are people who enrich the lives of anyone they know because their calling is to share who they know with others and with no strings attached. They give a gift of social integration. Elvira was a social catalyst-a true connector…and someone we were all fortunate to have connected with in our lives.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend her visitation on Thursday September 19th, 2013 from 2-4 and 7-9 PM at A.K. Macagna Funeral Home, 495 Anderson Avenue, Cliffside Park, NJ. On September 20th at 9:30 AM a Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Madonna Church, 2070 Hoefley Lane, Fort Lee, NJ. Burial to follow at Madonna Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to www.humanconnexus.org or the
at donate.cancer.org. For online condolences please visit www.akmacagnafuneralhome.com
Published in The Record/Herald News on 9/18/2013.
Published in The Record on Sept. 18, 2013