20 Years Ago Today My Nonno Passed Away

My family has that curse. Back in August of 1997, everyone knew my Nanu was dying. He had been in the nursing home since early that year and was 91 years old. My Nonno, who was 71, had been in the hospital in July for a quadruple bypass and then went to the Northeast Rehab in Salem, NH for recovery. The day my Nanu passed away on August 3rd, I think was the last time I saw my Nonno. Either August 3rd or August 2nd. Nonno had been sick in the 1980s a few times but quickly recovered. I expected him to live at least another decade or so!

Nonno was ready to come home on August 5th, the day of my Nanu’s funeral, but he began complaining of stomach pain and the doctors didn’t know what to make of it. They took him to Holy Family Hospital in Methuen where they were gonna run tests on him and even there they were baffled with his case. They decided to air lift him to Boston but as they waited for the helicopter, Nonno passed away. It was explained his kidney’s ruptured, which had nothing to do with his heart or the surgery he had several weeks prior. Totally blows. The day of my Mom’s Dad’s funeral my Dad’s Dad passes away! That’s gotta be one of the most ironic things ever to happen in my family!

Nonno was born Vito Sinacori in Santa Ninfa, Sicily on August 25, 1925. He met Marianna Pisano and they married in April of 1947. The two had a baby boy named Gaetano who died at birth, then another boy they named Gaetano (My Dad), and another boy after him named Pierto (Peter) who died as an infant, followed by four daughters, Vita, Pina, Joanne and Pietra. The family lived on a farm in Santa Ninfa and then moved to Marianna’s hometown city of Salemi until it was rocked by an earquake in 1968. In the middle of the night, Vito brought his family into the street and yelled to the neighbors to do the same, nobody listened and all the neighbors perished in their homes. Two years later, in January of 1970, the family immigrated to America.

Vito took a job at Brox Construction and a weekend job landscaping at the Tattersall farm in Haverhill until he retired in the mid to late 1980s. Vito owned a home on Bartlett Street in Haverhill up until 1982 when they sold it and bought a split ranch on Derry Road in Methuen and lived there the rest of their days. Vito loved wine, loved to plant flowers and vegetables and fruit, and loved pasta with garlic!

In April of 1997, Vito and Marianna celebrated their 50th and final wedding anniversary as just a few weeks later Vito found out he needed surgery for four blocked arteries and after recovering, passed away due to complications with his kidneys on August 5th, 1997, just 18 days before his 72nd birthday.

Vito Sinacori

August 23, 1925- August 5, 1997