October 20, 2002
Hometown paper obit for Red

My mother informed me tonight that our old hometown paper, the Staten Island Advance, published an obituary for my grandmother which includes a couple of paragraphs from my own tribute. Apparently, my dad got in touch with a writer at the Advance that he knew and tipped him off to what I'd written. It sure reads as if they'd interviewed me instead of cribbing from my writing, doesn't it?

I'm going to return the favor and copy the obit here, so I'll have it after it rotates off their page.

Sunday, October 20, 2002

Native Staten Islander Ann Abbruzza Visco, 85, of Kirkland, Wash., a retired business owner, died Oct. 14 in the Evergreen Vista Rehabilitation Center, Kirkland.

Born in Ann Carasaniti in Sunnyside, she moved to Kirkland in 1999.

She married her first husband, Russell Abbruzza, in 1939. The couple owned and operated the former Russell's Beauty Salon and Barber Shop in Sunnyside for more than 20 years.

Mr. Abbruzza died in 1961. Ten years later, she married Nicholas Visco. Together, the two owned and operated an Italian restaurant called Pasta Galore in Mays Landing, N.J., until 1982.

She was know for her flaming red hair for which she had garnered the nickname, "Red" by family and friends. Her eldest grandson Charles Kuffner III has fond memories of his grandmother.

"I was her first grandchild. When I was born, she started saving the tips she got [from the salon] for my college fund," he said. "Every Christmas I'd receive a big plastic container full of coins, representing a year's worth of gratuities for perms and cuts. My siblings got to share in this when they arrived, but I got the best of it for getting there first."

Mrs. Abbruzza Visco was an accomplished knitter. "Sweaters were her specialty," her grandson said. "When my mother's brother, Russ, remarried and produced two grandsons, it was a new lease on life for her, and she knitted with a vengeance. I don't think either of those kids needed a store-bought sweater for the first few years of their lives."

Mrs. Visco was the past president of the Richmond County Hairdresser's Association. She enjoyed Italian cooking, and was an avid fan of the New York Yankees.

She also enjoyed caring for plants and creating outdoor gardens and was the past recipient of a Lynne Robbins Steinman Foundation award for outstanding garden displays.

Her second husband, Nicholas, died in 1998.

In addition to her son, Charles, and her grandson, surviving are another son, Russell Abbruzza; a daughter, Carol A. Kuffner; a brother Frank Carasaniti, and five more grandchildren.

A private funeral was arranged by the Green Funeral Homes, Bellevue, Wash.

I'll add one correction, one observation, and one oversight: Red had two children, my mom and my uncle Russ. She had a son-in-law named Charles (that would be my dad), but no other son. To the best of my recollection, the restaurant in Mays Landing was simply called Visco's. At least, I recall "Visco's" being spelled out in large cursive letters on the side of the restaurant. It's possible there was a "Pasta Galore" somewhere, I just don't remember it. Red also had two great-grandchildren, my niece Vanessa and my nephew Jack.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on October 20, 2002 to See, I do have a life!