Faustina all smiles on her 50th Anniversary!
Faustina Puleo
  • 101 years old
  • Date of birth: Jun 25, 1914
  • Place of birth:
    Johnsonburg, Pennsylvania, United States
  • Date of passing: Apr 11, 2016
  • Place of passing:
    Phoenix, Arizona, United States
"Always get up each day with a purpose" "Always learn to accept what you can't change and always forgive" Faustina's advice on how she lived so long.

This memorial website was created to clebrate the life of an incredible, Mom, Aunt, Grandmother, and friend, Faustina Puleo. She lived an incredible life full of the riches of love and family. She will never be forgotten by those she knew. She was one of a kind. Please help me to honor her and her amazing spirit by adding your own thoughts, pictures and memories. 

Memorial Tributes
This tribute was added by Gary Serago on 22nd September 2016

"I can remember the first time we met. I went to Mike's house as we were going on a bike ride in AZ. I got the feeling she was sizing me up trying to decide exactly what type of a person her son was going to be associating with. After a few meetings it was easy to see that I had been accepted into her family. It was such a treat to go there and receive a hug from her. Mike and I never went on a bike ride where we weren't told "you two be careful." She was a winner. She was a lady of prayer. She was a joy to talk with and to listen to her stories. She was full of wisdom and love. I am blessed to be able to say I knew Faustina Puleo, one great lady."

This tribute was added by Matthew Boyle on 9th August 2016

"I’m Matt Boyle, the son of Lisa and Ray Boyle, and Fau was my great, great aunt. We all called her Aunt Fau.

When Aunt Fau was in Virginia, we knew there was going to be some great family parties! We couldn’t wait to get over to my grandfather and grandmother, Anthony and Marlene Grimaldi’s, house and see her. We loved to witness her hilarious verbal jousting with our grandfather. She was like a powerful, wise force arriving from some other place and time. We didn’t really know where she was coming from and where she was leaving to, but we always expected her to come back next year…and indeed she did for many, many years.

As a teenager, I had the great privilege of losing money to her at the poker table. She used to say and do things at that poker table that had all my uncles and grandfather tearful with laughter. I distinctly remember an occasion when she bet rather high, so all the guys were angry with her. They complained and said, “Now why did you go and do that?!” And she replied coolly, “That’s to get the shoemakers out.” Well, we’ve probably said that at every poker game since.

Another striking thing was Aunt Fau’s health, vitality, and wisdom. Underneath all the funny quips and hilarity, she radiated a deep sense of gratitude for everything and sincerity towards everyone. I mean, everyone in the room with her could feel that. There was no question. We all benefited from her advice on how to live long and live well.

Thank you, Mike, for taking the time to write down so many details about her amazing life and for posting so many photos. I’m learning exciting things now about Aunt Fau that I never knew before. We will all miss her for sure, but she lives on in our hearts."

This tribute was added by Caitlin Barnes on 5th August 2016

"Aunt Fau was my grandfather's (Anthony Grimaldi) aunt. So Aunt Fau was my great, great aunt! I loved her visits to Virginia and hearing stories about our extended family, most of whom I never had the pleasure of meeting. We always got a laugh when people thought Fau was my grandpa's wife instead of his aunt. My grandpa was quite a jokester and quick on his feet with witty remarks. When Aunt Fau came to visit, I saw where he got that from! She was the only one who could dish it right back to him. It was very entertaining to witness conversations between the two of them. I am comforted to know that Aunt Fau now rests peacefully in heaven and is keeping my grandfather in line :) My heart goes out to your family during this time and I will keep you in my prayers.

Caitlin Barnes"

This tribute was added by Lisa Grimaldi Boyle on 4th August 2016

"Mike,
What a beautiful tribute to a truly beautiful woman.  I loved Aunt Fau remember her having such a wonderfully feisty personality.  Listening to her and my dad (Anthony Grimaldi) with their verbal sparring was quite entertaining.  Aunt Fau would always say to us, just before she left our house, "  I will be back next year, God willing."  We were blessed to have her in our lives for as long as we did.  Picture #55 is Aunt Fau with Kevin Boyle (my youngest son) and Emily Mattice (Shelley's youngest). When Aunt Fau came to visit each year, she would always  bring a handful of $2 bills to pass out to all the kids (7).  She looked wonderful for her age.  She told me that her beauty secret was using Ponds Cold Cream since she was young.  When we went out as a family to dinner, people thought that she was dad's wife.  :)  
Her love of family and the importance she put on family was admirable.  She worked very hard to stay connected to everyone.  She will be missed by many.
We would love to attend her celebration of life in September.
Ray, Lisa, Matt, Kevin Boyle and Caitlin and Ian Barnes
lbo2969@gmail.com"

