Theresa Pisani Lafiosca – May 7, 2020

By Roseanne Pellegrini
Theresa Pisani Lafiosca – May 7, 2020

A New York native and New Hampshire resident for more than five decades, Theresa Margaret (Pisani) Lafiosca passed away at age 89 on May 7, 2020.

Initially a reluctant transplant to the Granite State,Terry retained traces of the distinctive New York accent throughout her life. But in support of her beloved husband Jimmy, to whom she was married for 48 years before his death in 2001, she embraced country life and partnered with him to fulfill his desire to run his own business.

Terry was born in Brooklyn, New York, the only child of Italian immigrants Frank and Rosina Pisani. After graduation in 1947 from Sewanaka High School on Long Island, she earned a bachelor’s degree from Hofstra University, and went on to complete a master’s degree in Spanish. She was proud of her inclusion, for academic accomplishment, in “Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges.”

A “baby and child whisperer,” Terry started her career as a second-grade teacher. Though she gave up the profession, children have always gravitated toward her natural warmth.

Terry and Jim relocated first to Franconia Notch in 1958, where they ran the inn Chalet Call, which catered to a cast of skiers who traveled from the city to the slopes, and who shared colorful tales. They then moved south to East Andover, where they enjoyed living on Highland Lake and ran a commercial and residential real estate brokerage.

Though she lived on the lake – and co-hosted with Jim an annual July 4th party – she was mercilessly teased by her children for rarely joining them in swimming. Terry preferred dipping a toe then quickly retreating to a lounge chair.

A consummate homemaker, Terry was the ultimate hostess – making social gatherings seem effortless, whether entertaining a group of four or forty. Experimental and accomplished in the kitchen, she regularly tackled laborious recipes by the New York Times’ formidable Craig Claiborne. Her family was an appreciative audience for her culinary skills, as were the guests at her frequent dinner parties.

Baking was a much-enjoyed family tradition, especially at the holidays, when the kitchen became a “workshop.” Christmas inspired dozens of varieties of cookies and other confections, platters of which would be dutifully delivered by Jim to friends and neighbors. Those kept at home were eagerly consumed. On Easter, Terry always included traditional Italian favorites, made from family recipes passed down through generations.

In addition to raising three children and being an involved volunteer at their schools, she was an avid reader, puzzle-maker, and competitive scrabble player who loved to sing, kept a journal, enjoyed tending her flower garden, and was a whiz on her Singer sewing machine – a talent she learned from her seamstress mother. Terry also was a popular 4-H leader and member of the Andover Service Club, for which she helped spearhead a fundraising cookbook and was among the original thrift shop volunteers.

On a mid-1980s “girl’s trip” to Italy with her grown daughters, Terry experienced “La Dolce Vita” with gusto, and charmed those on their tour with her personality and joie de vivre. She spoke fluent Italian with the natives, sang and danced at artistic performances, enjoyed the local fare, and turned a few male heads during the trip, during which she celebrated her 56th birthday.

When she became a grandmother in the 1980s to now-adult granddaughters Katie Theresa and Kristina Rose, she was elated to turn her house over to them on playdates. They fondly recall having “high tea” using her collection of fancy china cups, dressing up and decking themselves out in her jewelry, and being catered to in the kitchen. They were a joy in her life, and Terry loved and embraced them.

She also lived with and cared for her parents, who remained at home until their declining health necessitated a move to a nursing home, where she was a regular visitor.

In her later life, when Terry could no longer remain at home, she moved to Massachusetts near the homes of her daughters. She enjoyed her residence in a lively assisted living facility, where she made many friends, prior to a health deterioration that required her relocation to Belmont Manor nursing home, where she lived until her passing.

She is survived by her daughter Tina Lafiosca and husband Rob Stiratelli; son Daniel Lafiosca and his wife Karen (who was a devoted daughter to Terry); daughter Rosanne Pellegrini and her husband Lee; granddaughters Katie McCadden and her husband David, and Kristina Lafiosca; and great-grandchildren Milly Rose and Alasdair McCadden.

A private celebration of Terry’s life will be held at a later date. Chocolate, her one true vice and indulgence, will be served and relished in abundance.