Eleanor Polimeni passed away in her sleep in Napa, CA on December 10, 2019 at the age of 97. She was born Madeline Eleanor Paredes on February 26, 1922 in Brooklyn, New York, the 3rd daughter of seven siblings of Giuseppe and Vita Paredes.
Eleanor grew up in Brooklyn New York during the depression and learned how to be a resourceful, capable woman. She met and married Michael Forma after World War II and they had two sons shortly thereafter. Eleanor divorced Michael in 1952.
She went on and worked for Western Union and eventually met Frank Polimeni and they were married in 1959. They honeymooned in Los Angeles, CA and determined that Southern California was where they wanted to live and work. In 1968 they built a New York-style delicatessen in Montrose, CA. and their business thrived. In 1980 they retired and decided to relocate to Northern California to be closer to their sons’ families in Sonoma and Napa.
There was never a skill that Eleanor couldn’t pick up and master. From cooking to sewing to painting to embroidery to knitting and duplicate bridge. She played weekly in Sonoma, CA for over 20 years until she and her husband Frank moved to Napa in 2007.
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She made every Holiday lovely and special teaching all her grandchildren how to make the Christmas specialty “rice balls”, otherwise known as arancini. Her efforts were legendary and always amazed her grandchildren.
Eleanor made many friends during her lifetime, none she loved as much as Lucy, her high school classmate, who predeceased her 20 years ago. She loved to play Duplicate Bridge at the Vintage House in Sonoma and claimed that she was “pretty good.” She had a terrible crush on Omar Shariff, but that’s another story. Eleanor was excellent at everything she did, and she leaves a legacy of traditions for her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren to perpetuate.
Sadly, Eleanor was pre-deceased by her husband of over 50 years, Frank. As well as her parents and siblings. She is survived by her sons Michael (Margaret) Forma of Napa, CA, Joseph (Lisa) Forma of Georgetown, CA.
Her Italian heritage prescribed how important family was to her. And she gave her whole family the Italian traditions that make for a great gathering whether it was Christmas, a backyard barbecue or a lovely dinner at home. She was exceedingly proud of her sons, Michael and Joseph Forma and was even more delighted by the women they married and the grandchildren and great-grandchildren that followed including 9 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren. She is also survived by six nieces and nephews and their families in Southern California, New York and Chicago.
Funeral Service to be held on Monday, December 16th at 11 am at Claffey & Rota Funeral Home, 1975 Main Street, Napa CA 94559 followed by interment at Tulocay Cemetery, 411 Coombsville Rd, Napa, CA 94558. Memories and notes of sympathy may be shared at claffeyandrota.com.