This tribute was added by Shelley Grimaldi Mattice on 28th July 2016

"What an amazing woman.  We loved her visits to Virginia....we played poker, had cookouts, and shared many laughs.  She used to bring the kids $2 bills every visit and they still have them.  We were so sad when she could no longer make the trip. We will miss her dearly.  She is resting in heaven now, in the Lords arms with  loved ones, including my dad.  Mike, our deepest sympathies."

This tribute was added by Ricky Butler on 5th July 2016

"Mike. she seemed a wonderful person. I can see how kind she was.
and how much you loved her. I lost my mother May 24th. four days before her 82nd birthday.   my mom lived nearly more  20 years after a massive stroke, that robbed her of her ability to speak. like your mom. my mom was compassionate and had a strong will.  I too have mom's ashes in my hutch. deciding what to do with them.  bless you and Faustina."

This tribute was added by Mariano Puleo on 24th June 2016

"Today, June 25th, 2016 would have been my Mom's 102nd Birthday.

Her passing on April 11th, 2016 was something I had been prepared to expect for over a year, but its actual happening was much harder than I had ever imagined. It was a true blessing because for the last 6 months of her life she was in very ill health but the finality of it has taken a while to sink in which is why for many of you, this is the first you have heard of it.

I do apologize for the delay in telling everyone, but we all grieve in our own way and for me it's been hard the last two months because it doesn't seem true. Faustina was always invincible, she was bullet-proof, she was always there with her love, her smile and her wise advice, always there in my life the last 59 years and in many of yours. So to acknowledge her passing has been more of a challenge than I ever expected. There was no need to rush though so I didn't.  I wanted to honor her and her memory in a way that paid tribute to her incredible spirit and it's taken some time for me and her grandaughter Karyn to decide exactly what we wanted to do.

This tribute page going up on her birthday is the first step and through the wonders of technology a way for all the people whose lives she touched to participate and share their thoughts and stories.

Now, many of us know of Faustina's love of the telephone and that she would have wanted me to call each of you and have an hour long conversation. Well in time I may,  but in all honesty, calling all of you would have been very hard on me right now as the deep emotions of her passing have taken longer to subside than I expected. So for that reason, and a few others, a live celebration of her life won't take place until sometime in mid September in Erie. That will allow some more time to pass and for everyone who wishes to be there to attend and if they are unable they can post their thoughts here.

I traveled to Phoenix in April and retrieved Faustina's ashes as I honored her request to be cremated. She told me at least 50 times " Don't spend a bunch of money on me when I am dead " . She was always being practical and ever worried about how tough an actual funeral might be on those that loved her. So she is now happily residing on my shelf while I decide what to do with her ashes and I am happy to have her close to me again. She is free of her earthly body and free to roam and visit everyone.

My Mom was a superstar of a human being plain and simple. She was the toughest yet most compassionate person I have ever known. She faced a lot of adversity in her life starting in her childhood and living through the depression and two world wars. She had to wait 20 years in an Italian family before finally having a child. She beat breast cancer in 1994, a broken hip in 1999 and a heart attack in 2010. She stayed strong during my Dad's terminal illness all through 1991 and death in 1992, and my own near death experience in late 2005. Through all of these events she stayed strong, she prayed and she never let them dampen her enthusiasum for life or her faith in the future. She had a will to live that was as huge as her heart.

Though at times difficult, I had the honor and pleasure of  living under the same roof with her for over 20 years. My daughter Karyn grew up with her Grandma conveniently across the hall helping her through life and dispensing bits of wisdom for the first 18 years of her life. She lived long enough to watch Karyn get married which was no small feat for her at age 98 to fly from Phoenix to San Diego then drive 6 hours back. Karyn always wanted her Grandmother's diamond wedding ring from the time she was 10 years old, and my Mom was so proud to give it to her husband Vance in 2012 to propose to Karyn with. Karyn tells me that she thinks of her Grandma everyday when she wakes up and looks at that ring. I see my Mom's spirit in Karyn everyday single day and it is a fitting legacy.

