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1928 Marie 2022

Marie Giannotti

August 4, 1928 — December 9, 2022

Marie Giannotti (nee Biase), 94, of Fairfield, New Jersey passed away on Friday December 9, 2022. Beloved mother of Joseph & his wife Lori Giannotti and Maria & her husband Bill Galese. Loving grandmother of Matthew, Christina, Billy, Jenna, Freddy and the late Joseph. Dear sister of the late Michael, Pauline, Catherine, and Loretta. Mrs. Giannotti was an avid Yankee fan who was so proud to have met Yogi Berra. Private Services were under the direction of Ippolito-Stellato Funeral Home, 7 Two Bridges Road, Fairfield, New Jersey. Donations may be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.

Marie, a sister, mother, grandmother and a dearest friend. She was not only all of those, but she was the best in every one of those roles. Marie loved her god, her family, her friends, the Yankees and any stray she picked up along the way and made them part of her family like me.

When I would come to the house to ask if Maria could play early in the morning, she would first yell quietly, of course, at me so she didnt wake Maria and would then make me tea and round toast which, believe it or not, we have talked about for almost 60 years.

She knew I needed the attention and was more than happy to give it to me as long as I was quiet. She fed me and taught me to play Canasta. A game Maria and I play to this day.

I was born with the name Marcella, and everyone called me Marcie except Marie. She called me Marcello Mastroianni. I never really understood why she called me Marcello Mastroianni, but I went with it for almost 60 years and when I walked into her hospital room in the last hours of life, I said Hi Marie, its Marcello Mastroianni and she said, I know who you are, have a seat. I know she loved me like one of her own.

She equally loved her sons friends too, not just Marias. Her house was always open to Joes childhood and high school friends. I know if I asked Gary to come up here, he would have some great stories to tell but Im only allotted 3 minutes which Im sure I will not be able to adhere to. I do promise however, to be brief.

Marie was someone who was so grateful for what she had, she didnt need anything else. She was not at all concerned with what others had but was very happy for them. Never a jealous thought, never a “poor me” comment, never a complaint about what she didnt have.

She grew up in Belleville and her family struggled with 5 children. She was extremely appreciative of her blessings and was kind to others. Marie was close with all her siblings but was especially attached to her sister Lorretta (aka Doretta), perhaps because Lorretta had lost her husband at a young age and had 2 children to raise.

They were thick as thieves and always cooking up some new plan for the two of them to take part in. They were each others ying and yang.

They not only loved each other but they both loved the others children as if they were their own. They were aunts but loved them as mothers.

Marie was the most kind, compassionate woman I had the pleasure to know. She was that friend that was always by your side regardless of what you may have said or done in the past that just wasnt right, she immediately forgave you. After my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimers, Marie spent every night, 7 days a week, keeping her company which helped to keep her mind working so that her decline could be delayed.

My mother was not always able to practice Maries recipe for kindness but that did not stop Marie from taking her in when she needed it most. My mom does not know that she has passed, and it will be catastrophic when she is told, and rightly so, there is no one who is capable of filling the shoes of someone as loving, forgiving and selfless as Marie. She was there for my mother and I know that her absence is going to cause her to suffer a landslide.

She loved the Yankees and was a diehard fan. As a matter of fact, she was the silent coach for the Yankees, you know, the coach you never saw. She was the one talking in the coachs headsets. Well, at least you would think so because she yelled at that TV until they did what she wanted them to do!

She knew more than most fans, their batting averages, their handicaps and who was going to be a superstar and why. Of course, Maria had to chime in and flick the lights in the apartment whenever there was a homerun. Too bad the Yankees never recognized her as that silent coach. They should have paid her royalties for her role in their wins. Nonetheless, the Yankees will forever have an angel in their outfield.

As a Grandmother, no one was more dedicated to her grandchildren. Joseph (pronounced Jozif), Matthew, Christina, Billy, Freddy & Jenna were everything to her. She loved every one of them individually and made each of them feel like they were the only one.

Grandma Ri, as she was called, was a pioneer in grandparents rights and fought more than 20 years ago for the right to have her own separate time with 2 of her grandchildren during a bitter family divorce. She won the heart of a Superior Court Judge who gave her whatever she wanted.

