Kensington, MD — Carmella (Garfi) Cultraro, 93, of Kensington, Md., passed away peacefully on Friday, July 19, 2013, at the Rockville Nursing Home in Rockville, Md. Carmella, also known as Millie, was the wife of the late Concetto Cultraro.
Born in Haverhill on January 13, 1920, Carmella was the daughter of Italian immigrants, the late Salvatore and Virginia (Mauceri) Garfi. She was predeceased by her brothers, Salvatore, Horace and Amos Garfi; her sister, Antonette Murray; and her niece, Virginia Croteau. She is survived by her daughter, Constance Cultraro of Silver Spring, Md.; her niece, Janice Nutter of Belleville, Kan.; and her nephews, Frederick Murray of Moore, Okla., Donald Murray of Newburyport, and John Garfi of Groveland.
After graduation from Newburyport High School, Carmella began a career in customer service, first at J.J. Newberry then the New England Telephone Company, where she was employed for 25 years before retirement. In 1957, while traveling in Europe, she met her future husband, Concetto, in her mother’s hometown of Pachino, Sicily. They married a year later in Italy, made their home in the U.S., and raised their daughter in Seabrook Beach, N.H. Carmella was a member of the Seabrook Women’s Club. In 1980, the couple moved to Indian Harbour Beach, Fla., where Carmella lived a total of 24 years. Her husband, Concetto, passed away in 1997. She was a member of the Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church parish and one of the Crafty Ladies. In 2004, at the age of 84, Carmella moved to Kensington Park Retirement Community in Kensington, Md., allowing her to be closer to her daughter.
Carmella had a true zest for life, and she could always find something new to enjoy. She loved anything beach-related, especially walking the shoreline and swimming. An avid reader, she always had a book or two nearby. She was skilled in a wide array of crafts, especially needlepoint, embroidery and knitting. She had a real talent for sewing, making outfits for herself and her daughter, as well as items to decorate her home. She particularly enjoyed cooking and entertaining and was known for going a bit overboard with her homemade cookies and candies during the holidays. As a member of various organizations, she donated to charity, especially her handmade creations and bookkeeping skills. In her later years, she could be found either exercising, Wii or table bowling, or playing Bingo, blackjack, or Uno, and during her final, more sedentary days, it was visits from friends and family and her coveted movies that brought her joy.
No matter where she made her home, Carmella always kept a special place in her heart for her extended family and the northern New England coast. She treasured the times spent there with the family and when she could no longer travel, she so enjoyed when they came to her. It was during one such visit with her nephew John and his family that Carmella passed. One cannot help but think she waited for her family to be there with her and her daughter so she could make her graceful exit.
ARRANGEMENTS: A memorial service was held on July 21 at the Collins Funeral Home in Silver Spring, Md. In Newburyport, on August 24, a group of family and friends gathered for a Mass at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church followed by a dinner to celebrate her long and beautiful life. Her final farewell will be in Florida on November 15, with a Mass of Christian Burial at the Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church in Indialantic followed by interment at Florida Memorial Gardens in Rockledge, where she will be reunited with her husband, Concetto.
Memorial contributions may be made to Holy Name of Jesus Endowment Fund, 3050 Highway A1A, Indialantic, FL 32903 or Kensington Volunteer Fire Department, P.O. Box 222, Kensington, MD 20895.