by Meredith Fordham Hughes
On July 20, 2013, the descendants of Vincenzo and Annetta Calderone Lupinacci gathered at “The Barn’ in the Old Economy Park in Ambridge, PA. Thirty-seven years had passed since the last reunion, which was held in the same location.
Almost two hundred guests attended this momentous event, decorated with tasteful Italian inspired décor in green, white and red. A large cookie table of traditional Italian sweets was a site to behold with mini cannoli, lady locks and almost any other kind of cookie you could imagine. The tables were adorned with fresh cut flowers, Italian and American flags in mason jars placed on matching tablecloths and runners. Colorful pennants of red white and green fabric hung from the rafters, and photos and an interactive family tree decorated the walls.
The picnic-style gathering was organized by a committee consisting of Joan Lupinacci Fordham, Sharon Lupinacci Kramer, Sue Lupinacci, Harry and Denise Lupinacci, Meredith Fordham Hughes, Joan Inglis, Janet Moeller and Barbara Lupinacci May. The committee planned for over a year to provide a fun experience for all ages. Traveling from as far as Arizona, Texas and Florida, attendees expressed deep gratitude to once again see their cousins, many of whom they had not seen since the last reunion.
The guests were encouraged to bring memorabilia and recipes to later be shared on the family Facebook group page, which sparked the idea for a reunion. The Family of Frank and Mary Stasko Lupinacci group has grown to over seventy members and 550 photos, plus an abundance of family stories and comments. The group, founded by Meredith Fordham Hughes and Al Lupinacci, has become the collection site for family’s history and reuniting descendants.
Vincenzo and Annetta had six children, five of which immigrated to the Pittsburgh area from the Calabria region of Italy between the years of 1902 and 1906: Ignazio, Giuseppina (Aleci), Vincenza (Bova), Francesco, Genarro. Vincenzo, born in 1843 in Cosenza, Calabria and died in 1908, is buried in New Brighton. Annetta was born in Sicily in 1851 and died in 1902 before the family immigrated to the U.S.
Some of the local areas that the descendants live/lived in Pittsburgh are Sewickley, Sharpsburg Ambridge, New Brighton, and Beaver Falls. Some of the descendant surnames of local interest include Aleci, Bova, DiCatania, and Cutrona.