Published in the April 20, 2017 edition.
WAKEFIELD — Surrounded by family, Annette Puglisi passed peacefully on Monday after a short period of failing health. If you asked her how she was at that final moment, and she was able to answer, she would say “fine, thank God” and raise both hands with fingers crossed. She was an amazing, loving person and will be dearly missed by family and friends.
Annette Rose Benedetto Puglisi, known lovingly as “Toonie,” was a lifelong Wakefield resident. Proudly raised in the “Gulch,” she was lucky to have grown up surrounded by her family and Benedetto cousins. Toonie took great pride in her Italian heritage and her hardy work ethic.
She always counted her blessings and put others first. She took pleasure in giving and being around family and friends. Although she may have stood out for her beauty, she was remembered for her love and kindness. You could never meet Toonie without her giving you a strong embrace and a loving smile.
Toonie was formerly married to the late Peter Puglisi. She is survived by her children, Barbara Nardone, Peter Puglisi and his wife Shelly; her grandchildren Michael Nardone, Keith Nardone, Joy Nardone, Anthony Puglisi and Michael Bontaitis, and 3 great grandchildren. She is also survived by a sister, Irene Lucy in Florida. Three siblings preceded her in death: Mary Fazio, Guarino Benedetto and Josephine D’Alessandro. She was the daughter of the late Camillo and Julia (Farricilli) Benedetto.
She is also survived by many loving nieces and nephews.
Toonie graduated from Wakefield High School in 1937 and was active in reunions as well as staying in touch with classmates, especially as they dwindled in numbers. She worked at Transitron in the early ‘60’s, then as a teller in the former Melrose Wakefield Trust where she stayed on through the transition to the Shawmut Bank. It was from there she retired in the late 80’s as the secretary to the vice president of the bank.
Her retirement was like every stage in her life: she relished it with enthusiasm and grace. Toonie kept active by daily walks, traveling and visiting with family, friends and enjoying simple day to day activities. She never took anything or anyone for granted and never looked back on her life with any regret. Toonie appreciated everything from a beautiful sky to a glass of wine.
Toonie may have left this world with few fancy possessions, but what she did leave us with is the standard in which she led her life. She always held her head up high and smiled no matter what was happening around her. She forgave easily, saw beauty in the simplest things, and loved and lived with grace, pride and understanding. We were rich to have had her in our lives and she truly was a success in her’s.
Her funeral service will be held in the McDonald Funeral Home, 19 Yale Ave., Wakefield on Monday at 11 a.m.
Visitation for relatives and friends will be held at the funeral home prior to the service from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.