Ida Ciullo Cataldi has made a lot of memories during her long life.
She was born in Providence on Aug. 14, 1921, and first worked in the toy department at the former JJ Newberry department store. She later worked in the Records Department at Rhode Island Hospital and even found time to volunteer at Miriam Hospital.
In the middle of it all, many years before her retirement in 1987, Ida Ciullo married Angelo Cataldi, who passed away six years ago. Her late husband was a toolmaker at Bell Findings in Johnston.
Ida Ciullo Cataldi now lives at Pocasset Bay Retirement Living facility in Johnston. Among her interests is taking in as many events as possible with the Manton Seniors.
This past Sunday, members of the Manton Seniors were among the nearly 100 people who turned out at the Crowne Plaza Hotel’s Bristol Room in Warwick to help Ida celebrate her 90th birthday.
While Manton Seniors’ Vice President Bill DeVito remembered Angelo Cataldi as “one heck of a guy,” the focus Sunday was on Ida.
“We’re all especially honored to be here for Ida’s birthday. She’s been a member of our organization for a long time. And before he passed, Angelo was also a member of our group for a long time, too. He was a great guy,” DeVito said.
The party, which included a buffet dinner, music by the Calamari Brothers and a large birthday cake, was given by Ida’s children, Phyllis Cataldi Cullen and her husband, John Cullen, from North Kingstown, and Angelo Cataldi Jr., a Providence native who now lives in New Jersey.
Angelo Cataldi Jr. has enjoyed a long career in the media industry. A former news reporter and sports writer, Cataldi started out as an intern at the Narragansett Times. He then enjoyed success as a sports writer at the Providence Journal and later at the Philadelphia Inquirer. He’s now a sports radio talk show host at CBS affiliate 610WIP in Philadelphia.
Angelo, his sister Phyllis and her husband John tried to make their mother’s 90th birthday bash special. Ninety years is a reason to celebrate, and they hope to have many more years of celebrations for Ida.
“I hope you’ll be back to take a picture of my mom’s 100th birthday,” Angelo Cataldi told the Sun Rise. “We all think she’s really going to make that milestone.”