We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Vander Plaat Funeral Home
Annette Panariello, age 85, of Oakland, New Jersey, passed away on June 24, 2022. She was the daughter of Florence and Dominick Palestrini and was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1936. Born and raised in Coney Island, Annette lived in the same 5 mile radius most of her life, just blocks from the beach. While she enjoyed taking vacations, her favorite place to be was home, in Brooklyn, with the people and places she knew and loved.
Annette was a devoted daughter, wife, mother and grandmother. She was a fierce advocate for her son who was born with Prader Willis Syndrome at a time when little was known about the rare disease. If ever you needed someone to be in your corner, she was the person to have. Always there for, caring for and standing up for those she loved.
Annette was Irish and stubborn. When she set her mind to something she was determined to do it. In her 40's, in between working and taking care of her family, Annette studied tirelessly to become a dietician and graduated summa cum laude when she was 45. After graduation, she worked for the New York City Department of Education as a dietician, planning the schools menus and managing the cafeteria, until she retired.
Post retirement, Annette enjoyed spending time watching old movies on TV with her husband and son, drinking Maxwell House instant coffee, spoiling her granddaughters and shopping. She invented the term "shop ‘til you drop" and usually had her husband and son by her side on the hunt for the best item and deal. The three of them were inseparable.
By far Annette's absolute favorite thing to do was spend time with her family and friends. While she may have been frugal, being born during the Great Depression, Annette was extremely generous both with her money and time. She was always very thoughtful and loved going all out for special occasions, buying lots of presents and making sure everything from food to party favors was “just right.” While Annette did not fancy herself a chef like her husband, she had her specialties and was famous for her antipasto, shrimp scampi and cheesecake. Which could be found at many such occasions.
She will always be remembered as a loving, giving and strong woman. Her sharp, quick witted personality and her iconic top bun hairstyle will be greatly missed and never forgotten.
Annette is survived by her daughter Maryann Fortin and her husband Ken, grandchildren Christina Robbins and her husband Jason, Nicole Fortin and Michelle Fortin, her great-grandchildren Toula, Jade, Maxon and Maeven. She is predeceased by her loving husband Anthony and her son Anthony Jr. who we know welcomed her with lots of hugs and kisses in heaven.
In lieu of flowers the family requests that any donations are made to St. Jude’s Children's Research Hospital, P.O. Box 1000, Dept. 142, Memphis, TN. 38148-0142 www.stjude.org. Or Prader-Willi Syndrome, 8588 Potter Park Dr., Suite 500, Sarasota, FL. www.pwsausa.org . Or Smile Train P.O. Box 96231, Washington DC 20090-6231, www.smiletrain.org.
Funeral Thursday 6/30/2022 10:00am at Vander Plaat Funeral Home 257 Godwin Ave. Wyckoff, NJ. Funeral Service 10:30am to take place at the Funeral Home. Entombment Maryrest Mausoleum, Mahwah 11:30am. The family will receive guests on Wednesday 6/29/2022 from 6-9PM.