Greensburg woman remembered for passion of cooking
The smell of Sylvia Fontanella’s beef risotto recipe often wafted through her Greensburg home, a signature meal of hers.
Cooking and baking for her family was a favorite past time of hers, her great-niece Lisa Fox said, along with trying to spend as much time with the children in the family as possible.
“We all like to cook and share the cooking together,” Fox said.
And Fox’s favorite memory with Fontanella is watching her cook and trying to learn her recipes, something she said she never mastered the way her aunt could.
Miss Sylvia V. Fontanella, 102, of Greensburg died Tuesday, April 30, 2019 in Hempfield Manor.
Born Nov. 6, 1916, she was the daughter of Felix and Matilda Fontanella.
A graduate of Greensburg High School, Miss Fontanella moved to New York City, hoping to one day to go into show business, Fox said. Prior to leaving, Miss Fontanella attended Carnegie Tech, where she studied voice.
But her love for her hometown, and her dislike for the big city, brought her back to Greensburg where she became a billing clerk for the Walworth Company. She continued her passion for singing, however, through the choir at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church in Greensburg.
“There couldn’t be a better role model for kindness and I think in today’s world we really need that,” Fox said.
When Miss Fontanella wasn’t cooking or spending time with her family, she enjoyed reading and keeping up with the latest fashions.
And her interests, family and friends all came together two years ago to celebrate her 100th birthday.
“She really enjoyed it,” Fox said. “She was just thankful everyone came.”
In addition to her great-niece, Miss Fontanella is survived by her niece Madaline Purpura, her nephew David D’Emilio, a great-nephew Joseph Purpura, two great-great-nephews and three great-great-nieces.
Friends will be received 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the Leo M. Bacha Funeral Home, 516 Stanton St., Greensburg. Prayers begin 9:30 a.m. Friday in the funeral home, followed by a funeral Mass at 10 a.m. in Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church. Interment will follow in Greensburg Catholic Cemetery.
Megan Tomasic is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Megan at 724-850-1203, [email protected] or via Twitter .