by Barbara Guarino Kruk

I remember the days when I would visit my grandmother Lucia and we would spend hours preparing, preserving and canning the wonderful array of vegetables from her garden. It was hard work but I knew that come the long winter months, well past the warm summer days, I would be treated to many delicious meals from these labors. Yet, more than just the promise of a great meal was the time spent with family. Like many, my roots were seeded in Italy. When people like my grandmother came to America, they carried little more than the traditions and memories of their beloved homeland. The simple act of preserving vegetables from the garden often became a life lesson. My grandmother would say “You see Bella, we worked very hard to plant the garden, God blessed it and made it grow; now we must not waste but preserve the fruits of our labor and the bounty from Heaven.”
Giuseppe DiGristina, eighty-six, died on August 11, 2016 after a valiant battle with his illness; he was from the same school of thought. He was a hardworking man who delighted in the bounty of the earth. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, and nature. He planted an extensive garden filled with vegetables and flowers. With his loving wife Josephine, and his devoted children, he would gather his family and they would preserve the bounty from his garden. Giuseppe not only grew his food, but also relished in its preparation. He prepared jars of tomatoes to have for Sunday pasta meals with the family. His pantry overflowed with the fruits of his garden. He became an accomplished cook and proudly incorporated his homegrown ingredients. To wash down all that delicious food, Giuseppe would fill their glasses with his home brewed wine.
Growing, preparing, preserving, and serving food is an act of love. It is with great pride that one presents a meal that was so lovingly created; from the soil to the table. Great care and attention went into all the ingredients to ensure a meal worthy of those he so loved. This preparation, so labor intensive, with care and patience, tending, weeding, and watering became the map of how he cared for his family. A loving husband of sixty-three years to his partner in life Josephine; a model of what a husband, father, and grandfather should be; all these things came from the earth and nurtured by God.
Giuseppe was blessed with a beautiful family of three adoring children, Maryanna, Frank, and Angelina. He was the proud grandpa of Joseph, Christopher, Nicole, John, and Jenna. This was his legacy and he loved every moment of time spent feeding his family with not only food, but with love.
He never forgot the traditions of his heritage and brought to his new home in America all the values and culture of generations past. He enjoyed the music of Italian singers like Jerry Vale and Perry Como. When the winters here on Long Island became too difficult, he found the warmth of Florida to be of his liking. For the past twenty-two years, he and his bride would return to Florida for the winter. They made many friends in this second home and his passing will leave a hole in many hearts.
Giuseppe Digristina, age 86, of Mastic Beach, went to his heavenly rest on August 11, 2016. He died at Good Shepherd Hospice in Port Jefferson surrounded by his loving family. Giuseppe was born in Italy. He became a member of the Bricklayers Union #1. His loving wife Josephine survives him. They have been married for the past sixty-three years. He was the devoted father of Maryanna Welter, Frank (Catherine) and Angelina (John) Mastronardo. His cherished grandchildren are Joseph, Christopher, Nicole, John, and Jenna. He was the beloved brother of Mina, Vincent, and Giovanni. Family and friends were welcomed at Roma Funeral Home in Shirley where Msgr. John Heinlein conducted a wake service. A Mass was offered at St. Jude’s RC Church and entombment took place at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Coram.

Wendell L. Hazen, age 75, of Shirley, lost a long battle with his illness and died peacefully at Bell Haven Center in Brookhaven on August 12, 2016. Wendell was born in Hopland, California. He had served honorably in the United States Marine Corps. He was a machinist in the aerospace industry. He loved to fish; was an accomplished artist, recently became interested in cooking, and was mastering the art of food preparation. He loved Harley Davidson motorcycles. He was the loving master to his canine companion Harley. In 2001, his beloved wife Cynthia passed away. His sons Robert (Robin) and David (Chris) survive him. He was the loving grandfather to April and Holly, and brother of Sandy and Barbara. Family and friends were welcomed at Roma Funeral Home in Shirley. Interment with military honors took place at Calverton National Cemetery.

Rosemarie Keating, age 73, of Manorville, passed away on August 4, 2016 in Westhampton. Rosemarie leaves behind her beloved sister Theresa and brothers George and John. Family and friends gathered at the funeral home. Service was officiated by Deacon Patrick LaBella. A private cremation followed. Funeral arrangements entrusted to Wesche Funeral Home Inc., Center Moriches.

Kevin Kelly, age 91, passed away on August 1, 2016. A WWII veteran in the US Navy, he went on to work and retired from General Motors in Freeport, NY. Visitation was held. A service was at the funeral home officiated by Deacon Patrick LaBella. Kevin leaves behind his cherished children Nancy, Veronica and Evelyn. He also leaves behind his cherished 11 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. Mr. Kelly was laid to rest with full military honors in Calverton National Cemetery with his wife Vera. Funeral arrangements entrusted to Wesche Funeral Home Inc., Center Moriches.

Joseph A. Lang, 57, of Mastic, died peacefully at Brookhaven Memorial Hospital on August 11, 2016. He was born in New York. Joseph was a field installer for the telecommunication company Globecom Systems. He enjoyed playing as well as coaching baseball, was NY Yankees fan, NY Jets fan, and was an avid reader especially James Patterson. He enjoyed the music of the Grateful Dead. He loved to go fishing. His faithful canine companion Jet will sorely miss him. His wife Maria with whom he had been married for the past thirty-six years survives him. He was the loving father to Danielle and great-grandfather to Braelyn. Also surviving is his cherished mother Lorraine Lang. Family and friends were received at Roma Funeral Home in Shirley. Cremation took place at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery in Center Moriches.

Eugene L. Martin, age 71, of Shirley, died at his residence on August 1, 2016, in the loving care of his family. Eugene was born in Port Jefferson, New York and was retired as the assistant manager of Rite Aide Pharmacy. He was a loving father and family man. He was quiet and enjoyed watching television, listening to the musical sounds of the 50s and looked forward to the weekly gathering of the family to play card games especially “May I”. His loving daughters Michelle Horstman, Diana Martin, and Leslie Hinchey survive him. He was the cherished grandfather of Macenna and Erin, and devoted son of Mary Martin and brother of Donald, Gary, Ailene Delaudio, and Cindy Martin. Cremation took place at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, Center Moriches. Funeral arrangements were entrusted to Roma Funeral Home in Shirley.

Filed in: Obituaries

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