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Emily Leatrice Serrapede
Birth: Apr. 18, 1931
Coney Island
Kings County (Brooklyn)
New York, USA
Death: Jun. 29, 2011
Kings County (Brooklyn)
New York, USA

Emily was named after her paternal Grandmother, Emilia (nee Pappalardo)Serrapede. Her middle name, Leatrice, was in honor of her maternal Grandmother Letizia (nee Scotti) Muro.

Emily grew up in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn in the company of her first cousins, Rita Errico, and the D'Agosta sisters Lillian, Martha and Emilia. In 1947 she began dating Frank J. Torregrossa after her best friend Alma matched them up through a blind date.

Frank and Emily were married on May 6, 1950 at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. After the birth of a daughter (1953) and son (1957) Frank and Emily experienced ongoing money problems and personal differences. This led to divorce in 1980. Emily changed her surname back to her maiden name during the divorce process.

After graduating from Bay Ridge High School in January 1948 with a Commercial Diploma, Emily worked as Secretary and Office Manager at The Law Firm of Charles Graham (a/k/a Charles Goldsmith). She continued to work after her marriage until late 1952. A very ambitious woman Emily returned to the workforce in 1965. After attending night classes at New Utrecht High School to update her secretarial skills, she obtained a job as Executive Secretary at European American Bank in 1973. During this time she also attended classes on banking and business writing at the American Institute of Banking.

The job Emily loved best during her long career in the branch banking system came in 1985 when she worked as Head Secretary at Natwest Bank's Williamsburgh Branch in Brooklyn, N.Y. She enjoyed working with Mr. Willie Nelson, the Branch Manager, on many customer service and community outreach initiatives. When the head office restructured the branch in 1991, Emily decided to accept an early retirement package.

In her quiet time, Emily enjoyed reading books about Henry The Eighth and The Reformation. Her other interests included collecting Limoges miniatures, porcelain dolls, music boxes, snow globes, and trinkets which she displayed in her curio cabinet. She also loved sharing her life with her companion birds.

Emily started and ended each day with the prayers she loved the most from The Book of Common Prayer along with Psalms and verses from The King James Bible. Her favorite scriptural verses were Luke 1:46, "My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour." and Isaiah 30:15, "In silence and hope shall be your strength."

In 2007 Emily was diagnosed with Parkinsonism and Dementia. She became a resident at Lutheran Agustana where she received excellent treatment that added four more years of quality time to her life.

Emily passed away in her sleep on the morning of June 29, 2011. A memorial service was held at Crestwood Memorial Chapel two weeks later. At her request the ashes and feathers of her birds were added to the urn in which her cremains were placed. They are at rest in the beautiful Garden of Peace at Pinelawn Cemetery, near a large fountain and a magnolia tree.

Emily's daughter arranged for the Gregorian Masses to be said for the repose of Emily's spirit during the month of September, 2011. The masses were conducted by the Franciscan Friars, TOR of Loretto, Pennsylvania.

Bio Updated: 10/6/2014.

Memorials to Emily Leatrice's Feathered Friends are at:

Petey Serrapede
Gretta
Jade Joy
Ming Toy
Noel Mon Ami
Merry Victoria
Harry Christian
Baby Joy
Baby Spike

Sources: Birth Certificate and Death Certificate for Emily L. Serrapede.
Divorce papers for Emily L. Serrapede and Frank J. Torregrossa.
Marriage License for Frank J. Torregrossa and Emily L. Serrapede.
Page from 1948 Bay Ridge High School Yearbook, provided with the kind assistance by The Friends of Bay Ridge High School.
Wedding Thank You Cards for Frank and Emily Torregrossa, May 6, 1950.
Various resumes and records of employment kept in personal file of Emily L. Serrapede. 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Sabato Serrapede (1900 - 2002)
  Josephine Muro Serrapede (1909 - 1995)
 
 Spouse:
  Frank Jesse Torregrossa (1927 - 2007)*
 
 Sibling:
  Emily Leatrice Serrapede (1931 - 2011)
  Gerald (Child) Serrapede (1938 - 1941)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Inscription:
Always in our hearts
Emily L. Serrapede
April 18, 1931-June 29, 2011
 
Note: The plaque on Emily's gravesite contains her maiden surname, Serrapede.
 
Burial:
Pinelawn Memorial Park
Farmingdale
Suffolk County
New York, USA
Plot: Lawn Crypt 19 Plot A Range 6 Block 1 Section 70, Garden of Peace, Alfred D. Locke Division
 
Created by: EmilyAnn Frances May
Record added: Mar 26, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 107356996
Emily Leatrice Serrapede
Added by: EmilyAnn Frances May
 
Emily Leatrice Serrapede
Added by: EmilyAnn Frances May
 
Emily Leatrice Serrapede
Added by: EmilyAnn Frances May
 
 
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- Neil B (John 3:16)
 Added: Oct. 19, 2014
SUNDAY ROSES FOR A VERY BEATIFUL LADY
- FROM OUR HEARTS
 Added: Oct. 19, 2014

- Renee' in SLC
 Added: Oct. 19, 2014
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This page is sponsored by: EmilyAnn Frances May

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