Family celebrates milestone birthday

 Congetta D’Aquino Congetta D’Aquino Congetta (nee Ricciardi) D’Aquino celebrated her 100th birthday on Oct. 22 at a dinner at Capra’s Italian Restaurant in Lakewood. More than 70 family members and friends attended the party.

Congetta was born in Calitri, Italy, in 1911. She traveled to the United States with her mother, Lucia Lampariello Ricciardi, and older siblings, Daniel and Antoinette, in 1920. Congetta’s father, Pasquale Ricciardi, came to the United States seven years earlier and worked to afford passage for his wife and children to come to America.

After being reunited, the family settled in Newark, where Congetta’s younger brother, Mario, was later born. She worked as a seamstress at Donner’s Factory in Newark and gave her $7 weekly earnings to her parents to help with the family’s living expenses.

In 1938, Congetta married Fioravante “Frank” D’Aquino and continued working until the birth of her first child, Michael. The couple later welcomed two more children, Anthony and Lucille, before Frank passed away in 1964.

Congetta resided in Newark for more than 50 years before relocating to Old Bridge, where she resided for 37 years. In 2009 she moved to Lakewood to live with her daughter, Lucille.

The birthday celebration was given by Congetta’s three children, Anthony, Lucille and Michael, along with Michael’s wife, Marie, and grandchildren Victor, Mark, Frank and his wife, Carolyn, Paul and his wife, Corina, Susan and her husband, John, Michelle and her husband, Steven, and eight great-grandchildren.