MADISON - It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our dear mom, Bernice C. Pellitteri,on November 6, 2018, from Alzheimer's Disease. Mom came into this world a fragile being, born on October 16, 1932 in Early Branch, South Carolina, weighing less than 2 pounds. The doctor wrapped her in cotton soaked in oil and placed her in a dresser drawer by the heat of the oven door. She endured a rocky childhood and grew to be a strong, gracious, loving woman.
At age 18 she joined the United States Air Force, where she learned to cook for large groups of people. She was stationed in Massachusetts where she met and married our father, Angelo Pellitteri, on March 12, 1952. She traveled to Madison with her new father-in-law and one of her brothers-in-law. She lived with our Pellitteri grandparents, where it was her job to prepare grandpa's meals and she became very close to him and she learned to cook Italian food better than some Italians. True to her heritage, she could also cook the best Southern food and we also enjoyed her fried chicken, baked macaroni and cheese and collard greens on many occasions.
She was a strong woman who raised six children. She was also a devoted grandmother and great-grandmother, often babysitting her grandchildren when needed, or just having them over to spend time with her. She was always willing to help out, picking up grandchildren from school when they were ill or needed a ride. They all loved going to Grandma's because she had the best food.
After raising her children, she ventured into the working world working as a keypunch operator at the University of Wisconsin Primate Center. She continued working at the Center until her retirement. Many of her and dad’s closest friendships developed out of her employment at the Primate Center.
She was a wonderful cook, often cooking for family and friends. Our parents loved to entertain and we never knew who might be sitting at the dinner table, the doctor, the dentist, the parish priests or the parish nuns. They had many dear friends who they enjoyed many good times with traveling, vacationing and camping.
Mom was a wonderful seamstress making many back-to-school and summer outfits for us, and later, Halloween costumes for her grandchildren. She was an accomplished knitter and crocheter, and we always had knitted caps and mittens for winter. She also knitted or crocheted many of her grandchildren's baptismal gowns and baby blankets. She enjoyed her knitting up until her passing, and with the help of activity staff at Attic Angels, she learned to weave on a loom and made some lovely table runners and shawls.
Mom had a wonderful sense of humor that she passed on to all of us and we will always remember her little sayings like "I just zipper my lip" and "Oh dear, bread and beer". She kept her humor all throughout her illness and was a kind and gracious resident at The Haven, Attic Angel Place, often calling the staff sweetie or honey and always with a smile.
Mom leaves behind her legacy in her beloved children: Laura, Teresa, Ann, Toni, Fran and Joe; her sons and daughters-in-law; Kitsi Saxe, Lori Mertens-Pellitteri, Al Taggart, Mark Copple, Pat Lutz and Holly Pellitteri; her 14 cherished grandchildren: Sarah, Brad, Jocelyn, Dominic, Jared, Paul, Lauren, Nate, Serena, Megan, Nikki, Kellie, Matt, Aimee and Katie and her treasured great-grandchildren: Taylor, Evan, Collin, Mallory, Booker, Cole, Chase, Isabelle, Emmett and Alekzandra, who she may not have always remembered but was so happy to see every time they visited, as she loved her babies.
She is preceded in death by her beloved husband of 47 years, Angelo, her four siblings and many sisters and brothers-in-law.
The family would like to thank all of the wonderful staff and volunteers at The Haven, Attic Angel Place for their loving kindness and tender care of our mother. We would also like to thank Vickie for her dear friendship and support during Mom's stay at the Haven.
In lieu of flowers, the family is asking that donations be made to the Alzheimer's & Dementia Alliance of Wisconsin to help others that are struggling with this disease.
Mom, you will be dearly missed. We love you so very much.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, November 10, 2018 at ST. THOMAS AQUINAS CATHOLIC CHURCH, 602 Everglade Drive, Madison, with Father Bart Timmerman presiding. Visitation will take place from 5:00-7:00 p.m., with a concluding Prayer Service at 6:45 p.m. on Friday at RYAN FUNERAL HOME, 5701 Odana Road, Madison. An additional Visitation will be one hour prior to the Mass at church. Interment will be at Resurrection Catholic Cemetery, Madison. To view and sign this guestbook, please visit www.ryanfuneralservice.com.