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Rita A. (Sbuttoni) Tarantola
May 27, 1929 ~ November 18, 2023 (age 94) 94 Years Old
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Rita Tarantola of Brooklyn, NY and Columbus, NJ passed away on November 18, 2023. She was 94 years old.
Rita was born on May 27, 1929 in Brooklyn, the youngest child of four to Christina and Andrew Sbuttoni. Rita graduated from Fort Hamilton High School in Brooklyn. She married her high school sweetheart, James (Jimmy) Tarantola, in Brooklyn on January 27, 1951. They raised their four children in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, while Jimmy worked as a New York City police officer and Rita held legal secretary positions at a NYC law firm and was a bank teller at Chase Manhattan Bank. The couple moved to Homestead in Columbus, NJ in November 1988 to begin their retirement.
Rita thrived as a member of her community, serving on activity committees, rarely missing a Bingo night, and always knowing every step for line dancing on Friday nights.
A devout Catholic, Rita was a faithful member of her local parishes, volunteering her time to help others in need. For years, she took it upon herself to drive other members of her neighborhood to and from mass every Sunday.
Rita enjoyed the little things in life, like an Italian cookie dunked in tea, or a trip to Atlantic City to play the penny slots.
She and Jimmy were loving parents to their four children and remained happily married for almost 60 years until his death in March 2010. While he was alive, the couple loved to travel, taking annual trips to Woodloch Pines and vacationing to Lake Placid, Aruba, Italy, California, Canada, and the Grand Canyon, among other places.
Rita and Jimmy were committed to family and loved spending time with their grandchildren, taking pride in hosting family gatherings and never failing to send a card for every holiday. She made sure to make meals the way her grandchildren liked them, getting her chicken cutlets crispy and adding extra celery and carrots to her lentils for a special grandma touch.
She loved accessorizing her outfits, always adorning necklaces, earrings, and her signature red lip, and was proud of her two tattoos.
Her kind and loving demeanor is spoken about by all who knew her and she was immensely thankful for everyone in her life.
Rita’s family wants to thank all of her friends and neighbors near and far who are individually too numerous to mention for their care, kindness, and love shown to her over the years.
Rita is survived by her four children and their spouses: James Tarantola, Christine (Tarantola) Gattenio & husband Stephen Meadows, Robert & wife Donna Tarantola, and Barbara (Tarantola) Coscio & husband Jon Coscio; her six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren: Jennifer Tarantola, Michelle Gattenio, husband Christopher Hachey & daughter Nora Ri Hachey, Kristina (Coscio) Winslow & husband Aaron Winslow, Danielle Coscio & fiancé Austin Edelman, Beth Meadows, husband Nick Knapp & daughter Birdie Knapp, and Nate Meadows.
The viewing will be held on Friday, November 24th, from 4:00pm - 8:00pm at the Hamilton Brenna-Cellini Funeral Home, located at 2365 Whitehorse-Mercerville Road, Mercerville, NJ 08619.
A mass of Christian burial will be celebrated on Saturday, November 25th, at 10:00am at St. Gregory the Great Church at 4620 Nottingham Way, Hamilton Square, NJ 08690.
Burial will be held privately at Brigadier General William C. Doyle Memorial Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Rita’s memory to the Alzheimer’s Association at www.alz.org Please visit Rita's tribute page at www.brennacellinifuneralhomes.com