And so, when the end did come for Lena on Wednesday, June 29, at the Delray Medical Center in Florida, tears were shed, yet smiles and memories continue to be shared. Lena has been reunited on the heavenly dance floor with Gus, where the music now never ends. She was 89.
Behind every good man is a better woman, and Lena was the woman behind the successful operation of Sbrogna Auto Body. Together, they owned and operated the business of over 40 years before they were afforded retirement in 1984. It was then they began sharing time between their homes in Delray Beach and Worcester. Gus died in April 1986, and life changed, but it didn't end for Lena. She continued to winter in Florida and was a much beloved member of her community; always up for a game of poker and a dance, a night at the theatre, or being the emcee for the annual fashion show. She was blessed with the special friendship of Lenny and Ginger Paulson, who looked after her as if she was their mother.
While in Worcester, she was a faithful communicant at Our Lady of Mount Carmel, where she belonged to its Golden Ages group. Through the years, Mt. Carmel was the center of the Italian community where Lena and Gus were familiar faces on the dance floor at many of the annual church functions at the cultural center on the parish grounds. True to her Italian heritage, she loved to cook for family and friends and she enjoyed gardening, in particular her prized flower beds in both Worcester and Delray Beach.
Several years ago, Lena received the American Red Cross Local Heroes Award for her efforts in saving a young neighborhood boy from choking.
In heaven, Lena is rejoined with Gus and her siblings, Mary Rotondo, Patsy, Maurice, John and Frank Flaminio.
Lena adored her family and treasured the time spent with them and the lifetime of memories. She leaves her son, Ralph F. Sbrogna and his wife, Debra of Boston; she was the much loved 'Mama' to her grandchildren Ralph F. 'Chip' Sbrogna and his partner, Susan O'Connor of Austin, Texas, Kristen A. Sbrogna-Christianson and her husband, Jon of Berkeley, California, Derek A. Sbrogna of Austin, Texas and Matthew A. Sbrogna of Boston and was the 'Big Mama' to her great grandchildren Wren and Wilder Christianson; she also leaves her sisters, Lucille DeSantis and Angela DeAngelis, both of Worcester; many nieces & nephews; great-nieces and great-nephews.
Memorials in her name may be made to American Heart Association, 300 5th Ave, Waltham, MA 01701.
We would like to thank Patch.com and Heald & Chiampa Funeral Directors for reprint permission.