Andover, MA — Ann C. (Somma) Cavallaro, 94, died at Wingate at Andover on Sunday, April 21. Ann was the wife of the late Louis S. Cavallaro, and the daughter of the late Giacomo and Rose (Machera) Somma.
Ann was born on July 23, 1918, in Lawrence. The oldest of six children of Italian immigrants, Ann began Lawrence Public Schools in 1923, speaking only Italian, and later graduated from Lawrence High School in 1936 with highest honors. Ann remained active in the LHS Alumni Association and attended all of her class reunions, including her 75th high school reunion in 2011 at the age of 93.
Ann began her professional career working as a bookkeeper for several years at Russem’s Ladies Apparel in Lawrence. In 1946, she joined the Beneficial Finance Company in Lawrence as a senior bookkeeper. Ann left that position to embark on her 25-plus year career at the Lawrence Savings Bank until her retirement in 1977, at which point she had advanced to the position of head of the internal audit department at the bank. During her career, Ann was also active in the Greater Lawrence Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Lawrence Credit Women's Breakfast Club, one of the first professional networking groups for women in the area.
In 1977, Ann lived out her dream of relocating to the West Coast with her adoring husband Louis. Ann and Lou lived in San Jose, Calif., until 1990, during which time they traveled extensively in the United States, the Caribbean, Europe, and Asia. In particular, Ann and Lou visited Italy several times to celebrate their proud Italian heritage, spending much of their time in Naples and Sicily. While living in California, Ann modeled petite clothing from a local boutique at various fashion shows, and also resumed her career part-time as an accounting consultant for the Supercuts Hair Salon Chain. Ann retired for the second time in 1989, at the age of 71, hoping that she would have “even more time to ride my (stationary) bike” – a goal that she accomplished for 15 additional years.
After Ann and Lou returned “home” to the Merrimack Valley in 1990, they spent most of their time enjoying life with family and friends and remained active into their nineties. Ann especially enjoyed Italian cooking, singing in Italian, crocheting, reading nutrition and fitness books, and writing autobiographical stories about growing up in Lawrence. Still unable to completely abandon her love of working with numbers, Ann served as the treasurer of the Park Garden Tenants’ Association in Methuen, for three years when she was in her mid-eighties. Ann and her husband also continued to travel together, spending the winter months in California, until Louis’s death in 2006. Although Ann lost the love of her life, she was grateful for all that she and Louis had experienced together, and was quick to share her philosophy with others: “Do It While You Can! I did, and I’m glad.”
For the last several months of her life, Ann lived with her beloved sister, Helen, at Wingate at Andover. It seemed only fitting that Ann’s last year of life was spent sharing a room with her sister, replicating their early years together that were such a source of joy for both Ann and Helen.
Ann is survived by two sisters, Helen (Somma) Kobos, of Andover, and Emily (Somma) Magri and her husband, Joseph, of Haverhill. She is also survived by her brother, James Somma of New Port Ritchey, Fla. Additionally, Ann is survived by several nieces, nephews, and cousins, all of whom were sources of great family pride for her.
Ann was pre-deceased by her brother, Nicholas Somma and his wife, Tilvia (Nuzzo) Somma, her sister, Josephine Somma, her brother-in-law, Anthony Kobos, and her sister-in-law, Mavis (Sutton) Somma.
The family is honoring Ann’s wishes to forego a public service. Ann insisted that she was blessed to have family and friends surround her throughout her lifetime, and that she desired nothing more.
ARRANGEMENTS: Final arrangements are under the direction of Conte Funeral Home, 17 Third St., North Andover, MA. Memorial contributions may be made to Methuen Senior Activity Center, 77 Lowell St., Methuen, MA, 01844; or to the charity of one’s choice.