Catherine Cesa was 103 years old at the time of her death on October 9, 2020.
Born in Greenwich Village on May 8, 1917 to Mario and Angiolina Brunialti, she was the middle child of the family between her sisters Lucy and Dorothy .The family moved to upper Manhattan, where she attended Julia Richman High School.
Years later they moved to the Bronx where she met her future husband, John Cesa, at a local dance club. In November 1945, following John’s service in the army during World War II, they married and had two children, Michael in 1946 and Angela in 1950. Catherine was a devoted mother and homemaker, beloved by her children, nieces, nephews and cousins. She and her husband were active in the local Parish of our Lady of Mount Carmel in the Belmont section of the Bronx. In 1967, the family moved to the Williamsbridge neighborhood of the Bronx.
When her children married she became the doting grandmother of Christopher (Janine) Thomas (Sharon), Gregory (Caron), Jonathan, and Meredith (Jon). “Nana” would enthrall her grandchildren with her stories of growing up in NYC. After her husband’s death in 1992 she continued to live in the Bronx. In 2011 she moved to Sunrise Assisted Living in Smithtown. where she was known as a warm & caring woman who welcomed the chance to give her appreciated wise (or worldly) advice.
As time went on she was blessed with nine great grandchildren (Alessandra, Jason, Jocelyn, Gabriela, Emma, Mattingly, Matthew, Danielle, and Amelia) who affectionately knew her as “GG”.
Her persistent optimism and resilience was sustained by her devotion to her Catholic faith, her loving family, loyal friends and as much fun as she could have. She left us with a prayer in her soul & a song in her heart.
Catherine has recounted her life in a recording for the Bronx Italian American History Initiative at
Following Catherine’s wishes the family asks that instead of giving flowers and similar items a donation be made to Catholic Charities in her name.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Catherine R. Cesa, please visit our floral store.