Gloria Rose Summonte Micciulla
Gloria Rose Summonte Micciulla, age 92 of Oceanport, died peacefully surrounded by her family on Tuesday, April 24, 2018 at home. Gloria was born in Long Branch and was a life resident of Oceanport. She was a budget clerk at Fort Monmouth for 17 years retiring in 1982, past President of the Long Branch Elks Ladies Auxiliary #742 and a member of the Oceanport Seniors.
Her greatest joy was spending time with her grandchildren and great grandchildren, and loved baking homemade pies and cakes.
Gloria was predeceased by her husband William J. Micciulla in 2015; her parents, John and Antoinette Summonte; two brothers, Emilio Summonte and Joseph Summonte, and her sister, Dolores Rich. Surviving are two daughters, Joyce Laugelli and John and Lynne Chiafullo and her husband Tony; two sisters, Rose Wescott and Patricia Maher; four grandchildren, Gina Mulholland and her husband Michael, Bill Chiafullo, Nicholas Laugelli and Bobby Chiafullo; four great grandchildren, Patrick, Jack and Giuliana Mulholland and Nichole Laugelli and several nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be held on Sunday from 2 to 5 pm at the Damiano Funeral Home, 191 Franklin Ave., in Long Branch. Funeral, Monday; 9:30 am from the funeral home with a Mass of Christian Burial celebrated at 10:30 am at Star of the Sea Church of Christ the King Parish in Long Branch. Interment will follow at Woodbine Cemetery, Oceanport. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Long Branch Elks, BPOE #742 Special Needs Children’s Fund, P.O. Box 3147, Long Branch, NJ 07740. The family invites you to leave a letter of condolence, light a memorial candle or make a memorial donation by selecting the appropriate tab.
Life Story for Gloria Rose Summonte Micciulla
Gloria Rose was born on a warm day on June 4, 1925. She was the oldest of five siblings. She grew up at the foot of the beach at 21 Melrose Terrace in Long Branch, which is now the site of Pier Village. In her school years, she and her brother Butch were described to be inseparable and enjoyed walking to their grandfather’s candy store to get a sweet treat. She would meet her lifetime best friend Gussy at 8 years old, who loved spending time with Gloria, as she reports, “making their own fun.”
Growing up during the great depression, Gloria learned early the qualities of being resourceful, strong and resilient. It was in these roots where she developed her creative passions for cooking and sewing. At the age of 16, Gloria showed herself to be ahead of her time when she decided to go to work to support her family during the great depression. She quickly found a job as an accounts receivable secretary in the West Village in New York City due to her razor sharp mathematical skills and ability to learn quickly. As the years passed, she found a job closer to home at Fort Monmouth at the William Patterson Army Hospital where she was a book clerk for 17 years.
It was at Fort Monmouth that her life would take a turn when she met Bill one fateful night at a USO dance- and they hit it off right away. They married on June 23rd 1951 at Saint Luke’s Church in Long Branch, and honeymooned in Niagara Falls. That was the beginning of the many travels my Pop Pop and Nana shared. My cousin Bobby said recently, “I'm lucky to have learned so much from Nana. What stands out when I think of her is her sense of adventure, which I think I inherited. She loved to tell me about her trips to Italy, Alaska, Hawaii and the Panama Canal.” The trip that stands out most to her family members as her most beloved spot was the Panama Canal. This was because when passing through the Canal she was able to see both the beautiful sunrise and sunset all in one day.
Gloria welcomed her first daughter Joyce in 1953 and her second daughter Lynne in 1957. My mom and Aunt fondly remember nana always making sure that they had a delicious meal, especially stuffed artichokes and that one time they knocked over the TV and nana said to them forebodingly, “Wait until your father gets home.” They also remember their family pet, a grey seal point cat named Samantha, that nana adored.
Everyone who knew Nana knew that she loved sewing, and one of her prized possessions was her Kenmore Sewing Machine, which was a second anniversary gift from my pop pop. Nana’s motto was definitely, why buy it when you can make it yourself. She enjoyed being crafty by making her own curtains, pillows and couch protectors. Nana also loved to bake, and her personality suited this skill, since she was precise and meticulous. Nana made a mean pumpkin pie, fresh homemade raspberry jelly and the best meatballs at Christmas time. Best of all, if you were lucky enough to have a cold, she would surprise you with some homemade chicken or lentil soup. But, Nana also loved to go out to eat. My aunt Lynne and uncle tony fondly remember their standing Friday night dinners. Nana was at her best during these meals, she loved to talk, and felt very strongly about chewing her food thoroughly before swallowing. That made for some long dinners for them, and some cold dinners for her. My cousin Billy also treasured his mealtimes with nana, he would tinker around the house fixing things and then they would go over to the Sitting Duck for a burger.
Nana had a fierce love for her grandchildren, and was always present for every sporting event, holiday, graduation and birthday. As my brother Nick said, Nana was the kindest woman he knew. Nana always came prepared to every event with a congratulatory card neatly written in her cursive and a freshly baked delicious desert. Unlike many other people, Nana was lucky enough to enjoy 36 years of retirement with her family and was always civically involved. She served as a president of the Elk’s ladies auxiliary and always enjoyed being part of organizations such as the Oceanport Senior Citizens.
Nana was known to be a very generous woman, yet, she loved to coupon clip and got a buzz from getting a great deal at the stores, especially Boscovs. She was opinionated, and even at 92, could do quick mental math faster than any of us. She loved shopping, and my mom recalls how my nana would be ready each Sunday morning for their shopping trip. She also loved to visit Atlantic City. My Aunt Lynne fondly recalls their spur of the moment trips to AC and how Nana would always be ready in less than an hour to jump in the car to head to the Borgata. Bobby says that “One of my fondest recent memories of Nana was December 26, 2016 when she came to NYC and we trekked over 4 Miles throughout the city, pretty impressive for a 91 and a half year old woman, he said. She wanted to see it all - we explored where she commuted and worked at her first job, ate soup dumplings in Chinatown, got gelato in the West Village, braved midtown to see St. Patrick's Cathedral, toured the financial district where I lived for a few years and ate a huge Italian meal.”
Nana was so happy when he got to meet her great grandchildren, Patrick, Jack and Giuliana and Nichole. My brother Nick remembers how happy Nana was to hold his daughter Nicole in her arms for the first time. I remember how Nana loved to sit in her special chair and read to my kids or feed them all of the yummy treats she baked and cooked. When I was on maternity leave, we would have 4 course home cooked lunches together, and nana wouldn’t let anyone get up to help her serve the food. I recall how nana was so delighted when Patrick ate her chili at 8 months old! Nana was never phased when my kids flung red Jell-O onto the carpet, although Jack finally rattled her once when he decided to take the batteries out of her remote and she couldn’t figure out why the TV wasn’t turning on.” She talked about that stunt for like 2 years.
On April 24th, 2018 in the late afternoon Nana passed away peacefully in the presence of her family. Even though nana has left us, she will live on through us and in all the traditions she left behind. We will honor her today and always by sharing and treasuring the memories we have created together. Take comfort in the fact that my nana lives on in the hearts and memories of those she left behind. Rest in Peace Nana!