Emily Capozzoli – 1905

Emily Capozzoli 1917

Family Tree:

Parents: Luigi Capozzoli 1876 – 1925   and  Maddalena Peduto 1876 -1958

Married John Bonanno 1899 – 1970 (divorced)

Married George Scocca 1902 – 1977


Emily’s Daughter – Marie Scocca 1926 – present

– – – married Frank Russo 1922- present

– – -Frank Russo’s parents: Michael Russo 1882-1955; Leokadyia Lubomska 1892-1980

Grandchildren:  Frank Jr. 1952;  Marilyn 1954;   Michael – 1958


Emily’s Son – George Scocca, Jr. 1927 – present

– – – married Rose Celestino 1934-1990

Grandchildren: George III 1955;  Phillip  1958;  and Emily- 1960


Great Grandchildren:


On December 18, 2005, Emily celebrated her 100th birthday. An article was written in the TimesLedger Newspaper, December 29, 2005, by Scott Sieber.  He wrote:

According to Flushing resident Emily Bonnano, the secret to living a long and fruitful life is as simple as cleaning your dinner plate. “Green leafy veggies” explained the recent birthday girl. “I always ate my vegetables”.

On December 18, Bonanno celrated a red letter day most people only dream about: her 100th birthday.

Bonanno spent the day partying with a steady stream of well-wishing friends and family inside her current home on 57th Road. Many of the visitors traveled from as far as south Florida to help Bonanno mark the day. In a sign of the full life that she has led complete with a wealth of companions and possessions, she proudly displayed many gifts, flowers, picture collages from her friends in her living room several days after her celebration.

“They gave me so many flowers, you’d think it was my wake”, she said.

But, Bonanno’s wake will likely be another time far away from today. Even after a century of life, the only telltale sign of her old age is a slight hearing problem. Other than that, her mind is a quick as someone half her age, she retains all of her original teeth, she gets plenty of daily exercise and she laughs and jokes like a middle school cut up.

Born on a vegetable farm in the Broadway section of Flushing, she grew up at a time when Queens was still a land being settled and established. “It was a lot different. My father was a farmer and Flushing Meadows Park was a dump”, she said. “I used to swim from Flushing Bay to Fort Totten. “I’d see a lot of nice looking men back then”, she added with a mischievous grin.

On the family farm, her parents grew broccoli, cabbage, carrots and escarole. She attended PS 20 on Sanford Avenue and eventually married and had two children. She worked at the Ford Plant in Long Island City putting together ballistics for the Navy.  She later divorced and remarried years later.

In addition to her two children, she has six grandchildren and 14 great- grandchildren.

One of five brothers and sisters, her family lived a life that she said would be considered roughing it by today’s standards. Back then, she said the hustle and bustle of today’s city life was nothing more than a science fiction vision of the future.

“We didn’t have heat, we didn’t have toilets, we didn’t even have toilet paper”, she said. “My brothers used to hunt for rabbits.”

The same year she was born, in  1905, the popsicle was invented, the first car exceeded 100 mph in Daytona Beach, Florida, and the United States census showed a record 83 million people populating the country.

Her granddaughter, Marilyn McKaie, of Flushing, said she is not surprised that her grandmother is still as lively as she is today. “She always ate well, she gardens to get her exercise, she never smoked”, she said. “She did everything right before we knew it was the right thing to do.”

According to this article, Mr. Scott Sieber may be reached by email at news@timesledger.com.

Published on March 14, 2010 at 7:22 pm  Leave a Comment  

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