The following is the eulogy I wrote for my nonno’s funeral on 22 March 2017. I wanted to post this for all those unable to attend the service and for all those that reached out asking me to share. I sincerely appreciate all of those that were able to attend and honor my grandfather’s life and mourn his death with us all. He was a wonderful man and continues to live on in all of his children, grandchildren and anyone he came into contact with.
These are only a few of the many words that can describe nonno.
For those of you that may not know who I am, my name is Vincenzo Michele Landino, Michele’s oldest grandson.
My earliest memories of time spent with nonno are in Hamden, and later, in Northford, where my brother, Roberto, and I learned how to work with a zappa, play Italian card games like a scopa and a briscola, nonno even taught me how to make wine starting at 4 years old.
Nonno had a passion for gardening. As long as I could remember, the garden was his life. He was happy to get up every morning, eat his Corn Flakes with hot chocolate, drink his Sanka, and spend his day tending to his mini-farm. What always stood out to me was how much happier he was sharing the fruits of his labor with everyone.
Nonno also loved creating things out of wood, making wine and spending time with his family and friends. I can vividly remember the 20-lb hockey stick nonno carved for Roberto and I out of maple wood because he knew we wanted a goalie stick. I only wish Luca and Marco could have gotten the opportunity to experience nonno the way Roberto and I did.
Anyone who knew nonno knows of his generosity, work ethic, humility and selflessness. Whenever Roberto and I would complain about digging some holes, my father would remind us that nonno dug a full-sized foundation, with his brother, Antonio, on his vacation.
Whatever nonno was involved in, he made sure that it was done the right way. He never cut corners, and always made sure others were happy.
My cousin, Marcella wrote this and wanted to read it, but asked me to read it to everyone for her: It’s hard to describe nonno in just a few words. Nonno was my best friend, he taught me a lot of things. One thing that I never will forget that he taught me was to never give up and just keep trying. Nonno was the first one to teach me how to play scopa. I’ll never forget you, nonno, you are always in my heart.
Later this year, nonno would have been married to nonna for 60 years, and even though we won’t get to see that milestone, nonno made sure to leave me with the most beautiful gift of love that I’ve ever witnessed.
As my fiancè, Amy Schmittauer, and I begin our journey I can only hope we have half the love I’ve witnessed over the past 31 years.
While nonno isn’t with us physically anymore, his spirt will always live on. In fact, all you have to do is be around his children and grandchildren. You can see and feel nonno everywhere.In Marco’s playfulness.
The selflessness of Luca.
Roberto’s laugh and smile.
If you’ve ever had Michael twist your ear or pinch you, I’ll give you one guess where that’s from.
Mario’s bear hugs are just like the one’s nonno gave out.
And, if you need a fair and patient person to talk to, my father, Vincenzo is the person to turn to.
Ironically, my father wrote a few words and sent them to me to take a look at. We didn’t know we wrote these, so it was funny to see how we remembered the man very similarly. I want to read those words. Sorry, dad 😉
Michele Landino believed in keeping the family close, and was always there for them, no matter what time of the day or night. Our dad always put his plans on hold if his family needed him. Our dad was one of the hardest workers we had ever associated with. When it came to helping others, sometimes no matter who they were, our dad was there for them as well.
He loved gardening and shared his crops with others in a super abundant way. When wine season came around each year (family tradition), dad was there, and very much involved in the process (the boss was in command). A tradition that he passed on to his children, grandchildren, and even some friends interested in wine making.
Our dad loved his grandchildren very much, and every time he was with them, he was the happiest; they brought him a lot of comfort.
I am going to miss nonno calling me Nicol’ when I called him Pasquale, our long talks about life and most of all his love and care. Until the day we meet again, I will pass down his wisdom to my children and future grandchildren.
Nonno, mi mancherai. Ti voglio bene.