Lucretia Gammariello was born on April 9, 1936 in Corato, Italy. She was the third child of Tony and Nunzia Zaza. On Dec. 15, 1956 Lucretia married Albert Gammariello and moved to Rochester, New York. In Italy Lucretia was a professional seamstress and became one in the United States as well. Lucretia and Albert had three sons in Rochester, Joseph, Anthony and Frank, and a fourth son, Robert, while living in Highland Park, CA. Lucretia was very proud of her sons. In 1983, Lucretia, understanding the importance of a good education, received her high school diploma from Clovis Unified. In 1989, Albert and Lucretia threw their 4 sons a huge party at the Del Webb in Fresno, to honor them for receiving their college degrees.
Lucretia was involved in her community and volunteered at The Blind Center in Fresno and was a member with Albert of the Knights of Columbus, Moose Lodge, Elks and Italian Catholic Federation.
Besides being a mother, Lucretia’s greatest pride came on October 8th, 1986. On this day she became a grandmother, but would forever be lovingly called “Nonnie” by her 9 grandchildren.
When the first 2 grandchildren moved to Simi Valley, so did Lu and Albert. Simi Valley quickly became home and Lu and Albert could be found cooking dinners for the Knights of Columbus on many nights.
Soon, Lucretia would become the head of the Saint Rose of Lima homeless shelter dinners where she would organize, cook, serve meals and clean up. Her love of cooking and her love of God and to do His work shone brightly at these meals. Her husband and friends were like a mighty army making sure that everyone had a hot, tasty meal. At these events Lucretia would get her family involved and taught them all the importance of taking care of their community. Many grandchildren helped with the clean up, and some would become involved in their own community homeless shelters.
Lucretia’s love of God and family would forever be her fondest career. Lucretia would cook dinner at least twice a month for family (and any extra guests that might arrive). Her table would be full of the finest and most delicious Italian food. Lucretia enjoyed cooking and loved to cook and bake with her grandchildren. The more grandchildren helping, meant more chocolate chip cookies! A full dinner table was definitely a joy for her. Lucretia cooked many large meals to honor her grandchildren, too. It could be for a birthday party, a graduation, a scouting Eagle Court of Honor or any other celebration and she would make sure to have more than enough food. Lu also enjoyed teaching her granddaughters how to sew. Her trade was used often to fix a hem, make a dress, pajamas, curtains, wedding dresses and the list goes on. But she enjoyed teaching the girls the basics of sewing.
Lu had many friends and enjoyed craft nights with friends, playing dominoes and bunco with friends, and the Senior Center where she painted and did ceramics.
Lucretia is preceeded in death by her parents, Tony and Nunzia Zaza; her husband Albert Gammariello; her siblings Julia DiFrenza, Guisseppi (brother) and Rosa (sister-in-law) Zaza, and Domonic DiBartolomeo (brother-in-law).
Lucretia is survived by her brother, Vincenzo Zaza and sister-in-law Shirley Zaza; sister, Dora DiBartolomeo, four sons and daughters-in-law, Joseph and Terri, Anthony and Ligia, Frank and Paula, and Robert and Anne; her 9 grandchildren Michael, Matthew, Courtney Vitanza, Analise, Joshua, Paul, Robert, Elizabeth and Sophie Gammariello, as well as their spouses Katie, Rebecca Post, Emily and Will Vitanza; and many nieces and nephews.