Josephine Cirelli

Obituary of Josephine Cirelli

Middlesex, NJ – Josephine (Panebianco) Cirelli, 96, passed away on December 28, 2019 at Parker at Somerset in Franklin Township. Josephine was born on January 29, 1923 in San Donatao, Italy to a farming family. Her family struggled working the farm where they grew olives, wheat and potatoes all while raising chickens, pigs, goats and sheep. In 1940, Josephine was married to the late John Baptist Cirelli who was eleven years older then herself. At her young age, getting married was not on her mind, but the family needed someone to work the farm. Although the marriage was arranged, and despite many trials and personal tradegies, Josephine and John created an everlasting profound love for one another. They had four loving children; Phyllis and her husband Philip, Alphonso and his wife Elain, Mary and Lydia and her husband Robert, seven adored grandchildren; Paul, Christine, Christopher, Jennifer, Gina, Cheryl and Justin and one great-grandson, Aidan. In December of 1954, Josephine and her children boarded the Andrea Daria bound to be reunited with John in a whole new world, the United States of America. Moving to their new home in New Brunswick, they felt they were in paradise. Leaving her family behind in Italy was not easy, and her life in America was just as hard, but in a different way. Josephine befriended a neighbor Sally, whom over time, became very good lifelong friends. Sally encouraged Josephine to be a member of Lady Foresters of America and included her in her weekly knitting club. For over twenty years, Josephine was a proud employee of Chanel in Piscataway where she worked as a line operator. Prior to, she worked in several factories throughout the area. Josephine worked the day shift so that her children would always be taken care of. In 1984, she retired from Chanel and focused on raising her children and grandchildren. Josephine and John made food last throughout the seasons; often canning, drying, salting and preserving. They loved to cook dinners together and always be in the company of others. Over the years, they also enjoyed travelling, especially to Italy, Chile, Argentina, South America, Canada, California and Florida. John died suddenly in August of 1983 but their love story never ended. In 1988, Josephine moved to Middlesex to be closer to her daughters. She made many friends along the way and using her feet as her main mode of transportation, Josephine was a member of Our Lady of Mount Virgin Church in Middlesex as well the the Middlesex Senior Club. As a nature lover, Josephine enjoyed spending time outside. Whether it was in her garden planting flowers, or sharing the fruits of her labor from the garden, Josephine was truly defined by the three F’s – Family, Friends and Flowers. If you could ask her today, what she would want to do, her response would be “Just to Walk!” Josephine had a huge heart and will be missed by all those that knew her. Visitation will be held in Middlesex Funeral Home on Friday, January 3, 2020 from 2:00 pm until 5:00 pm and on Saturday, January 4, 2020 beginning 8:30 am. Funeral services will be held Saturday, January 4, 2020 at 9:00 am followed by a 9:30 am Mass of Christian Burial at Our Lady of Mount Virgin Church in Middlesex. Josephine will be laid to rest in the mausoleum of St. Peter’s Cemetery in New Brunswick. In lieu of flowers, donations sent to www.stjude.org would be appreciated.
Friday
3
January

Visitation

2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Friday, January 3, 2020
Middlesex Funeral Home
528 Bound Brook Road
Middlesex, New Jersey, United States
732-968-3377
Saturday
4
January

Funeral Mass

9:30 am - 10:30 am
Saturday, January 4, 2020
Our Lady of Mount Virgin RC Church
600 Harris Avenue
Middlesex, New Jersey, United States
732-356-2149
Saturday
4
January

Burial

11:15 am
Saturday, January 4, 2020
St. Peter's Cemetery
94 Somerset Street
New Brunswick, New Jersey, United States
732-249-0894
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