Nicoletta Capetola

Obituary image for Nicoletta Capetola

Nicoletta Capetola

December 30, 1930 – December 9, 2023

Nicoletta Capetola, known to many as Nicky, passed away on Saturday, December 9, 2023 in Yonkers, New York. She was 92 years old. Nicoletta was born to Rachele Marrongeli Micucci in Rapino, a small town in Abruzzo, Italy. Raised by a single mother with limited means, Nicoletta was independent and resourceful. She would search for cherry and fig trees in summer and olive trees in fall, later recounting these experiences to her granddaughters as the stories of “Little Rosina.” On January 31, 1948, she married Giovanni Capetola. They were married for over 75 years and had three daughters: Pierina, Rachele, and Rosa Maria; four granddaughters; and five great grandchildren.

In the summer of 1951, a few years after marrying Giovanni and having their first daughter, Nicoletta made the brave decision to leave Italy for the United States to forge a better life for her family. She and her younger brother Roberto left Italy on a ship called the Contebianco Mano, with the rest of her family to follow a year later. They settled in the Bronx, New York. Life in New York was very difficult at first, with Nicoletta and Giovanni working hard to learn the English language, build a community, earn a living, and provide opportunities for their daughters. Nicoletta was strong and determined, guided by her signature feisty spirit.

Eventually, Nicoletta and Giovanni were able to buy their own home in New York and later, build a house in Abruzzo. Nicky also had the opportunity to travel, with some of her favorite trips being to Lourdes, France and Portugal. Perhaps her least favorite trip was an adventure to Greece that involved an overnight ferry ride across a choppy Ionian Sea. For as long as her granddaughters can remember, every spring and fall, Grandma Nicky would spend what felt like an eternity in Italy. A true shopper with impeccable taste, she would always return with trend-setting presents and a suitcase full of fresh olive oil, polenta, and pizelle cookies.

In addition to having flawless style-with her gold earrings, detailed sweater sets, colorful scarves, and oversized sunglasses-Nicky was a great cook, known for her stuffed squid and veal cutlet on Christmas Eve and fresh-from-the-garden tomato sauce and ciambotta in summer. She was good at bocce ball and would always play with green. She also rarely lost a card game (Italian or American cards) and would flaunt her wins. A charismatic extrovert with sparkly green eyes, she was widely beloved and had many friends who were like family.

Nicoletta will be greatly missed by her husband Giovanni; daughters Perry, Rachele, and Rosa; son-in-law Steve; granddaughters Melissa and her husband Ed, Corinne and her husband Joe, Christine, and Laura and her husband Mike; great grandsons Andrew, Bradley, and Nicholas; great granddaughters Sarah and Alice; and close friend Lana, who was like a fourth daughter to her. She will also be missed by extended family and friends in the United States and Italy.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Nicoletta’s memory can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.

The family will be present on Wednesday, December 13th from 3:00 – 7:00 PM at Ruggiero & Sons, Inc. Funeral Home & Cremation Services – 732 Yonkers Avenue, Yonkers, NY 10704. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Thursday, December 14th at 10:30 AM at St. John the Baptist Church, 670 Yonkers Avenue, Yonkers, NY 10704. Following the Mass, Nicoletta will be laid to rest at Woodlawn Cemetery – E. 233rd Street & Webster Avenue – Bronx, NY 10470.

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