She should have been a lawyer, it clearly was not my arguments to the court that were award winning, it was her. It was her love of her grandchildren that could not be missed. She had that judge eating right out of her hand. I of course, took credit for the win anyway.

Many years later when tragedy struck and took the life of one of her grandsons that she fought so hard to have time with, she bravely put her faith in god and persevered forward. I remember that time and saw her unbelievable strength she exhibited for her family.

She taught her family that there is always a reason to continue with life, even in the wake of extreme pain and suffering. The Giannotti family has had the best mentor anyone could ever ask for. I know that they all looked up to her and for very good reason, she was genuine, funnier than I can say in church, and a little off at times (which is what made her such a favorite of all the kids).

I heard that she took Jenna and Freddy to the Lindas Chicken to watch the chickens go around and around in the rotisserie and told my children, Scott and Stephanie, that Jiminy Cricket lived in the freezer. Like I said, just a little off.

Grandma Ri spent endless hours with Christina and Billy loving every second she had with them. The sparkle in her eyes could be seen for miles.

She made up funny names for all the kids, none of which I can share. Grandma Ri was also famous for her nursery rhymes. She made them up and some were clearly to make Christina and Billy laugh, some on todays standards would raise eyebrows. I guess they raised eyebrows back then too, but she was fun and wanted them to how much fun she had with them.

At 80 years old she took on a challenge from Christina & Billy that she couldnt jump on the trampoline. They thought she was going to back out but, Grandma Ri was not about to be shown up by either of them and got on that trampoline and jumped like she too was a kid. She truly was a kid at heart.

We all knew, especially Christina a Billy that you could only touch Grandma Ris hair the day before it was being done. Other than that, it was absolutely off limits.

She loved the sun and the pool and could be seen all over the West Essex area in her bathing suit and a coverup from June to September. Something that made Maria crazy. Funny thing is that she didnt know how to swim and was scared of drowning. Why she loved the pool is mind boggling.

I recall one time that she accidentally floated into the deep end of her pool on a raft and was too afraid to scream for help, so she very very very quietly called for a neighbor (JAN) Of course, no one could hear her and when Maria and I found her, well we were less than kind and couldnt stop laughing. I cant repeat what she called us.

Maria always knew that if her mother was chasing her because she was in trouble, all she had to do was jump in the pool and she was safe until Marie cooled off. Didnt work in the winter though she did have a plan B, Marie was afraid of the cat, so she grabbed the cat to protect her. I cant tell you the names she called Maria when she couldnt get to her either.

Her children, Maria and Joseph (again pronounced as if it was spelled Jozif) were her pride and joy and rightly so, she raised them to be kind, caring and considerate and they truly are. She had a special bond with Marias husband Bill and Joes wife, Lori and couldnt have loved them more than if she gave birth to them both. Joseph has been there to make sure whatever she needed was provided and Maria cared for her every day.

And when I say cared for her, I mean that any one of us would be blessed to have someone as kind, considerate and dedicated as Maria was to her mother. She puts me in check when I am not so kind.

There is no way that Marie would have been here for the last few years without Maria. She was there for her every day, all day and extended her life. God truly blessed Marie with a long life of 94 years, wonderful family and friends and when he called her home, he made sure she didnt suffer.

It may have too quick for all of us but, for her, it was a gift. I just wish that gift was held off for a few more years, like 50 or so. I cant imagine life without her contagious laugh, her jokes and her love.

When I searched for something to say in closing to Joe (Josif) and Maria, I found this poem that I hope they can embrace and find some comfort.

Although you cannot hear her voice
or see her smile no more,
Your mother walks beside you
Still just as she did before
She listens to your stories and she wipes away your tears;
She wraps her arms around you
And she understands your fears

Its just she is isnt visible to see with
Human eye, but talk to her in
Silence and her spirit will reply
Youll feel the love she has for you
Youll hear her in your heart because
Although she has left her body,
Your souls will never part.

Marie, we will all miss you forever and will forget you never.

Funeral HomeIppolito-Stellato Funeral Home - Fairfield
7 Two Bridges Road
Fairfield NJ - 07004
(973) 882-5588

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