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Weekly Bulletin March 20, 2022
by Terrie Evans
The Gramaglia Family journeyed from Modugno, Bari, Italy and today generations of this large family are still united to many parishioners from San Antonio Church. The Patriarch and Matriarch, Vincenzo Gramaglia (1856-1935) and Vita Maria (Tarinta) Gramaglia (1863-1926) welcomed children Pasquale Gramaglia (1887-1937), Cecilia Gramaglia (1891-1978), Vito James Gramaglia (1892-1977), Simeone “Sam” Gramaglia (1901-1981), Maria Gramaglia (1902-1945) and Francesca Gramaglia (1903-1903 ). Vincenzo and Vita Maria Gramaglia never journeyed to America and are buried in Italy. The oldest sibling, Pasquale born in 1887, journeyed to New York and died there in 1937. Vito born in 1892 came to Cincinnati in 1910 and a few years later, Sam born in 1901, came to America in 1913.
The Gramaglia brothers married two Roberto cousins with Vito (1892-1977) marrying Antoinette Roberto (1896-1936) on February 15, 1914, in a ceremony performed by Rev. John Balangero, Pastor of Sacred Heart Italian Church. Vito was 21 and Antoinette was 16, and they established their homestead at 2138 Queen City Avenue. Vito worked as a machinist at Eastern Machinery Company for 25 years, retiring in 1955. He then went on to a new venture, founding Pasquale’s Pizza with sons, Vincent, and Pasquale. Throughout his life, Vito always kept up with the needs of his hometown village and enlisted other Italian businessmen from Cincinnati to support the cause. This dedicated group would also go on to help the Little Sisters of the Poor. Vito and Antoinette’s children Marie (Gramaglia) Isadore (1915-2007) wed Joseph Albert Isadore (1914-1995) in 1939, and at onetime operated Isadore’s Pizza, Vincent Gramaglia (1917-1999) operate Liberty Bakery and was one of the Pasquale Pizza founders married Gladys Kurtza (1918-2000) in 1940, Joseph Gramaglia (1920-2015) wed Helen Rebennack and was one of the 8 Italian graduates from the St. Bonnies Class of 1934 that started the yearly reunions with Dan Andriacco, John Augustine, Frank Bellissimo, Joseph Bonaventura, Victor Cupito, Herman “Nouch” Di Stasi and John “Bap” Soldano. Son, Frank Gramaglia (1922-2004) wed Helen (1910-1998) on July 3, 1947, Pasquale Gramaglia (1924-1980) caused a quite a scare in the neighborhood when he went missing from school due to a bad report card from St. Bonaventure School. The police were called as he waited out his punishment at a family member’s house.
Pasquale went on to wed Hazel Bradhold (1928-1998) and before he was one of the founders of Pasquale Pizza Carry Outs, served in the U.S. Navy during World War II on the U.S.S. Wichita, a ship that was awarded 13 Battle stars for service during WWII. Cecilia (Gramaglia) De Camp (1928-2003) graduated from Mother of Mercy High School wed James De Camp (1924-2015) settled in Indiana with the couple operating a Pasquale Pizza Carry Out on Troy Avenue until 1992 and are buried there, Vetulia ( Gramaglia) Newman (1926-2011), Louise Gramaglia Bellissimo (1932-2020) operated Pasquale’s Pizza on Queen City Avenue wed Angelo Bellissimo. Theresa Gramaglia Schultz wed the late Robert Schultz and is the last surviving sibling.
Vito’s brother, Simeone “Sam” Gramaglia (1901-1981) was a truck driver when he married tailoress, Angela Roberto on February 10, 1922, when he was 21 and she was 16. Angela was born in Old Forge, Pennsylvania with Sam becoming a naturalized citizen in 1926. They settled and raised their family at 2189 High Street near the Carmen Bonaventura, Luigi Morra, and the Antonio and Frank Roberto families. Sam and Angela were active at San Antonio Church with Sam volunteering for the Festival Committee during the celebration of the 10th Anniversary of the Church in 1932.
Sam and Angela welcomed Vincent F. Gramaglia (1923-1990) who served in the Army during World War II 1943-1945 became a salesman when he moved to Clearwater, Florida. Vincent had sons Sam Gramaglia and Guy March. Daughter Marie (Gramaglia) Virgin born in 1928 wed John Virgin (1927-1997) who graduated from Roger Bacon high School . They married on April 26, 1947, before he served as a Corporal in the Signal Corps during the Korean War and later welcomed son, Tim Virgin and daughter, Vicki (Virgin) Meyer.