Uncle Sammy and I thought that we would collect memories and anecdotes about Rose, Nick and their family. We first mined our own memories and then reached out to our relatives. The portraits that emerge sometimes diverge and at other times intersect. Although this posting consists of small, simple details we think it tells us who Rose was, how she handled the responsibility of raising 11 children, and why she was a beloved Grandmother and Great Grandmother to all the Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren. We also see a glimpse into how strong Nick and Rose’s desire was to improve their language skills, knowledge about current events and encouraging their children to get a good education.This posting was finalized in November of 2015.
Pedigree chart of Rosina Aiello Marasco Muro.
Rosina Aiello was born on April 24, 1896 in Martirano, Italy to Caterina and Angelo Aiello. She married Ricciotti Marasco in the mid-1910s. Ricciotti and Rosina had one son, John, born in 1916. Ricciotti served in the military for Italy during WWI and died in battle on September 5, 1917. Rosina remained a widow until Nicola Muro went to Italy to propose marriage sometime in early to mid-1921. Nicola’s first wife, Letizia, passed away February of that year leaving behind 5 small children. Rosina and her son John arrived in Wilmerding Pennsylvania in November of 1921. Shortly after that she and Nicola married.
Rosina was called Rose after her arrival in America.
Rose’s son by Riciotti Marasco was:
- John (known as Cristofaro in Italy)1916-1987
- John was known as John Muro after Rose and Nick married. After graduating high school he used his surname, Marasco, again.
Rose became mother to Letizia’s children:
- Josie 1909-1995
- Peter 1913-1992
- Louis 1914-1999
- Philomena (Florrie) 1916-2001
- Rose Marie (Rosie) 1920-2005
Rose and Nick (as Nicola is called by the family)had five children:
- Raymond (a/k/a Raymie) 1923-2007
- Americo (a/k/a Igo) 1924-2012
- Albino (a/k/a Bino) 1925-2002
- Sylvia 1930-1987
- Susie (a/k/a Angeline Assunta or Assunta) b. 1936
Nick and Rose Muro: Photos from the family album of Francis Marasco
The following photos of Rose and Nick come from the family photo album of Fran Marasco, son of John and Elizabeth Marasco. We estimate the dates as late 1940s – early 1950s.
Nick Muro (seated in the center, wearing glasses and a hat) at a soccer game in Italy.
Rose Muro holding her Grandson, Raymond. Fran Marasco is near the see-saw.
Memories of Rose Muro
Josie Muro Serrapede (as told to her Granddaughter EmilyAnn Frances May as she grew up)
- Rose wanted the house to be kept very clean.
- Every child was assigned chores once they were old enough.
- Josie, as the eldest child, helped with folding and putting away the laundry, shopping, running errands and watching the younger children.
- Everyone called each other “brother” or “sister”.
- Rose was strict about each child completing their chores, doing their homework and behaving themselves.
Emily Leatrice Serrapede (as told to her daughter EmilyAnn Frances May throughout her life)
- Rose was her Grandmother, as well as the respected matriarch of our branch of the Muro family.
- Nick and Rose loved all their children.
- Emily Leatrice loved her Grandma Rose very much.
- Rose taught all her daughters how to become good cooks and housekeepers.
- Rose passed away shortly before her granddaughter Roseanne’s wedding in 1987 or 88. Roseanne cried when she went down the aisle as she thought about her Grandmother. At the wedding reception a place was set at the family’s table for Rose along with a bouquet.
- Everyone knew Rosina as Rose.
- Uncle Sammy remembers going to Wilmerding and visiting the store. He did not stay in the apartment above the store. He stayed with Aunt Angie and Uncle Peter.
- Grandpa Nick gave them coins for the gumball machines.
- In the 1940s or 50s he remembers Rose and Nick living with their daughter Sylvia and Sylvia’s husband Sam Manzo. Her grandchildren were Roseanne and Petey Manzo.
- When Nick died in 1966 the store was sold.
Rosina Coltellaro, Rose’s niece
- Rosina made a delicious white pizza.
- At the Muro family reunion circa 1977, Rosina danced a lively tarantella.
- Rosina called her Za’Rosina which is short for Zia Rosina. (Aunt Rosina).
EmilyAnn Frances May’s Memories
- I remember visiting Great Grandpa Nick and Great Grandma Rose in the early 1960s. They still had the store.
- I’d sit outside looking up State Street. I remembered the cinderblocks placed in front of cars and trucks parked on the steep hill. They kept the vehicles from rolling down.
- Great Grandpa Nick gave us change for the gumball machines.
- We played with Cousins Roseanne and Petey. Their parents were Sylvia and Sam Manzo. Sylvia was the daughter of Nick and Rose. Petey was a good natured cheerful boy. Roseanne was sensitive and a little shy. I remember giving her my Etch-A-Sketch since she liked it so much.
- Roseanne’s long, dark brown hair was styled into beautiful banana curls. My Mom said Rose styled Roseanne’s hair.
- 1977 Family Reunion: Uncle Peter took my hand as Great Grandmother Rose sat in a special chair as the guest of honor and our matriarch. “Come and pay respects to your Great Grandmother, “ he said. She gave me a warm and very strong hug. I felt her strength and love. I understood why Uncle Peter was so devoted to her and also why Mom always said she loved all her children. Mom told me Rose had to be strict because she had to keep order but that didn’t mean she didn’t love all the children.
Other memories of Rose and Nick shared by relatives throughout the years
- Rose had the older girls mop the floors in the children’s bedrooms every day. Since Wilmerding was an industrial town, and the steam locomotive passed through it, soot accumulated very easily on the floors, walls and windows.
- All the girls learned the ins and outs of housework-what type of mops or brooms were best, how to wash the clothes, and so on.
- Nick encouraged his children to read the newspapers.
- Nick liked for his older children to read to him from the N.Y. Times which he special ordered for weekly delivery.
- Nick and Rose improved their vocabulary by having their children read to them.
- The family enjoyed listening to country and western music from a station broadcasting out of West Virginia.