Pick-A-Pop Memorial

When someone you love becomes a memory,
          the memory becomes a treasure.......

Previously Picked Pops:

"Nap" (John) Napurano, "Bill" (William) Ingenito, "Pep" (Joseph) Cervone and "Bill" (William) Mitterando

To add a Memorial or Tribute email: irene@mitterando.com

Memorials and Tributes to Our Dads

Joseph Mitterando

I would like to nominate and vote for my father, Joseph Mitterando. Unfortunately, he never got the opportunity to enjoy this family gathering.

All who were Blessed enough to know him realize that if he were with us still, he would have been a major part of the joy and love that this gathering represents.

As loving, caring, gentle (yet strong), and TOLERANT of a man he was, he, of all of we Mitterandos at least deserves the recognition of this nomination and MY vote!

In my eyes, he was the BEST DAD any child could ask for. He was, and still is, a role model for many of us Dads. In my heart, Joseph, Joe, AKA "Gumdrops" Mitterando will be my Father of the Year every year; but should be our family's at least once! Kenneth Joseph Mitterando

Uncle Charlie Ceo

To The Committee,
As I read the names on the trophy for "Father Of The Year", missing is the name of the person who spent so much time with me during all my teenage years.

Driving lessons, little league games...trips...late nite discussions.
The devils advocate!!
Although he's been gone for quite a few years, his memory always brings a warm feeling into my heart.

It is an honor for me to nominate my "Uncle Charlie Ceo".

Pep Cervone

The dictionary meaning of "pep" is "to bring energy or liveliness; to invigorate and inspire. My dad, "Pep" Cervone, couldn't physically exhibit energy or liveliness, but expressively was able "to bring energy, to invigorate and inspire" all those who knew him. Pep never told anyone what to do, but when asked, he communicated guidance and incredible insight.

We all know Pep was energized and invigorated by the blackjack tables in Atlantic City, and so willingly chauffeured anyone to A.C. who also was inspired (a/k/a obsessed) by that pastime. He was devoted to the church and in return was blessed with a circle of friends that included priests and laypeople, many of whom just happened to share his "enthusiasm" for A.C.

But, the real love of his life was his family. Pep hobbled anywhere to be with his family. I don't think any of us understood the pain he was constantly in because he never let that interfere with his family. Everyday he drove us here and picked us up from there, and would do the same thing all over again the next day.

He is missed everyday, but have come to realize that because of "Pep", we have all been inspired "to bring energy and liveliness" into our lives.


Pep was one in a million!
He was a gentle, humble man with a deep devotion to our family. He made many sacrifices so that all ten of us could attend Catholic school.

Pep was a hard worker and a great provider. He worked long hours in the deli and many times he even worked on Sundays. Somehow, he managed to get away and attend all of our school and outside activities. He would also chauffeur us (as well as our friends) back and forth to little league games, girl scouts, concerts and Battle of the Bands. He never said no to any of our transportation requests! It seemed as if he spent half of his life driving us places and the other half making potato salad!

Pep had so many wonderful qualities. He was kind, unselfish, patient, loving and thoughtful. His only downfall was blackjack. However, to our amazement, he did leave the casino in AC to attend Mass. He never missed daily Mass. Now, that's devotion! 

Pep was very generous. He extended grocery credit to the neighborhood and supplied the Church Rectory with weekly groceries. He was a proud man who refused help, yet he helped everyone!

Pep had tremendous faith and the religious community was always our extended family. There were always priests and monsignors at our house for dinner. To this day we still have this close contact.

For as long as I can remember, Pep was in pain. He had so many ailments, injuries and medical conditions. Yet he never complained. He never let his pain or discomfort stop him from driving miles to attend family gatherings. I believe that his spiritual strength helped him deal with his constant pain.

Pep was a wonderful father, who is missed more and more each day!
Pep was truly one in a million!

#1 Daughter



Bill Ingenito

A Tribute to our Dad William (Bill) Ingenito

We have to wonder now what most folks must have thought about the quiet, serious guy we remember as our Dad. Those who remember him, likely think of him sitting in his khaki work clothes on Quimby Avenue in the Bronx tending his tomatoes, grape vine and enjoying his beer in the back yard that he loved so much. He really was quite a simple guy. Dad was tough to get a laugh out of, not too interested in politics, movies or gossip. Sun bronzed with a perpetual tan and blessed with a thick head of hair, he walked a little hunched over and with a limp. You could spend pretty much an entire afternoon with our Dad and not engage in more than a few brief exchanges about work, food and family. Every holiday and special occasion was marked by the food we ate. We never had some of the luxuries like color TV or stereo, but we always had the best steaks and quality food on our table. Dad loved the Mitterando family and actually said that Grandma Navin was the best Italian cook he ever knew. We hope that Grandma Ingenito wasn't in hearing distance of that. Here are a few facts that made our Dad the man he was:

Berlino Angelo Ingenito was born in Sarno Salerno Italy in October of 1910. At the age of 5 he came to America via Ellis Island with his family for a better life. While in school his teacher changed his first name to William to make it easier to pronounce. He was the oldest son who quit school in the sixth grade to work and help provide for his family. Times were tough and even when falling into a creek in the dead of winter with a bag of coal on his back, he refused to let the bag go and not come home without a source of heat for his family. In order to get a job as a truck driver, he lied about his age and began driving at 14.

