Those were the words used to describe Angela “Big Ang” Raiola, star of “Mob Wives” at her funeral on Monday by Monsignor David L. Cassato.
[otw_shortcode_quote border=”bordered” border_style=”bordered” color=”#ff0396″]“She loved, she cried, she laughed, she shared. She was fully human.”[/otw_shortcode_quote]
The church was packed with over 200 family, friends, and fans, who wished to pay their last respects to the unforgettable and unapologetic Big Ang at the Basilica of Regina Pacis R.C. in Brooklyn on Monday.
Over the weekend, hundreds of fans attended the two-day wake to share their love for one of the most memorable reality stars today. Big Ang’s family, her husband, son and daughter, plus six grandchildren, entered the church behind the shiny, gold casket. The single floral arrangement was full of large, red roses in the shape of lips. Many more flowers were placed outside in her honor. Except for the sounds of quiet crying, the church was said to be silent both during and after mass.
Family, friends and many of Ang‘s co-stars came out to pay their respects, including Karen Gravano, Drita D’Avanzo, Carla Facciolo and Renee Graziano.
“I want everyone to think of their favorite memory of Big Ang,” Monsignor Cassato said during the service. “I’m sure everyone has one that is very special, but I’m going to tell you about mine.” The Monsignor held up a photo of himself and Big Ang that he keeps on his desk in the rectory.
“I treasure this picture to this day. …Everyone who comes into the rectory asks about it. ‘They say, ‘You know her,’ and I say she was my good friend.”
The Monsignor also shared a time when Big Ang was choosing the winner of a raffle at his church. After selecting the winning ticket, she said, “Where’s my cut?”
“Big Ang was fully human and fully generous,” he added. “Today Big Ang rests in God’s peace.”
After the mass, family, friends and some “Mob Wives” cast members gathered to listen to Big Ang’s sister, Janine Detore.
“I was with her before she died and she said she was ready. I said I wasn’t, and she said, ‘Get over it’,” recalled Detore. “She told me she wanted to go home. Those were her last words to me. I didn’t know if she meant home (on Staten Island) … or with my parents in heaven … She will always be a part of me and will always be with me.”
At the conclusion of the mass, white pigeons were released outside the church. Afterwards, there was a luncheon at Angelina’s in Tottenville (Staten Island), where disco music was played and Sangria served. Big Ang will be laid to rest behind her mother in Resurrection Cemetery in Pleasant Plains.
I am so lucky to combine blogging with my guilty pleasure of watching reality TV. I read all the comments and respond to most. Feel free to reach out to me. If you like fiction, I have two published novels: Three Days in Purgatory and A Reason to Run.