Rena (Toni) Bisceglia; 94
LEOMINSTER - Rena Toni Bisceglia, age 94, of Leominster, died at Leominster Hospital on January 31, 2017. She was born in Leominster on September 16, 1922, daughter of Domenico and Maria (Allegrezza) Toni.
Rena graduated from Leominster High School in 1940 as class Valedictorian. During World War II she was employed at Leominster Savings Bank selling War Bonds and she further assisted the war effort as a member of the USO. She was fluent in Italian and frequently translated letters for neighbors and friends. She attended Mass College of Art and was an accomplished artist whose tremendous talent is displayed in homes of friends and family around the world. Rena graduated from Fitchburg State Teachers College in 1947 earning a BSE. After marriage she was a teacher at St. Anna’s and St. Anthony’s schools in the 1950’s and 1960’s. As a hobby, she enjoyed keeping a large photographic record of her family. She also maintained a library of photos and memorabilia of the Leominster Colonial Band dating back to the Band’s origin in 1910. For many years she served as the focal point for Sunday afternoon pasta dinners with family and friends. Rena was a wonderful grandmother who shared her love with her many grandchildren and great grandchildren through her fabulous Italian dinners and her famous Easter Breads. She once mentioned that her most memorable moment was standing at South Point on Hawaii’s Big Island in 2008, facing the vast Pacific Ocean and realizing that the next land across the water was Antarctica.
Rena married the love of her life, Vincent Bisceglia in 1945 after the conclusion of WWII. The children of Italian immigrants, Rena and Vinny lived in San Antonio and Cape Cod before settling here in Leominster to start a family. They traveled to Italy to visit friends and family in Fano and San Giovanni, the hometowns of their parents. They also visited their namesake town of Bisceglia in Italy during their most recent trip to “the old country.” Rena had many special relatives in Italy from the beautiful towns of Fano and Pesaro.
Rena was pre-deceased by her husband, Vincent Bisceglia and brothers, Guglielmo and Carlo Toni. She leaves three sons: Leonard and wife Michelle Bisceglia of Waterbury Center, VT, CAPT Stephen Bisceglia, USN (ret) of Honolulu, HI and Vincent and wife Susan Bisceglia of Groton, MA. She leaves two daughters: Dr. Kathryn and husband Jeffrey Miller of Leominster and Lauren and husband Steven Infantino of Leominster. She leaves seven grandchildren: Lisa Nugent and fiancé Mike Nelson, Lora and husband Kevin Grimley, Eric and wife Caitlin Bisceglia, Matthew and wife Barbara Bisceglia, David Bisceglia, Carolyn and Stephen Miller. She leaves seven great grandchildren: Cole and Rachel Nugent, Karley and Devin Grimley, Nicholas, Annie and Adrian Bisceglia. She leaves other dear family members: Linda and Robert Kirouac, Dolores Moeckel, Greg Carchidi, Mark Nugent, Emma and Bailey Nelson and many nephews and nieces, including her beloved extended family in Fano and Pesaro, Italy.
Rena’s funeral service will be held on Saturday, February 11th from the Silas F. Richardson & Son Funeral Home, 106 West Street, Leominster with a Mass at 10 am in St. Anna's Church, 194 Lancaster Street, Leominster. Burial will be in St. Leo’s Cemetery, Leominster. Calling hours will be held on Friday, February 10th from 5-7 pm in the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Leominster Colonial Band, c/o John DeCicco, 193 N. Main St., Leominster, MA, 01453.