April 5, 1919 – Jan. 28, 2013
Anita Rita Manfra passed away peacefully after several years of dementia/Alzheimer’s on Jan. 28.
Anita was born in Revere Beach, Mass. in 1919 to Arthur and Ada Avallone who settled in Boston after leaving Italy. She is the second oldest of five children and graduated from Revere Beach High School in 1936.
Anita spent her youth in Boston singing and dancing in hotels and clubs, and had a great love for all types of music. She was an avid reader, sports enthusiast, and excellent piano player. She was singing in the Tremont Hotel in Boston the night she met her husband Tony, the love of her life, in 1939.
They moved to Glendale, Calif. in 1959 when Tony received a job offer to continue his profession as a lithographer. Anita often said it was one of their most difficult decisions to leave family and friends they loved so much in Massachusetts. But within a few months they bought a home in Glendale, and purchased a small grocery store in Glendale that they called “Tony’s Market,” which was located near the corner of Brand Boulevard and Doran. Tony continued his occupation as a lithographer and would close the store in the evening while Anita worked in the store during the day. Their children spent many happy hours working in the market with them. The business was closed in the late 1960s due to work on construction of the 134 freeway. After their business, Anita was primarily a homemaker, but she also worked part time as a nurse.
Anita and Tony had three children – two boys, Greg and Doug, and a girl, Maria. Anita has nine grandchildren that she adored. She also has six great-grandchildren.
Anita and Tony were dedicated to their children and their sports and music. Tony coached his sons in baseball and Anita did the cheering and provided all the support. Anita continued that support with her grandchildren, never missing the chance to spend time with her family.
Anita was a caring and devoted wife, mother, and grandmother, and loved to cook for her family and friends. Anita and Tony were long time members of the Italian Catholic Federation, and Anita was very active on their board and organizing activities and dances. Anita and Tony enjoyed a lot of time travelling together, especially in Italy. They would rarely miss the opportunity to go dancing on a Saturday night or to go to a Dodger game.
Anita was preceded in death by her loving husband of 49 years, her brother Walter, and sister Winnie. She is survived by her two sons Greg (Joy) Manfra, Doug (Hazel) Manfra, and Maria (David) Klein; her brother Charles in Lawrence, Mass., and sister Terry in Merrimack, N.H.; her nine grandchildren: Doug Jr., Matthew, Andrew, Breanna, Brett, Anthony, Patrick, Paul, Courtney; six great-grandchildren: Julianna, Cameron, Austin, Cody, Logan, Baylee. Anita’s presence in all our lives will be deeply missed. She will forever live in our hearts.
Visitation will be held at Crippen Chapel on Friday, Feb. 8 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. with rosary starting at 6 p.m. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11:45 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 9 at St. James Catholic Church, 4625 Dunsmore Ave. in La Crescenta followed by a graveside service at San Fernando Mission Cemetery. A reception will follow at the home of her daughter and son-in-law, Maria and David Klein.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her memory to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, 322 8th Ave., 7th Floor, New York, NY, 10001.