Obituary of Patricia Manzo
Patricia “Pat” Manzo, age 97, of North Liberty, Iowa, passed away peacefully on June 16 from complications from a stroke. Her final days were spent surrounded by Tony, her husband of 75 years, her three children, and other family members. She was blessed to be home at Keystone Place at Forevergreen under the compassionate care of their staff and the services of Iowa City Hospice.
Pat’s family will receive guests for a funeral visitation on Thursday, June 22 at 10:30am at St. Thomas More Catholic Church (3000 12th Ave., Coralville). A funeral mass will be held at 11:30am followed by a luncheon at the church. A graveside memorial service and interment will occur at a later date at Holy Cross Burial Park in Jamesburg, New Jersey.
Pat was born December 19, 1925 in Duronia, Italy, the daughter of Emilio and Incoronata (Manzo) Morsella. It was during Pat’s childhood in this a small medieval mountaintop village in central Italy that she met her future husband of 75 years, Tony. Pat endured the hardships of life and war in Italy before emigrating to the United States. Tony, who had managed to get the last ship out of Naples before the outbreak of the war, served in the U.S. Army in the Pacific Campaign. He was at the docks of New York City in April of 1947 to greet Pat when her ship arrived and they were wed the following year.
Pat and Tony settled in New Jersey where they raised a family and worked hard to realize their own American dream. Pat worked part-time jobs and kept busy canning vegetables from the garden and sewing clothes for the children in their rural home in Monmouth Junction, NJ.
After working their entire life since childhood, including running their own pizza shop for six years to supplement their regular income, Pat and Tony earned a well-deserved retirement and moved to Ocala, Florida in 1990. It was in retirement that they both became fully active seniors, playing shuffleboard and horseshoes, playing Skipbo, and learning to dance. It was ballroom dancing that ignited their greatest passion and something they enjoyed together, kept them physically active, and raised their spirits.
Since retiring, the couple had made a handful of trips back to Italy and their scenic hometown. On a few of those trips, their children and a few of their grandchildren were able to visit the old country and recount a remarkable journey that began a world and a lifetime away. They also spent their active retirement years traveling within the States and other places abroad.
As Pat and Tony entered their nineties in 2016, it became apparent that they wanted to move from home ownership to independent living near one of their children. The Iowa City area became the obvious choice because of the pace of life, availability of senior living options, and most importantly, the outstanding health care offered in the community. Their move to independent living at Keystone Place at Forevergreen, the friends they made there, and the staff that treated them and served them well, have been a great blessing for this chapter of their life’s journey.
Anyone who knew Pat knew her to be a strong woman with a determined will. She was a vibrant and robust senior who was still dancing the day before her stroke. She pursued a lifestyle that included a healthy diet and daily physical activity. Pat was a life-long learner who never stopped adapting to the next opportunity or challenge. She was active on social media, routinely video conferenced with family, and spent hours each day on her iPad keeping up with the latest news and events. Love of family was the core of her passion, and she was the matriarch of a family that grew to include 42 descendants and in-laws. She was the driver behind numerous family reunion trips and gatherings that grew larger in numbers with each passing year.
Those left to honor her memory include her beloved husband Antonio “Tony” Manzo, her daughter Gloria (Gregory C.) Listner of Kendall Park, NJ, son Anthony (Patricia) Manzo of Greeneville, TN, daughter Silvia (Donald) Guckert of Corallville, IA, sister Carolina “Carol” (Tony) Trezza of Lyndhurst, NJ, grandchildren Gregory E. (Kristin) Listner, Michael (Raquel) Listner, Jeffrey Listner, Chad (Chelsea) Listner, Melanie (Johnathan) Oldacre, Michael (Keenan) Manzo, Brian Manzo, Brett Manzo, Kristen (Matthew) Sullivan, Katie (Bradford) Hepfer; and 19 great-grandchildren.
Pat’s family would like to thank the staff at Keystone Place at Forevergreen and Iowa City Hospice for their comforting care and support. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to Iowa City Hospice in memory of Pat.