Christine Speziale Manzolillo, 95, died peacefully at her home on Thursday, October 19th, 2023. The youngest of seven and last surviving child of Grazietta Martella and Luigi Speziale, her parents immigrated to America from the Abruzzo region of Italy and settled in Hartford CT, where Christine was born in 1928.
Part of a tight-knit Italian-American family, she learned to cook at a young age, and cook she did. She could “Italianize” any dish, and family meals at her table were memorable. No one ever left Christine’s table hungry.
She loved to dance, and learned the many popular dance moves of the day from her brother. It was dancing that brought Louis Manzolillo into her life, when she was 24 at a dance at the Governor’s Footguard Hall in Hartford. It was love at first sight, she’d say. They married in 1953 and together raised their four children in Manchester, CT.
Devoted to her family, she was always smiling, and loved to tell jokes; she will be remembered for her laughter and her Chicken Parmigiana, (and of course, her pasta with homemade sauce and meatballs). She led a full and rich life; she lives on in memory, and in her recipes, her jokes, and the sound of her laughter. She’s together again with Louis, and for sure, they’re dancing, and smiling.
She is remembered with great affection, by her children, Kathleen Pepin (Roland) of Stow, OH, Paula Runde (Chris) of Rocky Hill, Louis Manzolillo (Laurie) of Rocky Hill, and Lisa Cox (William) of Hebron; her grandsons SFC (RET) Timothy Pepin (Shelby) of Akron, OH, Major Andrew Pepin (Michelle) of Spencer, OH, Michael Manzolillo of Manchester, Gregory Manzolillo of Providence, RI, Matthew Cox of Austin, TX, and Adam Cox of Boston, MA. 2 great grandchildren, Dominic and Cora Pepin. She also leaves several nieces and nephews and a special niece Grace Lowchy of East Hartford.
A memorial service will be held at the John F. Tierney Funeral Home, 219 West Center St. Manchester on Saturday, October 28th, at 3:00 p.m. Family and friends may call at the funeral home on Saturday from 1:00-3:00 p.m. For online condolences please visit www.tierneyfuneralhome.com.
The family would like to thank Visiting Nurse and Health Services of CT and Helping Hands for the compassionate care they provided to Christine.