In retrospect it was a rare privilege because no matter the circumstances she never complained and always looked for the positive side of things. That is a lesson that I will never forget. No one cared more selflessly about other people's well being more than my Mom. When I was young my Dad nicknamed her "Florence Nightingale"  because of how much she cared about others and was willing to do anything for them, even complete strangers. If more people in this world were like her there would be a lot less problems.

She loved all of her family deeply and would always want to be there to help out all the way into her mid 90's. She had more energy and mental toughness than 5 olympic marathoners put together. She was truly one of a kind and her passing leaves a big hole in my life and the lives of all those she loved through the years. Though I often thanked her in my 50's for all she had done for me in my life, I could never thank her enough for the great examples she set for me about how to adapt to tough circumstances, accept change, forgive, and care deeply about others.

When things got tough she got out her rosary beads and started praying. If my Mom didn't say at least 1 million Hail Mary's in her life I would be shocked. That was her special gift, her belief in prayer, her faith, it was a powerful force that I know touched many people in ways that they don't even realize.

Faustina was all about her family and friends and was fiercely committed to staying in touch with everyone no matter where she lived. Family was the most important thing in her life. I always admired her ability to consistently write and phone everyone and stay in touch. I did not inherit that ability and often was informed and in touch with all of you through her. I will try to do a better job of communicating with everyone in the future.

She was preceded in death in 1992 by my dad, Morrie, who she was married to for over 50 years and many many years before that by her brother John Galeazzo and sister Mary Grimaldi. Their children and grandchildren formed the core of Faustina's beloved family. Unfortunately, she was also preceded in death by her nephew Anthony Grimaldi in 2014 and by her beloved grand nephews Mark Galeazzo in 2008 and Stephen Galeazzo in 2015.

Besides Karyn, and her husband Vance Wappel, and myself, she is survived by her niece Nancy Souder and her husband Rick and her nephew John Galeazzo and his wife Susan. Her nephews, John Grimaldi and his wife Shirley, David Grimaldi and his wife Eve, and Anthony's wife Marlene and all their children and grand children. All of you were truly her children as much as I was, and she loved all of you deeply.  You all were the fuel that fed her spirit and the the core reason why in her 80's and early 90's she would head back east every summer on crowded planes and through busy airports just to see everyone. Family kept her alive all these years. Thank you to all of you who welcomed her, celebrated her, housed her, fed her, and drove her around. You all have no idea what those trips and all of you meant to her.

I want to publicly thank two women who actually shared a roof with my mom, living with her for years as my other half, my ex wife Kim who did for over 15 years and Laura Crandall. Thank you, I know it wasn't easy.

I also want to acknowledge and thank two women who played a very significant role in Faustina' s life and to whom she was very close to when we lived on Cottontail Lane in Peoria AZ, our neighbors, Ann Cookson and Janice Swiebocki. She treasured both of you.

There are countless others, both family and friends from a long life lived in many places, to talk about, acknowledge, and thank, and I will in the coming month as I recount Faustina's life on here and put up the many pictures that span her lifetime. I hope you will check back regularly and leave your own thoughts and pictures if you have them. Faustina always had room at her table for everyone, the more the merrier, so I hope you will all join in celebrating her life with me. Please leave a way for me to contact you or contact me with it so I can let you know the date of her live celebration in Erie in September.

Today, writing about her and getting all the pics I can up is my way of spending her birthday with her. The pictures are in somewhat chronological order early but then really at random. I plan to upload more each week for the next few weeks.  They will appear before the ones up now before I do to indicate they are new. Please feel free to add any additional pics if you have them

I chose the candle theme to honor her because from the time I was small she always lit a candle after church and said a prayer. So in her memory, light a candle and say a little prayer for someone you love. Thank you all for loving her and being in her life. It was an amazing journey.

Mike

June 25th,  2016


PO Box 593
West Haven, CT 06516
Mike.puleo@yahoo.com
475-235-7388"


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This memorial is administered by:

Mariano Puleo

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