Antonio Iannetta

It is with great sadness that the family of Antonio Iannetta announces his passing on Thursday, August 20, 2020 at the age of 90 years. Antonio will be forever lovingly remembered by his loving wife of nearly 60 years,Yolanda (Via), by his children, Dr. Frank Iannetta (Kristine), Michelle Conway (Gregory), and Samuel Iannetta (Lara); his cherished grandchildren, Jessica (Nick), Antonio, Sam, Giuseppe, Crystal, William, Gretchen (John), Lauren, Gwen, Paola, Bianca, Juliana, and Giustina; his adored great grandson, James. He is also survived by his beloved brother, Mario, and his beloved sisters, Antonia, Maria, Lucia, Teresa, and Pierina. Antonio was preceded in death by his brothers, Arciero and Isidoro and his sisters, Giovannina and Elisa. A talented gardener, he has surely already started a new garden in Heaven.

Antonio was born in Vallemaio, Italy in 1930 to Ernesto and Michelina (Fortuna), one of eleven children. He served honorably in the Italian Army and was a decorated marksman with both rifle and bazooka. His childhood home was destroyed in the Battle of Montecassino during WWII. He traveled to America in 1956 and settled in Nutley before making his home in West Caldwell, where he and Yolanda raised their three wonderful children.

Antonio was not educated, in a traditional sense, but he was wise. Wise enough to marry Yolanda and squirrel away savings, sometimes working three jobs at a time. His weekly take home pay was so low that when he went to purchase 32 Marshall Street in 1966, the bankers, ready to reject his mortgage application, were surprised when he told them they were putting 50% of the purchase price down on the house.

Antonio's marriage with Yolanda was a true partnership. He grew the food. Yolanda cooked the food. He worked to support the house. Yolanda took care of the house and the children. Antonio turned over his full paycheck to Yolanda to do as she saw fit, knowing that his headstrong, independent wife would feel that they were equals.

He had high expectations for his children and didn't shy away from doing what was right in bringing them up. There was no spoiling. He worked and Yolanda was at home with the children doing the heavy lifting in terms of discipline. He supported her and trusted that she was capable. He took a more active role in his children's adult lives as well as his grandchildren, providing simple and clear advice. His children are successful, respectful, happy and loved, giving him a total of 13 grandchildren.

Antonio loved westerns. He related to the strong silent type of the heroes and mischievously admired the bar fights and shoot downs. Antonio was a man of few words. The first full conversation his son Sam had with Antonio was when he was 16 years old, after Sam rebuilt his father's carburetor, a skill Antonio didn't even know Sam had. Antonio was not a showman -- he was a doer with a motto "do it and let other people talk about it." He had a masculine charisma that attracted people to him.

Antonio was the second born of 11, and eldest male. He was a baby charmer. It was such a unique talent and often puzzled unexpecting parents. Some of the happiest pictures of Antonio are witnessed by his interactions with children, especially babies.

Antonio grew up in Italy amongst a very large family. Even though he only went back to "Italia" twice in the 64 years he has been in New Jersey, he is beloved by his family. Yolanda and his children realized this upon the amazing, strong welcome and hospitality of his loving sisters and brothers upon visiting them in San Giorgio a Liri, Rome, Florence and London -- where his heart, his oldest sister Antonia made her life.

Antonio loved the United States as much as Italy, and often wore Italian/American flag shirts that proudly displayed the countries of his life.

Antonio came to West Caldwell to be near his job at R&F Alloy Wire in Fairfield. "Tony" worked extremely hard for the owners of R&F, the wonderful Halloran Family. A loyal employee, he rose to the rank of being their right hand as wire supervisor. He retired from R&F in 1995.

Antonio loved 32 Marshall Street. He believed it was "the best place in the world" and had no intention of ever leaving it. Marshall Street was a magical place for his children to be raised. Sunday pasta suppers, Christmas Eve, lazy summer days hanging in the driveway. The "Mayor of Marshall Street," Tony was well-known and loved by his family and neighbors alike, who he happily greeted and supplied with eggplant, zucchini and tomatoes from his prolific garden. He was beloved by his neighbors, he was very fond of all of them and looked forward to working the yard and the garden, interacting with them whenever he could.

Antonio loved to garden. The soil of New Jersey, "the garden state", was very much like that of his beloved Italy. His capacity to do hard work was amazing. He worked that soil and protected that garden with everything in his power. Many a poor animal had the misfortune of a "show down" with Antonio. It could be that watching, guiding, investing and protecting, whether it be tomatoes, money or babies, was Antonio's greatest strength.

Visitation will be from 6:00 to 8:00PM on Wednesday, August 26, 2020 at Codey & Jones Funeral Home, 54 Roseland Ave, Caldwell, NJ. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Aloysius RC Church on Thursday, August 27, 2020 at 10:00AM, with Fr. Joseph Ferraro officiating. Interment will follow at Prospect Hill Cemetery in Caldwell, NJ.

To share a condolence with the family, visit codeyjonesfh.com. In lieu of flowers, those who desire may make memorial donations in memory of Antonio to the West Essex First Aid Squad, P.O. Box 662, West Caldwell, NJ 07007 (westessexfas.org/donate/)