Dad loved his Italian roots, yet he was a devout American patriot who enlisted in the army at the age of 31 after the attack of Pearl Harbor. This forever changed his life. In letters sent back home he would inform his family that everything was SWELL and not to worry. He was very proud of his war service and like so many others of his generation, never discussed how difficult life was during the war. Only a few funny stories and his inventions to make life more normal were told. He built a netted cage for storing his salami and cheeses that "Mamma" would mail to him. The cage hung from a can of kerosene to protect his food from the insects. His dog tags were wrapped in a slice of rubber hose from a nearby jeep to silence the tags and allow him to move about without being heard by the enemy. While away there were many changes; including the birth of his niece MaryAnn and the death of his father.

The next change came when our Dad met our mother, Dolly, while washing his car. Dad’s road trips to Florida in his snazzy white suits and new fancy car came to an end, and raising children began.

Dad was a strong man with the highest tolerance for pain. He never really complained about much; not when he lost his eye, when a dirty job needed to be done, or when he had to have his hips replaced which caused him terrible pain until after his retirement. Bill never missed a day of work unless due to the weather his entire life. The doctor told us that with the shape of his bones and arteries, he couldn’t believe he could walk, let alone go to work outside everyday. Our brother Bill recalls being scolded by Dad for running a yellow light while rushing him to the hospital during a kidney stone attack. “Do you wanna get a ticket… slow down!” he bellowed. Another time brother Bill dropped a heavy crow bar on Dad’s foot after our Dad warned many times not to leave it leaning where it could slip and injure someone. Of course the sharp claw at the end found its way straight through Dad’s work boot and deep into his foot. Without flinching he glanced at his son, than up to the heavens with a look that spoke volumes. “Do you think you can drive me to the emergency room?” was all he said. Brother Bill didn’t realize it back then, but now there is no wondering what Dad would say to do in a particular situation; he just feels it. They didn’t see eye to eye on most things and Brother Bill is sure that he caused at least a few of the lines on Dad’s wrinkled forehead. Dad seems pretty smart to Brother Bill now (funny how that happened) and doesn’t remember when. Billy Boy worried in the beginning that his memory of Dad would fade. It hasn’t though and never will because Dad’s memory is etched deeply in all of us. It’s been quite a few years since our Dad has been gone. A lot of things have changed. A whole generation has come along who never knew Uncle Bill, yet many may remember:

  • How with one eye, shot the dot in the letter (i) out of a Pepsi can
  • How he could pack a trunk like nobody could and maneuver a large piece of furniture through a small and twisted hallway
  • How he took Dale's egg white cake that never rose out of the garbage and hung it on the kitchen wall as a piece of art for months
  • When he kept a deer's leg on the top of the refrigerator. He thought it was very funny!
  • The stash of pigs feet and pigs knuckles in the refrigerator
  • That he kept chocolates in the fridge that were off limits to us
  • How he loved his mother and that she walked on water
  • That he named his boom trucks after all of us kids
  • How he loved the cemetery business and set the first stone in the new section of St. Raymond's
  • That he knew everything about the Lindbergh baby kidnapping and how they passed the ransom money through the gates of St. Raymond's Cemetery
  • That he went along with most of the crazy ideas our Mom, Dolly, had - Dad so traditional and Mom who danced to the beat of her own drum
  • When he was almost arrested for bigamy. Another man named Bill Ingenito married a second woman. The cops found Dad at the Paradise Inn and were going to arrest him until the wife showed up and told the cops that he wasn't her husband
  • When he wound up on a party line with Anthony of Little Anthony and the Imperials. Little Anthony swore that Dad was living with his girlfriend and threatened to kill him. It wasn't until the operator did the research and found that the telephone lines were crossed, that Little Anthony finally realized that Dad wasn't going after his wife

Dad was unbelievably dependable and you could count on him no matter what. He never had a bad word to say about anyone. Not when people borrowed money and couldn't repay it or even cheated him. He was a proud man in not a flashy way, but a humble way. He never bragged about anything other than maybe his kids. He taught us that we were no better than anyone else and no one was ever better than we were. Dad was a man of few words, yet had a way of making us feel special and always loved. He was a good grandfather to Craig and Laura, and even got to see his third grandchild, Jaclyn, born a few months before he died.

Our Dad, Bill Ingenito, passed away in November of 1984 - just months after receiving the special honor of the Mitterando family Father of the Year. This was one of the last high points of his life and one that we will always be grateful for. It was with great love, pride and admiration that the current Father of the Year trophy was donated by our brother, Bill, in remembrance of our father, Bill Ingenito. That trophy symbolizes the love, pride and admiration given to all the deserving and special Mitterando fathers in the present, past and future for many generations to come.

Laurie, Dale, Bill & Robin