Filomena “Phyllis” M. Nicastro Mother, Homemaker Secretary, 88
Filomena "Phyllis" M. Nicastro, a resident of Nutley, NJ formerly of Newark, NJ entered into eternal rest on Saturday, March 28, 2020.
A Memorial Mass will be celebrated at a time and place to be determined at a later date. A private interment will take place in Gate of Heaven Cemetery, East Hanover, NJ. Arrangements are by the Megaro Memorial Home, Belleville, NJ.
Predeceased by her loving husband of 50 years, Gaetano “Tom” Nicastro, Phyllis is survived by their three children, Lisa, Fr. Tom (Parochial Vicar, St. Mary’s Church, Nutley, NJ) and Domenick, She is the sister of the late Carmella (Mildred) Colatrella and her husband John, the late Lorenzo (Lawrence) Miano and his wife Evelyn, sister in law to the late Stella and Nicholas DePalma, the late Jean and Settimeo DiDomenico, the late Diana Lombardi.
She is survived by her brother in law and sister in law Philip and Genevieve Nicastro, brother in law Pat Lombardi, several nieces, nephews, grandnieces and nephews.
Phyllis was born November 19, 1931 to her Italian Immigrant parents, the late Domenico and Anna (Maria Nicola, nee Liloia) Miano of the Province of Avellino, Italy, in her family home on Sussex Avenue, Newark, NJ. Later, her family moved to No. 11th Street, Newark. She attended Central Avenue Grammar School. Upon graduation, she attended Central High School and graduated with honors in 1950, at which time she completed a secretarial course. After high school, she was employed from 1950 - 1951 by Toner, Speakman and Crowley a law firm in Newark, NJ. Where she was a secretary for Mr. Speakman.
From February 1951 to October 1959, she was a statistical typist for Hartford Accident Indemnity Co., Newark, NJ. From January 1970 to June 1974. She was also a cashier for Caruso’s Super Market, Newark, NJ. Beginning in 1974 for a number of years, she worked for the Newark Board of Education at Abington Avenue School. She was a secretary to the principal and vice principal. She concluded her working career in 1994 after working for First Fidelity Bank, later Wachovia Bank, as a secretary to one of the vice presidents.
Although Phyllis worked over the years in various positions as a secretary/clerk/cashier, her most important role as a married woman was to be a great and successful mother. She believed in the words of the late First Lady, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, who said, “you only have one chance to raise your child”. “If you bungle raising your children, I don’t think whatever you do well matters very much.” That for her, said it all! She was not one to be in the forefront, the limelight, but Phyllis loved being a dedicated mother, a home maker who raised her children well. She loved them, supported them and taught them the necessities of life. In that, she succeeded by being a great homemaker and mother. “A mother is she who can take the place of all others, but whose place no one else can take.”
Prior to getting married, Phyllis was a member of the Xavier Club at St. Francis Xavier Church in Newark. It was a single person’s young adult Parish Organization.
She met her future husband Gaetano “Tom” Nicastro in the late 1950’s and they were married on March 29, 1959 at St. Francis Xavier Church, Newark. Gaetano, a Korean War Medic/Veteran, was the recipient of numerous medals including two Purple Hearts, the Bronze Star with valor and the coveted Silver Star for gallantry and bravery in action. .
Phyllis participated in her children’s school lunch program during their grammar school years. She was also a member of the Catholic War Veterans Women’s Auxiliary, Fr. Owens Memorial Post 1187 for many years.
Prior to her husband’s death in 2009, they were actively involved in a married couples club (The Golden Dozen) for 50 years with friends they grew up with.
On March 29, 2009, Phyllis and Tom celebrated 50 years of marriage and renewed their wedding vows at St. Lucy’s Church, Newark, NJ. She was a lifelong devotee of St. Gerard Maiella at the National Shrine in Newark, NJ, the parish of her Baptism. She was devoted to the Blessed Mother, her namesake “Filomena Maria”. Phyllis loved praying the rosary and later in life was a member of a home rosary group in North Caldwell, NJ.
Truly Phyllis will be greatly missed by her children and family. She gave them an example of true love, faith in God, respect, love of family and friends. She perpetuated and preserved her Italian Heritage by her cooking, baking and keeping all the beautiful Italian customs and traditions her immigrant parents instilled in her in the New World, America. She will forever be remembered for her sacrifices, generosity and integrity.
Donations in Filomena “Phyllis’ memory may be made to the National Shrine of St. Gerard at St. Lucy’s Church, Newark, NJ or St. Mary’s Church restoration fund in Nutley, NJ.