It is with great sadness that the family of Fernando Gilbert DiCesare (“Babbo” to
his family) announce his passing on June 13, 2022 at the age of 93. Fernando
passed peacefully at home with his wife of 62 years holding his hand, surrounded
by his children and grandchildren. He is predeceased by his brothers Edmundo,
Ottavio and Remo. He is survived by his loving wife Adriana (née Aristeguieta
Manga), his children Dino (Donna), Marisa (James) and Elizabeth (aka “Lisa”),
grandchildren Lindsay (Cavan), Ryan, Mark (Ariana) and Christina (Alejandro).
He is also survived by his sisters Lydia Radi and Emma Diana, and 18 nieces
Fernando was born on March 26, 1929 in Detroit, Michigan to Giuseppe and
Carmina (née Salciccioli) DiCesare. In 1936, his family returned to his maternal
hometown of Gagliano Aterno in Abruzzo, Italy, and from there migrated to
Carbonia, Sardinia. In 1952, Fernando journeyed back to America on the SS
Conte Biancamano and settled in New York City, where he met and married the
love and light of his life, Adriana. They lived in Woodside, New York until
purchasing their home in Maspeth in 1965. As a Tool and Die Maker at Kerns
Manufacturing for more than three decades, Fernando was legendary for his
innovative thinking and ability to solve any problem. After retiring in 1992,
Fernando and Adriana enjoyed spending winters at their home in Naples, Florida,
and traveling to many new destinations.
Nicknamed “Fireball” as he was the life of the party with his never ceasing
practical jokes and pranks, his sharp wit brought joy to everyone in his path. He
was the consummate host, and his guests were treated to some of the best
cooking this side of the Mediterranean and of course, vino. He was always doing,
whether it was in his garden tending to his prize worthy heirloom tomatoes,
building or rebuilding a device as he had an insatiable curiosity about the
mechanics of everything; almost no repair was beyond his abilities.
Fernando loved people - all people - he was incredibly generous and always first
to offer a helping hand. He lived a full and rich life, and valued and loved family
above all else. He will be greatly missed and in our hearts forever.
Arrivederci Babbo, ti vogliamo tanto bene.