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Ella L. (Giovino) Alfano

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Gately Funeral Home

79 West Foster Street
Melrose, MA 02176
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“Sympathy to the Giovino and Alfano family on the passing of Ella. A most kind and charming person, Ella brought much joy and fun to the our...Read More »
1 of 28 | Posted by: MIchael Burns - New York, NY

“Frank and Family,My condolences on the sad loss of your mother. Didn't know her personally, but remember her from decades past, and was always struck...Read More »
2 of 28 | Posted by: Cheryl Eastridge(Kirby) - DE

“Mrs. Alfano was Alway smiling, Always Welcoming, Always elegant.Harrisburg Rd will never be the same without herChuck Mitchell III ”
3 of 28 | Posted by: charles mitchell - Stuart, FL

“My love goes out to all of you right now during this difficult time! Ella was an amazing woman who left her mark on everyone she interacted with. I...Read More »
4 of 28 | Posted by: Aletheia Bena-Elliott

“My deepest sympathy to the Alfano-Giovino Families.I have so many wonderful memories of Ella, her warm and friendly smile and her gentle yet strong...Read More »
5 of 28 | Posted by: Cynthia Bena-Paglia - Scottsdale, AZ

“Dear Frankie and family,Your mother was a kind and generous soul. Always welcoming me and making me feel a part of her beautiful family. I wish I...Read More »
6 of 28 | Posted by: Wesley - W. Falmouth, MA

“Dear Mary and family,I am so deeply sadden by the passing of your mother.She was a wonderful strong and beautiful person.She always made me feel so...Read More »
7 of 28 | Posted by: Adele Iannaco - Melrose, MA

“A true beauty inside and out and an inspiration to all of us honored to know her. ”
8 of 28 | Posted by: Kim Bradley - Windham

“While I never knew Ella, after reading her obituary it is very clear that she was an extraordinarily talented and giving person. My condolences for...Read More »
9 of 28 | Posted by: Roxane Cole - Falmouth, ME

Keyla “Our hearts are filled with sadness for our dear friends Judy, Diane & Rita on losing their older sister. Though we can't be there with you, we will...Read More »
10 of 28 | Posted by: Keyla Conklin - Delray Beach, FL

“Susan, Frankie, Louie, Betsy, David, Mary, Diane, Judy, Rita, Joey please accept my condolences for your loss. Very few people inspire others to lead...Read More »
11 of 28 | Posted by: Peter Bena - Palos verdes Estates, CA

“My deepest condolences to the entire family. Your mom was a pioneer for women years before her time. Her beauty inside and out shined to everyone she...Read More »
12 of 28 | Posted by: Lori DiStasio - North Andover, MA

“My condolences to the Alfano family. Ella was a remarkable women who touched the lives of many who loved her. May God's words keep you in comfort ,...Read More »
13 of 28 | Posted by: BRENDA - GA

“Beautiful, kind and caring woman. We always enjoyed time spent with her and family in Falmouth. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family. God...Read More »
14 of 28 | Posted by: Rob and Theresa Annesi - Nanuet, NY

“I am eternally grateful to Ella and Louie for giving this world the most incredible ray of sunshine--Mary! I had the good fortune to work with Mary...Read More »
15 of 28 | Posted by: Pat Brown - Old Orchard Beach, ME

“Ella, Was a class act.What a big heart and sense of style.She was in a club with my mother Norma and aunt Louise.I remember her coming always so...Read More »
16 of 28 | Posted by: Alexandra Lee Cefalo - Healsdburg, CA

“Dear Louie and family,Our sincerest condolences to you all. Ella was a lovely lady. May God bless your family and enable you to cope with your loss...Read More »
17 of 28 | Posted by: Linda McNamara - Acquaintance

“As a result of my Dad's marriage to Ella's sister Diane, it was my great honor and privilege to know Ella and spend periodic moments with her over...Read More »
18 of 28 | Posted by: Philip Bena - Lanham, MD - Family

“Mary,My thoughts and prayers are with you and all your family. I had not seen your mother in years but remember being at your house when we were...Read More »
19 of 28 | Posted by: Laurie Nason - Melrose, MA

Our staff at the Schiff Center on a day away in Falmouth “Ella was the heart and soul of our staff at Schiff. We are so very sad to lose her and feel so sorry for your family's loss. We have so so many...Read More »
20 of 28 | Posted by: Peggy White - Cambridge, MA

“My deepest sympathy to the family. May God give you peace and strength to keep you going during your time of sorrow. ”
21 of 28 | Posted by: Romans 15:33

“To my second family - I can't say that I agreed with her political views but her family commitment and values certainly were ones I aspire to. I...Read More »
22 of 28 | Posted by: John Arena - Melrose, MA

