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Fannie D'Elia, the "Macaroni Lady" turns 107
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Fannie D'Elia, the "Macaroni Lady" of Jersey City, turns 107

Monday, February 22, 2010
MICHAEL COHEN
JOURNAL STAFF WRITER

"The Macaroni Lady" of Jersey City gave up her macaroni business two years ago. At the age of 105, she figured it was time.

A year later, Fannie D'Elia moved into the Saint Ann's Home on Bergen Ave, leaving the residence of her 87-year-old son George and his wife because she didn't want to "take up too much of his time." D'Elia said she wanted to take care of herself.

On Feb. 10 of this year, D'Elia turned 107. She only recently started using a cane. Born in 1903 in Stockton, New Jersey, D'Elia was one of seven children. She attended a one room classroom through eighth grade. When she was 18, her brother brought home a fellow World War I soldier. D'Elia fell in love with him.

Frank D'Elia married Fannie, and the two moved to Jersey City. Their sons - George and Frank Jr. - both fought in World War II, before returning home to raise their own families.

George, 87, is the older son. Frank, 85, lives in Philadelphia.

"I loved living in Jersey City," said Fannie D'Elia. "I raised my boys here, I worked here, it was nice."

D'Elia worked at one of ten macaroni shops in Bayonne. One day the owner decided to sell one of the shops.

D'Elia named her shop La Rinascente, which means newborn in Italian. D'Elia sold various pastas and whipped up incredible sauces.

"The children would look at their parents and say 'There's the Macaroni Lady' when they saw me," D'Elia recalled. Thus a nickname was born.

In 2008, D'Elia closed up shop. "I thought it was just time to give it up and enjoy the rest of my life. I would like to go places, be with my family and friends," she said.

Posted on: 2010/2/22 12:49
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