Antonette Palmisano Julian, a longtime resident of Saltsburg, PA, died peacefully at home on July 12, 2022. She was 91 years old.
Antonette was born in 1931 in Vandergrift, PA, to Mary (Nardulli) and John Palmisano, who became American citizens after emigrating from Noci, a town in Italy’s southern province of Apulia. Family hardships necessitated combining two households, and she was raised with extended family, including 3 brothers, an uncle, and 4 cousins, in the Kiski Valley area, first on Vandergrift’s Jackson Avenue, and later in West Vandergrift. With a quick mind and skills for sports, she took to racquet-sharing and impromptu matches on the Jackson Avenue tennis courts. She became a lifelong fan of the game. In West Vandergrift, Antonette helped to maintain a large household. It was there she learned the values of hard work, self-discipline, perseverance, and devotion to family. She embraced those values for the rest of her life.
After graduating from Vandergrift High School in 1948, she married Frank J. Julian, a pharmacist from Vandergrift, in 1950. They purchased the drugstore at 237 Washington Street in Saltsburg in 1953, and operated Julian’s Pharmacy until the late 1980’s. The business, but not the building, was then sold and became Saltsburg Pharmacy, still independently-owned and in operation today. During the Pharmacy years, Antonette raised 4 children and was the store’s bookkeeper. She was also an active member of St Matthew’s Catholic Church and the Saltsburg community. Having learned to play golf as an adult, she later participated in local leagues and brought home trophies, as she did with tennis, especially in doubles. Antonette was talented at needlework, especially embroidery, but perhaps her finest skills were on display in the kitchen. She was an exceptional cook and baker, having preserved recipes and traditions from her family and the Italian-American community. Her signature event was the family’s Christmas Eve dinner of calamari and other fishes, a tradition that endures to this day.
Antonette leaves behind a family grateful for her legacy of strength and her enduring philosophy of life. She knew that the world brings a mixture of blessings and burdens, and she recognized the importance of family commitment and one’s faith. She was preceded in death by her brothers Martin, James, and Frank Palmisano, and her cousins Lawrence, Joseph, and James Narduli, and Mary Nardulli Monaco. She is survived by her children Elizabeth Dick (Terry); Maria (Mia) Julian; Christine Julian King (Christopher); and Frank A. Julian (Jill); along with 6 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren. Funeral arrangements will be handled by the Frank F. Gigler Funeral Home in Lower Burrell (724) 335-6500. A funeral Mass will be held in St Matthew’s Catholic Church, 703 Indiana Avenue, Saltsburg, PA 15681 on Saturday July 23, 2022 at 10:00 AM. Private Interment for the family at Greenwood Memorial Park in Lower Burrell, PA.
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