Angela Grespan (nee Palmieri), 96, formerly of Rockford, IL, died on February 15, 2017 of complications of Alzheimer's dementia. She died at home peacefully surrounded by her two daughters, Paula E. D'Angelo and Rebecca Ann Grespan. She was preceded in death by her father, Matteo Palmieri and her mother Margarita Palmieri (nee Festa), her sister, Caterina Palmieri, two brothers, Giovanni and Antonio Palmieri and her husband, Mario Grespan. Angela was born in Cava dei' Tirreni, (Salerno), Italy on November 30, 1920, a beautiful medieval town bordering the Amalfi Coast. The town was caught up in Operation Avalanche during World War II with the 1943 invasion of mainland Italy that began with aerial bombing and amphibious landings by American and British forces. It was during this time that Angela met her future husband, Mario Grespan, an Italian-born American Army Officer. Their war-time romance blossomed into a marriage lasting 53 years; they lived the majority of their married life in Mario's hometown of Rockford. In 1989 they moved to Chicago to be near their daughters and due to Mario's ill-health. He died in 1999. Angela was a beautiful, petite and spirited woman who was not afraid of hard work and loved a good party; she was dedicated to her family and their happiness. In Rockford, Angela worked at the 320 Store and at the Cacciatore Market. She assisted her mother-in-law, Emilia, with Grespan Grocery and her real estate properties. As feminine as she was, she could also strip paint and steam wallpaper off walls. She enjoyed snow shoveling, kept a wonderful garden of vegetables and flowers and walking the Rock River path. She was an active volunteer at St. Anthony of Padua during the 50's assisting the Franciscan Sisters with their many needs and provided transportation for their various appointments and errands. She was always ready and able to assist friends and neighbors and volunteered in Church and local political campaigns. She was proud of her daughters' achievements and attended all musical and theatrical performances. Angela loved traveling, especially in the mountains and near the sea. Angela was always ready with her suitcase! She saw much of the U.S. and Europe. Her smile and sweetness, especially during the years of her dementia, endeared her to all who met her. She is survived by her two daughters, Paula and Rebecca "Becky", her nephew Louis Grespan, niece, Antoinette Gulotta, several nieces in Italy, grand-nieces and nephews, cousins Angelina Palmieri of Brooklyn, New York and Phyllis Alicci of Metuchin, New Jersey, plus many loving friends and neighbors. Memorial gifts may be made to Rush University Medical Center, Alzheimer's Disease Center, 1700 W. Van Buren St., Suite 250, Chicago, IL 60612 or to the Shrine of Our Lady of Pompeii, 1224 W. Lexington St., Chicago, IL 60607. A Memorial Visitation will be held at the Shrine of Our Lady of Pompeii, 1224 W. Lexington St., Chicago on Saturday, March 4, 2017 from 12:00 noon until the time of the Funeral Mass 1:00 pm. Interment private. Arrangements entrusted to Peter M. Martino. For further info 708-562-5900.
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