The Cherry Hill Manor held a birthday party Friday, putting the spotlight on 100-year-old Antoinette DiMuccio DiRaimo.
The main dining room was filled with staff and 22 residents, as well as family and friends of the birthday girl, who was treated to the birthday song by music man Bobby Bourassa.
DiRaimo was born on Aug. 10, 1912, and had three sons: Paul, James and Edgar Jr., who was named in honor of his late father and Antoinette’s late husband, Edgar DiRaimo.
Paul, who lives with his wife Kathleen in Cumberland, was able to attend the celebration, along with his brother James, who lives in Cranston with his wife Maria. “Eddie,” as Paul calls his brother, lives in Silver Spring, Md., and was unable to attend.
DiRaimo’s sons agreed that their mother made their childhood memorable.
“My mother cooked us great meals,” Paul recalls of the years his family spent in Providence.
Although she didn’t have a profession as such, DiRaimo loved to cook and Paul recalls her using fresh vegetables from their yard.
“Mom and Dad always had a garden,” Paul said. “They planted a little bit of everything ... tomatoes, peppers, corn ... Mom loved to preserve the tomatoes and peppers for the winter.”
For DiRaimo and her husband, there were many years of gardening and cooking together.
“Before Dad died in February of 2004, they had been married 62 years,” Paul said.
Edgar DiRaimo Sr. owned Central Photo Print Company that was formerly located in Providence.
The couple had four grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Great-grandchildren Amanda, Ashley and Abbey were on hand last week, along with James and Maria’s daughter Dena DiRaimo, to help their great-grandmother celebrate her milestone.
“This was a great birthday celebration for Mom,” Paul said. “I thought the singer was especially impressive. He was very good and he did all the old songs. I know Mom really enjoyed it too ... she even tried to sing along with some of the songs.”
DiRaimo also enjoyed the large birthday cake that Ann Greeno, the assistant activities director at Cherry Hill, said was made especially for the occasion by the residents at the Johnston-based facility. The cake was made by Cherry Hill kitchen staff and decorated by residents with help from Lorraine Charney from the facility’s activities staff.
“She teaches a special cake decorating class for some of our residents,” Greeno explained.
Greeno had another important duty to perform Friday, as she presented Antoinette DiMuccio DiRaimo with a proclamation from Mayor Joseph Polisena, who was unable to attend because he was called away for town business.
“We thank Mayor Polisena and the staff at Cherry Hill for this great party,” Paul said. “It was special, for sure.”