Philomena “Flo” Catapano
February 5, 1931 - April7, 2021
Philomena “Flo” Catapano entered her eternal life at her home in Dunellen on April 7, 2021 with her grandchildren, Jamie, Kayla and Thomas, daughter, Andrea, sister, Yolanda and her great grandson AJ by her side.
Born in King’s District, Brooklyn, NY, to Italian immigrants Joseph and Mary (D’Adamo) Presuto, Philomena was the fourth oldest of six sisters. The family moved to North Plainfield in the 1940’s. and in 1955, she met the love of her life, James Catapano on a blind date while he was home from active duty. The two courted for a year as James served in the Korean War and Philomena waited for him. Upon his return, James proposed to Philomena on the wrap around porch of her family’s Victorian home. The two married on September 15, 1956 and lived in an apartment in Plainfield until settling into their home in Dunellen.
Philomena briefly worked in the offices at Walker and Turner in Plainfield until settling into her true calling as a housewife. She stayed active by raising her two children and maintaining the family home while James worked. Later, she went on to raise her eldest granddaughter and take care of her two youngest grandchildren. Philomena took joy and pride in having her grandchildren with her and even moreso, her great-grandson.
Philomena greatly enjoyed cooking, and was known for her famous meatballs, sauce and mashed potatoes (they couldn’t be lumpy) by her family. She often went on trips to Atlantic City, attending dinners and parties at the North Plainfield Italian American Club with her husband and taking day trips to the shore. She also liked to play cards, and many nights, her sisters, sisters-in laws and their husbands would get together for card nights. In her later years, she enjoyed telling stories to her grandchildren about her growing up.
Philomena is predeceased by her husband, James Catapano (2011), her sisters, Anne Herbst (2017), Marie Pelligrino (2019), and Rosie Molinari (2020), as well as her parents, Joseph (1978) and Mary (1945).
Surviving are her daughter, Andrea Alarca of North Fort Meyers, FL, son, Joseph Catapano and his spouse, Lisa, of Toms River, her grandchildren and caregivers, Jamie Webster, Thomas “TC” Hach and Kayla Miller of Dunellen, great-grandson, AJ “Beans” Webster of Dunellen, Jennifer Cintar, Katelyn Catapano, Joseph Catapano Jr, and Daniel Catapano of Toms River, her sisters, Yolanda Hummel of Mountanisde, Josephine Micioni of North Plainfield and several nieces and nephews.
She is now reunited with the love of life, her mama and papa and her three sisters. The family takes comfort in knowing they were waiting to welcome her at the gates of the casino in the clouds.
“A wife, a mother, a grandma too,
This is the legacy we have from you
You taught us love and how to fight
You gave us strength, you gave us might.
A stronger person would be hard to find,
And in your heart you were always kind.
You fought for us all in one way or another
Not just as a wife not just as a mother.
For all of us you gave your best
And now the time has come for you to rest.
So go in peace, you’ve earned your sleep,
Your love in our hearts we’ll eternally keep.”
-Legacy of Love (Author Unknown)
Friends may visit the family on Monday, April 12, 2021 from 9:30am-10:45am with a funeral mass to be celebrated at 11:00am at St. John The Evangelist Church in Dunellen. Entombment will follow at Holy Redeemer Cemetery in South Plainfield.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Philomena (Presuto) Catapano, please visit our floral store.