A TASTE OF ITALY
by Barbara Guarino Kruk
As a mother, wife, and an Italian, my genetic predisposition is to feed people. Food, the art of preparing a meal, and the enjoyment of others, is comforting. Most cultures in the world regard the act of breaking bread one of the most essential forms of hospitality, even in those areas of the world that have little to share, bringing others to your table is a social event. It is not what you have cooked, but the sharing of home and hearth that dates back to prehistoric times that is important. When you share a meal with someone you build a bond.
Antonina Oddo was a loving and caring woman who, more than most, understood the importance of sharing her talents as a cook with others. Together with her beloved husband Onofrio they created a restaurant which many of the locals will remember as, The Leaning Tower of Pizza. The pizzeria/restaurant was a mecca for those seeking a delicious quality pizza, or other regional Italian fare. It was located just south of the railroad station in the shopping center.
Owning and operating a restaurant is hard work. Antonina and Onofrio worked twelve hour days, sometimes more, to bring the taste of their homeland to eastern Long Island, specifically to Shirley; there, side-by-side, they labored to introduce the cuisine of their heritage to their patrons. Soon, they developed a highly successful business. The Leaning Tower of Pizza became a favorite of the locals, especially of those who were of Italian descent, Good home style cooking, favorfully prepared by real Italians.
Together, as a family, parents and their two children, Joseph and Kathy, they worked hard to achieve the American dream. They taught their children the values of hard work and integrity. They never lost their love of their native Italy, but soon grew to love their new home in America.
A strong, beautiful, loving wife and mother, Antonina, held strong to her Catholic faith. It was this faith that got her through a long and difficult battle with her illness. It is this same faith that will bring her family through the hard times without her. Her daughter told me, “My Mom was very strict about keeping the restaurant clean. She kept everything spotless, at work and at home.”
Antonina Oddo will be remembered not just for her great cooking, but for her winning smile and beautiful heart.
Barbara Fehner, age, age 77, of East Moriches, passed away peacefully on October 11, 2016. She is survived by her husband William, her son Paul Fremgen, her daughters, Tamara Scott, Julie Dyer, and Stacy Fremgen, her brother Frank Webber, and sister Ivy Defontse. She also leaves behind ten grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Visitation was held at Sinnickson’s Moriches Funeral Home. Reverend Paula Romano held a prayer service at the funeral home during evening visitation. Interment was private.
Kathy Ann Hernandez, age 63, of Shirley, died at Brookhaven Memorial Hospital on October 7, 2016. Kathy was born in Queens, NY and was a field manager for Verizon Communication. She is survived by her son John, her grandchildren Sylvia, John Jr., and Katrina, Isaiah, Naquan, and Shon. She was the beloved sister of Mike and Linda Bullock. Kathy Ann’s entire life revolved around her children and grandchildren; they were the center of her world. She enjoyed being with family and friends. She had recently returned to Shirley after relocating six years ago to Georgia for her job. Family and friends were received at Roma Funeral Home in Shirley and wake prayers were conducted by St. Jude’s RC Church. Cremations services took place at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery.
Antonina Oddo, passed away peacefully at her residence in Mastic on October 9, 2016. Antonina was born in Italy and was the owner and chef at her family operated restaurant, The Leaning Town of Pizza in Shirley. She was a hard worker whose life was focused on her family and her business. She was a woman of great faith, excellent cook, loving wife, mother and grandmother. Antonina was very proud of her Italian heritage and tried to bring the taste of her country to her patrons. She was the loving wife of Onofrio, devoted mother of Joseph and Kathy. Family and friends were received at Roma Funeral Home in Shirley. A Mass was offered at St. Jude’s RC Church and interment took place at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery.