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Roberta Eileen Armanino, 88, of Anacortes, passed away on Sunday, August 5, 2012, at Island Hospital. Roberta was born on January 7, 1924 in Seattle, WA, the daughter of Robert and Nina (Burke) Nelson.

She graduated from Holy Names Academy in Seattle and met her husband Al while she was still in high school. They were married when Al returned from the war in 1945 and made their first home in Ballard.

Roberta was proud of her Irish heritage and made a trip in the late 70's to connect with her Irish relatives.

She loved her sewing, beginning with sewing clothing for her young boys and expanding throughout the years into marvelous garments, purses, teddy bears, knitting and quilting creations. Roberta's talents were many; she sold her creations in craft fairs and was a featured artist displaying her quilted garments in a regional quilt show. She was an active member of the Fidalgo Island Quilters Guild and one of its past presidents; she also stayed active with the NW Quilting Group.

Friends nicknamed her 'our beautiful Roberta' as she was always stylishly dressed and cared for. In her early days in Anacortes, she modeled for a local clothing store and for a women's group social.

Along with her beauty and style, Roberta always had a twinkle in her eye and shared her witty personality with all.

Mom was a master in the kitchen, from cooking a full Thanksgiving turkey dinner using a wood and coal stove, to making her outstanding desserts and especially her cakes. She loved to bake and share her creative birthday cakes with family and friends. Her love of baking and the Christmas packages of cookies, fudge, fruitcakes and panatone were highly appreciated and anticipated. All of us enjoyed her passion and skill. Son Steve recalls that while in the service, mom would mail him a Christmas tree and decorations; his shipmates were envious and appreciative for the sense of home that she gave to all. In contrast.

Roberta could set aside her artistic and homemaking talents for the world of fishing. Whether it was baiting hooks with worms or heading out to sea with her husband aboard their commercial fishing boat, Roberta did not hesitate. She fished along-side her husband for a number of years.

Roberta is survived by her husband Al; sons and daughter-in-law, Stephen Armanino of Los Angeles, CA, and Bob and Ann Armanino of Shelton, WA. She is also survived by her grandchildren Lauren of Portland, OR, Scott of Los Angeles, CA, Alexander and Andrew of New Orleans, LA, Adrienne of Tenino, WA, and Quinn from Shelton, WA; along with numerous nieces and nephews.

Roberta was preceded in death by her parents, brother Burke and sister Betty.

There will be a Celebration of Life for Roberta on Thursday, August 16, 2012 from 1:00-3:00 pm at the Skyline Beach Club, 6041 Sands Way in Anacortes.

Remembrances in Roberta's name may be made to Holy Names Academy in Seattle at or mailed to Holy Names Academy Seattle, 728 21st Ave East, Seattle, WA 98112.

Arrangements are in the care of Evans Funeral Chapel and Crematory, Inc., Anacortes, WA and the San Juan Islands.

To share memories of Roberta, please sign the online guest register at
Funeral Home
Evans Funeral Chapel - Anacortes
1105 32nd Street
Anacortes, WA 98221
(360) 293-3311
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Published in Skagit Valley Herald Publishing Company on Aug. 14, 2012
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