“Sending condolences from all the Tullys to David and entire Alfano family on your mom's passing. ”
23 of 28 | Posted by: Linda Tully Zager - Manchester, MA

“Dear Frank, Joseph and Rita, I am so very sorry to hear of Ella's passsing. My parents were good friends with her parents, Lilly and Jim Giovino. I...Read More »
24 of 28 | Posted by: Maria Bartolo / Guerriero - MA

“I would like to extend my deepest condolences to the family. Losing a loved one is never easy. Cherish the wonderful memories. I pray you find...Read More »
25 of 28 | Posted by: V M

“I have many great memories of Ella from when I was a child living on Elmcrest. She helped me earn a Girl Scout Badge in Child Care. My sincerest...Read More »
26 of 28 | Posted by: Leslie Kehoe - Hingham, MA

“We are so sad...she was a terrific aunt, my Confirmation Sponsor.More than that, she was an integral part of our wonderful Alfano crew.My memories...Read More »
27 of 28 | Posted by: Bev and Lee Ahrensdorf - Naples, FL

“The Gately Family and Staff wish to express our sincere sympathy to you. It is our hope that we may be able to make a difficult time more bearable....Read More »
28 of 28 | Posted by: John W. Gately, John H. Gately & Fred Sprague Gately - MA


Born in 1927, Ella Alfano was a life-long resident of Melrose, MA. After graduating from Melrose High School and Garland Junior College (Boston), working summers for the family company, G. Giovino Fruit and Produce Brokerage Firm in Boston, she was married to Louis F. Alfano Sr MD for 62 years and they raised six children. When her youngest was in kindergarten she resumed her education receiving a Sociology BA from Northeastern University and a Master of Social Work (MSW) from Boston College School of Social Work specializing in mental health.

For nearly three decades she worked as a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker at the Lawrence Schiff Day Treatment Center operating in affiliation with Harvard Medical School Department of Psychiatry at the Cambridge Hospital. Schiff Center, an adult psychiatric day treatment program, provided support for severe and persistent mental illness. Ella's commitment and professionalism was unwavering, she was empathic and astutely skilled in her care, treatment and support. Not surprisingly, she was always a top favorite among clients and co-workers.

Ella adored gardening and interior decorating. Her homes in Melrose and Falmouth MA, where she vacationed summers since the late 1940's, reflect her keen eye for design and above all, functionality for large households. They are warm, luminous, airy, comforting and harmonious with nature - her gardens and the sea.

Ella's cuisine was anticipated, relished and remembered by those partaking. Inspired by tradition and her repertoire of recipes, her menus were well crafted and exquisitely prepared. Tremendous thought and planning created exceptional holiday festivities. She would be sure to take a moment with a heartfelt blessing to reflect upon gratitude and to be mindful of those less fortunate.

Ella was enriched by her travels far and wide with her family. She embraced diversity and richness of cultures. Her sophisticated fashion and artistic sense heightened her experience and awareness as she meandered through museums, boutiques, and cobblestone streets …

Wise and thoughtful, open-minded and tender, Ella had a skillful and subtle way of planting seeds and food for thought for those seeking direction. And when faced with her prognosis, she exemplified courage and acceptance. She passed away peacefully in her home on Tuesday, 15 May 2018, surrounded by her loving family.

Devoted mother of Dr. Susan K. Nkinyangi and her husband Dr. John Nkinyangi of Kenya, Dr. Frank J. Alfano and his late wife Karen Alfano of Falmouth, Elizabeth R. Alfano-Pavidapha of Melrose, Dr. Louis F. Alfano Jr. and his wife Patricia of Wakefield, David M. Alfano of Melrose, and Mary V. Judge and her husband Robert of Wakefield. Proud grandmother of Natalie, Sonia, Vanessa, Luke, Laura, Alex, Jessica, Eric, Arin, AJ, Johnny and Mugambi. Cherished great grandmother of Sam, Lex and Jamison. Loving sister of Joseph Giovino and his wife Barbara of Stoneham, Rita Pettito of Wakefield, Judy Giovino of Florida and Diane Bena and her late husband John of Stoneham. Ella is survived by numerous nieces, nephews and friends.

Visiting Hours will be held on Sunday, May 20, 2018 from 2:00-6:00 PM at the Gately Funeral Home, 79 W. Foster St., Melrose. Funeral procession from Gately Funeral Home on Monday morning, May 21st at 9 AM, followed by a 10 AM Funeral Mass at Incarnation Church, 425 Upham St., Melrose. Interment in Wyoming Cemetery, Melrose. Relatives & friends are respectfully invited to attend. In lieu of flowers contributions may be made in Ella's name to Dana Farber Cancer Research, 44 Binney St. #1234, Boston, MA 02115.