Monday, August 18, 2014

Loretta Famoso Galeota Esposito - Lovely Lady

Uncle Alphonso, Aunt Loretta and Loretta's son John.

Loretta Famoso Galeota Esposito

Loretta was born In Atlantic City, New Jersey on February 10, 1903. She was the youngest of Giovanni and Anna’s children. The name on her birth certificate is Leberata Tosca Famoso. That is such a cool name! I like to imagine that Giovanni was playing an instrument or conducting an orchestra that was performing Tosca by Puccini. It was a brand new opera at that time having been performed for the first time on January 14,1900 at the Teatro Costanzi in Rome. He loved that opera so much that he gave his baby daughter the middle name "Tosca." Doesn't that sound good? ~  It is totally made up but it could be true.  It is very interesting that Tosca is set in 1800 Italy around the time that Napoleon invaded Italy and the control of Rome by the Kingdom of Naples was threatened. Tosca is not a sweet, romantic opera. Not even a little bit. Tosca depicts murder, suicide and torture.  I'm not sure that is really an appropriate name, even a middle name for a baby. It could even be that Giovanni was friendly with Giacomo Puccini who was a contemporary and a fellow Italian musician.

As I have already mentioned, Loretta lost her mother when she was only 5 years old.  She grew up without a mother figure. I imagine that she became close to her sisters-in-law and her slightly older sister Rose.  

I found it odd that both Rose and Loretta got their marriage licenses on the same day. That day was July 28, 1921. 

Loretta was married at age of 18 on September 18, 1921 to Charles Michael Galeota listed as a Barber and elsewhere as a Musician. His father was Vito and his mother was Rosa Gallo. They had two children, John and Vito both of whom died in 1999.

Her husband Charles used the stage name Charlie Hamilton when he played a banjo that had lights inside of it that he made swirl around. An interesting concept for the 1920’s and early 1930’s.

Loretta and Charles Galeota were divorced in 1931. Charles married Helen Powlowitz on March 20, 1933. Charles died on September 16, 1936 and he is buried at St. John’s Cemetery in Flushing, Queens.  

Loretta married Salvatore Esposito in Boston, Massachusetts in 1934. Salvatore was a salesman until 1940 then he owned a business called New York Sample Fur Shoppe from 1941 on. He had a son named Jerry from a previous marriage. I have been told that Salvatore had only one arm. Sal died on September 14, 1961. He is buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Boston.

I have no personal impressions of Loretta because I never met her. It seems to me from what I have heard that she was a kind and honest person. She spoke about her true feelings regarding her brother Luigi at his funeral. Loretta was the person that my grandmother Christina used to go to when she needed someone to get money from her husband. Loretta did not have any kind feelings towards her brother (my grandfather). I can't say that I blame her. Her reputation was very good. Everyone that met her liked her very much. I also found out that she was the last known person to have possession of her brother Brasso's WWI army photo.  

My parents visited Loretta and Sal in Boston in the mid-1950’s. Sal must have had some mafia connections because there was a mafia-type guy in attendance at Loretta’s house during the visit.  The most memorable thing was that the mafia guy gave my brother, who was very young, a $5.00 bill.  That was a lot of money at the time. The story went down in family history.

After Sal died, Loretta worked at Bonwit Tellers as a “stitcher.”  Bonwit Tellers was a fancy department store so she probably did tailoring for off-the-rack clothing. She died on August 15, 1985.  She was living at the Jamaica Towers Nursing Home at the time of her death.  Her death certificate says she died of Terminal Arrhythmia along with Chronic Ischemic and Hypertensive Cardiac Disease which sounds like a heart attack brought on by high blood pressure and hardening of the arteries.

Services for Loretta were held at Marashio Funeral Home.  She was cremated and her remains are at Woodlawn Cemetery. 

I found out more about my great aunt Loretta while researching her for this blog post than I ever knew before.  She seems to have been a lovely lady.  I wish that I had met her.

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