CONCORD - Jennie DePolo passed gently from this world Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012, in the comfort of her home with her niece at her side.
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Born Jennie Pietraallo on Aug. 12, 1904, to Italian immigrants Frank and Rosina Pietraallo in Websterville, Vt., Jennie was the oldest of 11 children born to the couple. At 18, she met and married her husband of more than 60 years, Ralph DePolo. The couple lived for a short time in Worcester, Mass., before moving to Concord in 1924. When Rosina died following a car accident in 1927, newlyweds Jennie and Ralph took in and reared Jennie's younger sisters, Flora and Amelia. The couple also stepped in to help with the younger boys in the family. During the Depression, while Ralph worked for John Swenson Granite Company, the WPA, and later Concord Electric, Jennie held various factory jobs and waited tables at Beaver Meadow before going to work at the Rumford Press.
In 1929, they built one of the first homes on Roger Avenue, where Jennie lived until her death at 108. Both she and Ralph were avid gardeners, and Jennie continued to garden until she reached 102. During the years of the Great Depression and World War II, Jennie and Ralph lived frugally. They were the glue that held the family together. Though childless themselves they were every niece and nephew's favorite aunt and uncle. Their commitment to family and friends harked back to a period when family and friends formed the foundation of this country. Like the granite their modest home was built on, their commitment to friends and family was the foundation that held the family and their community together. Jennie and Ralph were not unique to New England nor would they be considered special for the part they played in the twentieth century. They were instead unique and special to our family. As we take the time to honor their memories, please take the time to remember and honor the members of your families who forged their families with others like ours to support each other through adversity and make this diverse country strong.
Jennie was a strong woman in her youth, kind and generous. Her remarkable life spanned more than a century. She is survived by her sister, Amelia Pietraallo Childress of Norman, Okla., and many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews scattered around New England and across the country. Her wit and humor will be missed by all who knew and loved her.
services:Visiting hours will be held on Monday from 2 to 3 p.m. at the Waters Funeral Home, 50 South Main St., Concord.
Funeral services will follow in the Chapel of the Waters Funeral Home at 3 p.m. Burial will follow at the Maple Grove Cemetery in Concord.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Concord SPCA, 130 Washington St., Penacook 03303.
Waters Funeral Home - Concord
50 S. Main St.
Concord, NH 03302-0670
Published in Union Leader on Sept. 23, 2012