Raffaela Chiappetta was born on March 7, 1935 in the small town of San Fili, Italy. She was a beloved wife, mother, grandmother and friend. She passed away peacefully at her home Sunday, November 6.
Raffaela’s loves included her many close friends, grandchildren, and children, but most especially her devoted husband Francesco. Poems are written, novels are penned, and movies are produced about the kind of love Raffaela and Francesco shared. Their love story began nearly 80 years ago, when they met in elementary school after World War II, and since then Francesco has never left Raffaela’s side. They were married on December 1, 1956.
After emigrating from Italy to the U.S. in March 1958, Raffaela first settled down in Corona, NY, but eventually moved to Port Chester and finally, Rye. Rye has been her home for the past 54 years. In that time, Raffaela learned to speak English and started a family. Raffaela and Francesco had seven children – five boys and two girls. And from those children came 14 grandchildren, ensuring Raffaela’s legacy will live on for many generations.
Once her children had grown, Raffaela spent some time working at Avon, but later became a teacher’s aide at the Port Chester School District. Raffaela truly loved working with the children at the schools and spent many wonderful years there until she retired. They were some of her most cherished memories. She was also a member of the Rye Women’s Club and the first president of the San Fili Women’s Auxiliary Club. Some of her passions included spending time with her husband and friends in Naples, Florida, playing cards, sewing, cooking, relaxing in the Sun, and attending Sunday mass at Resurrection Church.
Raffaela is survived by her loving husband Francesco, who together have shared nearly 66 years of marriage; sons: Frank Chiappetta of Rye, NY, Mario (Lisa) Chiappetta of Mamaroneck, NY, Marco (Adrienne) Chiappetta of Norwalk, CT; daughters: Maria (Vincent) O’Brien of Mount Pleasant, NY, Serina Pecora (Joe) of Rye, NY; grandsons: Nicholas Chiappetta, Stephen O’Brien, Danny Chiappetta, Joey, Robert, Christopher, and Michael Pecora; granddaughters: Emma (Zeb) and Nina Chiappetta, Courtney and Kayla O’Brien, and Isabella and Sophia Chiappetta; brother: Pietro Parrinello of Selden, NY, daughter in-law Nanette Chiappetta and several nieces and nephews.
Raffaela is predeceased by her sons John Chiappetta of North Salem, NY; Danny Chiappetta of Rye, NY; grandson John Chiappetta Jr. of North Salem, NY, sisters Rosetta Gaudio of Rye, NY and Celestina Gnisci of Cosenza, Italy, and parents Giovanni and Serina Parrinello of Port Chester, NY.
The family will receive friends, family and loved ones at Graham Funeral Home on Thursday November 10, 2022, from 4:00-8:00 PM. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at the Church of the Resurrection on Friday November 11, 2022 at 10:00 AM. The Mass will be livestreamed for those that cannot attend in person. To view the livestream, click here. Mausoleum entombment to follow at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Rye Brook, NY. In lieu of flowers a memorial donation may be made in memory of Raffaela Chiappetta to the Port Chester/Rye/Rye Brook Ambulance Corps. (417 Ellendale Avenue, Port Chester, NY 10573).