Barbara Ann Angello passed away on November 30, 2022, at the age of 92. Barbara had a loving and fulfilling fifty-four-year marriage to Joseph Angello, who passed away in 2004. She is survived by children Barbara Coles, Angie Smith, Joseph Angello Jr., and Matt Angello, and by son-in-law Ralph Smith and daughters-in-law Susan Angello and Debbie Angello. She is also survived by seven grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren.
In accordance with her wishes, Barbara’s cremains will be interred alongside her beloved husband at Grandview Cemetery. Family and friends are invited to gather at the Frank Duca Funeral Home, Westmont Chapel, 1622 Menoher Blvd., on Saturday, June 10, from 12:00 to 1:30 pm. Her memorial service will start at 1:30 pm at the Funeral Home, followed by a procession and interment at Grandview Cemetery. Please join us for this farewell.
Barbara had a joyful spirit that was contagious. A key part of her joyous approach to life was her inherent toughness. She simply refused to allow her circumstances, no matter how trying, to get her down. She lit up any room and could make friends effortlessly. She always made visitors feel welcome and at home. She was easy to talk to and fun to be around.
The things a person loves define who that person is or was. Barbara loved working outside. She loved making things, from clothing to car seat covers to doll houses, and perhaps most importantly, food for family and friends. Her sheet apple pies and spaghetti dinners were legendary. She loved black coffee, oatmeal, and crossword puzzles. She loved pinochle, slot machines, and bingo. She loved casinos and comps. She loved garage sales, thrift shops, swap meets, and big box stores, especially the ones that offered food samples. She loved scary movies. She loved Rawhide and Little House on the Prairie. She loved having her children comb her hair, for which she always promised to pay them a nickel. When asked recently what her happiest memories were as she looked back over her life, without the least hesitation, she answered that the times she gave birth were her happiest memories. She loved all babies and young children, and, whenever she happened to meet them, would shower them with the warmth of her smiles, exaggerated expressions, and soft voice.
Barbara loved to sing, with others or solo, and she had a beautiful voice. When she was in first grade, the Nuns of her catholic grade school asked Barbara to “sing the children into school” for the first several weeks after their return from summer break. She would stand next to the Sister outside the front school door, singing loud and proud as her classmates entered the building. Barbara sang all her life, from Catholic church choirs to her retirement community, where she was loved and valued for her beautiful voice and for knowing all the words to every song.
Barbara loved life, and life, in turn, loved her. More than anything else, she loved her family.
Barbara was also talented, strong-willed, and determined. She decided to work outside of the home at a time when society frowned upon such activities. While her children were in school, Barbara realized that she could leverage her considerable skills as a seamstress at the Bestform clothing plant in Johnstown. She did well at her job, and was promoted repeatedly to various supervisory positions there. Barbara then decided, in her early forties, to go back to school to become a license practical nurse. She excelled in her studies, and graduated with honors from the nursing program.
Barbara only worked for a short time as a nurse since she and the family decided to move out of their beautiful home in Ferndale to an abandoned 160 acre “farm” in Armagh surrounded by beautiful woods and new challenges.
Some of our favorite memories of her super woman feats at the Armagh home:
Mowing several acres of grass in their front lawn, literally “running the wheels off” her Briggs & Stratton lawn lawnmower to create a beautiful lawn and mini-park
Chipping a three-foot trench by hand chisel and hammer through a ten-inch thick reinforced concrete slab in the old barn to transform it into a comfortable and beautiful home
Standing up and fanning out shale from the back of their ’62 Jeep Willys pickup truck on their impossibly steep and heavily rutted driveway to make it passable in the rain and snow.
After her husband Joe retired from Bethlehem Steel, they decide to move to Las Vegas, Nevada to enjoy the sunshine, entertainment, and proximity to her three children that were all living in Los Angeles at the time. True to form, Barbara was outside painting their first Las Vegas home with her husband Joe when she fell off a ladder and broke her hip. When Joe came to help her get up, she assured him she would be OK if she could just go take a hot shower, which she proceeded to do. When she finally got to the hospital, and explained what had happened, the administrator mistakenly tried to file a workman’s comp case for her. Despite her pain, she had a good laugh about that. If that isn’t a prime example of joy through inherent toughness, nothing is.
No one can deny that Barbara had to bear many sorrows and struggles during her long life. These ranged from the deaths of two infant children, the deaths of her parents (Bert and Ida Rosenbaum) and her in-laws, the deaths of three brothers and five sisters, and the death of her beloved husband of fifty-four years after suffering the devasting impacts of Alzheimer’s disease. She also endured her own health challenges, including a broken back, breast cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis, and broken hips.
Yet despite the sorrows and struggles, she never saw herself, nor allowed herself to be seen, as a tragic figure. In the last two decades of her life, after her beloved Joe died, she rose to the challenge of living alone, remaining largely self-sufficient until her final year.
While death has denied us the comfort of her physical presence, we can still take some solace in our happy memories of her. It now falls to us to preserve her legacy and ensure that our memories of her continue as a living presence in our lives.
She sure would have had a good laugh if she knew we had concluded her obituary with one of her favorite phrases: “That’s it, Fort Pitt.”
In lieu of flowers, please make any donations to the Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada,1501 Las Vegas Boulevard, North Las Vegas, NV 89101 in the memory of Barbara Angello. The charity can also be found on the web at https://www.catholiccharities.com/monetary-giving/donate
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