Evelyn Rita (Manganiello) Valanzola formerly of Braintree and Roxbury entered into Heaven surrounded by her family on December 2, 2021. She was 97 years young. Evelyn was born February 29,1924 in Roxbury to Italian immigrants Guglielmo and Emilia (Caggiano) Manganiello. Although she didn't know it, Evelyn was a fashionista and make-up artist of her time. She loved designing her own clothes and dressed with style and grace with hair and makeup that followed. She graduated in 1942 from Girls High School in Roxbury and received her degree in Fashion Design at Mass Art. Following graduation she worked as a bookkeeper for the Rust Craft Greeting Card Company.
Evelyn was the youngest girl in her family of 10 siblings. Her Mom died when she was eleven years old. She helped take care of the family and especially her Father.
She started a new chapter in her life as wife/homemaker when she got married. Over many years to follow her role included Mother to her four sons and a daughter. Many years later the title of Grandma was added. She loved being a Grandma. She was lovingly referred to as Grandma Rita by many. She taught her grandkids how to draw, paint, sew, cook and play piano. She cherished spending time with her family. Her handmade doll houses and paper furniture were always a hit with the kids.
Evelyn enjoyed gardening. She hung planters from an old swing set and turned an old grill into one big planter. She adorned planters with her hand painted lightbulbs. She was very creative like that. She brought life back to her worn kitchen floor by painting grape vines on it. She painted a garden mural on the back of an old door. Her many talents and imagination was endless.
Visits to her house meant you were leaving with a happy, full tummy. After the hugs and greetings she would always ask "did you eat?" As she was putting a pot on the stove. You were eating regardless.
She loved all animals and enjoyed watching and feeding the wildlife which include one long black snake. She was visited daily by one hungry squirrel she named Squeeky. She fed him peanut butter sandwiches which he accepted happily.
2/29/24 - 12/2/21 That one little dash represents her life of 97 years. She enjoyed great times throughout as well as having to endure the bad. Through it all she remained strong and always persevered. She was the strongest woman I know. I never realized all the blessings she bestowed upon me and sacrifices she made until many years later. I will never forget and forever will be grateful. Evelyn was religious her entire life. She always had the Catholic channel playing on her t.v. in the background. She would always remind us to send a donation to Father Reed. It's that very faith and devotion that carried her through life no matter what the circumstance.
Evelyn was predeceased by her former husband Louis E. Valanzola. She is survived by her five children: Robert, Edward, Louis, Gary, Paula and their spouses/significant others. Also, 11 grandchildren, 4 great grandchildren, several grand furbabies and many nieces and nephews.
She is also survived by one sister, Eleanor Vega.
Predeceased by her parents Guglielmo and Emilia Manganiello and her remaining siblings: Allessandro, Mary, Albert, Ernest, Nicholas, Mafalda, Viola and Guglielmo.
Visiting hours at the MacKinnon Funeral Home, 760 Washington Street, Whitman on Thursday, December 9, 4 - 8 pm. Relatives and friends invited to attend.
Funeral Mass on Friday, December 10 in Saint Francis of Assisi, 850 Washington Street, Braintree at 10:00 am.
Interment at Saint Michael Cemetery in Roslindale.