June 2, 1922–February 2, 2021
Julia Ferraro, 98, was born Giulia Antonucci in San Marco Argentano, a small farming community in the south of Italy, on June 2, 1922. When she was a girl, she wanted to be a teacher, but her mother died of a long illness when she was 11, and three years later, her father brought her to the United States, where she cooked and kept house for him while he worked. After graduating from Baldwin High School, she went to work at the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company in Manhattan. There, at a company dance one evening, she met Frank Ferraro on a blind date. They married on June 5, 1949, and spent the next 71 years together, having five children—Frank, Edward, Denise (d. 1956), Lisa, and Janine—three grandchildren, and a great-grandson.
Julia was not only smart but wise. She was empathetic and kind, and she had a wonderfully quirky sense of humor often expressed through a seemingly endless store of Calabrese proverbs. She didn’t always find the good in people, but she always looked for it; and from her invalid mother to her father and brother, husband, children, grandchildren, friends and neighbors in need, and the dozens of hospitalized veterans for whom she crocheted lap blankets, she took good care of people her entire life. She could make a tomato sauce whose aroma made the whole neighborhood hungry; she could grow a grove of flowers from a tiny twig; and she never met a baby—human or animal—that she didn’t love.
In the end, Julia never did stand in front of a classroom, but throughout her long, full, and remarkable life she taught a great many things to a great many people on a great many subjects, on how to be a good person, and how to love and care for others. She leaves her world—and ours—a better place, and we will miss her.
Mass of Christian Burial on Monday, February 8, 2021, 10:00 a.m. at Saint Christopher's Church in Baldwin, New York. Interment to follow at Long Island National Cemetery in Farmingdale, New York. Arrangements entrusted to the Fullerton Funeral Home, Inc., 769 Merrick Road, Baldwin, New York. fullertonfhny.com
In lieu of flowers, please consider donations in Julia’s memory to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital at www.stjude.org.