Carmella DeGondea DiMeo passed away on Thursday, March 28, 2019, in the Green Hill Assisted Living Facility, West Orange, NJ. She was 93.
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Born in Saddle Brook, NJ, to the late Nunzio and Christina (D’Alessio) DeGondea, Carmella was a resident of Hasbrouck Heights, NJ; Lodi, NJ; and Dania Beach, FL, before moving to Doylestown, PA, in 2012. She moved to West Orange, NJ, six months ago.
Carmella received a Bachelor’s degree from Felician University and a Master’s degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University, completing part of her studies at Wroxton University in England. She was a Teacher of English at the Middle School in Hasbrouck Heights for 23 years, retiring in 1995. Carmella was a member of NJEA, NEA, NIAF (National Italian American Foundation) and Alpha Delta Kappa, and was active with the Felician College Alumni Association and the DeGondea family’s Mother/Daughter Club.
Carmella was also instrumental in bringing about the final bronze casting of Il Cavallo, Leonardo DaVinci’s design for an equestrian sculpture that had been interrupted for five centuries. Leonardo’s Horse was to be the largest horse sculpture ever made, but his preparations were destroyed when Milan was invaded in 1499. Five centuries later, a 24-foot horse based on Leonardo’s work was unveiled at Milan’s Hippodrome. Carmella took her husband, children and grandchildren to Italy for the unveiling and a most memorable vacation.
Carmella loved travel and encouraged this in her children and grandchildren as well, often inviting them along on cruises and vacations.
She was the beloved wife of the late Ralph DiMeo; devoted mother of Ralph DiMeo Jr and wife Debra Wittlin DiMeo; Rev. Donna DiMeo Hammell and husband Craig Hammell; dear sister of Frank, John, and Angelo DeGondea and the late Anthony and Domenic DeGondea; and late sisters Josephine, Antoinette, Margaret, Mary, Sue, Rose, Pauline, Christina and Nancy; loving grandmother of Alexander DiMeo and wife Cecilia; Zachary DiMeo; Laura DiMeo; Ian Leith and wife Amanda; and Sandra Leith; also survived by five bonus grandchildren, Craig Jr, Robert, Gary, Jack, and Angela Hammell. Carmella is also survived by two great-grandchildren, Andrew Leith and Isabelle DiMeo.
Carmella lived joyously, and radiated love. Her siblings and dozens of nieces and nephews called her Honey or Aunt Honey. All who knew her were blessed by her warmth and compassion, and she will be sorely missed.
A Celebration of Carmella's Life will be held at Ralph DiMeo's residence, 144 Ralston Avenue, South Orange, NJ 07079 on Saturday, May 11th.
A committal service will be held at Washington Crossing National Cemetery, 830 Highland Road, Newtown, PA 18940 on Friday, May 10th at 11:30 am.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Carmella’s name to Felician University https://giving.felician.edu/donate
Send condolences to www.varcoethomasfuneralhome.com