Anna Marilyn Fernandez, also known to her grandchildren and great grandchildren as Nonni, passed away peacefully on May 1, 2023, at the age of 92 years old. Anna was born in Gloversville, New York, on September 13, 1930,daughter of Arthur and Helen (Romano) DeSantis. Anna made a life for her and her family working many jobs, most notably she was the voice behind Cranesville Block. Anyone who passed through the doors of 41 Lee Avenue was forever changed by Anna. After the passing of her husband, Frank Fernandez, she moved to Venice Beach Florida with her daughter, Cathy Martin, and spent her last couple years enjoying her life to her fullest with her granddaughter and great grandchildren.
The undisputed leader and the fabric of her large Italian family, Anna spent her entire life devoted to her husband, children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. She was happily married to her soulmate Frank Fernandez for 70 years. He was her true partner in life, and we will all never forget when she would call “FIRDY!” for any task she needed help with.
Her greatest gift was her heart, and her ability to make all those who knew her feel loved. Not far behind that was her love for the kitchen and her fear of “black ice”! Many Sunday dinners were spent at her home, where the whole family would gather and listen to her tell jokes (that she would often forget the punchline for), and play any song on the piano with her perfect pitch! She lived for her hairdresser appointments, she never missed a birthday, she would make dozens of meatballs to send to her family, hosted the ultimate Christmas Eve feasts, and spoiled her grandchildren relentlessly while singing “look what Nonni has for you”. Her wit was unparallel, and she had a saying for almost everything. Up until her last breaths, she had her family laughing, it was her innate nature to make everyone smile, even under the toughest circumstances.
Anna spoke her mind and you never had to guess what she was thinking. She would praise you or reprimand you with equal truth. Kind and forgiving, there was never an I am sorry she didn’t accept. Except if you made the mistake of dipping your bread in her pot of sauce! Anna was an incredible cook who always had a meal for anyone who entered her home, and there was no option, she made you eat it!
Anna is survived by her children Cathy (Mike Martin) and Frank (Luci) Fernandez; 9 grandchildren 13 great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her daughter Carol Ryder and her husband Frank Fernandez. She was also predeceased by her sisters Betty DeSantis, Delores Cacopardo, and Marie Zinter.
She was bigger than life and her absence will be felt by so many. She is deeply loved and will forever be missed. If tears could build a stairway, and memories a lane, we’d walk right up to Heaven and bring you back again. Rest with God our beautiful angel.
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