Lillian R. Allegrezza passed away peacefully in her sleep on September 2, 2019 at the age of 92.
She was born in Philadelphia on October 19, 1926, the daughter of Frederick J. Rexer and Bridgit Stenson Rexer. She was preceded in death by her sister, Marguerite Rexer Hettel and her brother, Frederick J. Rexer.
Lillian grew up learning the value of hard work by assisting in her father’s bakery before school each day. She attended Little Flower of Philadelphia from Grade School through High School. She trained to be an executive secretary, working at Kellett Aircraft Corporation (1944-1946), Turner Construction Company (1946-1951) and then Ballinger Company where she was the secretary for the senior partner. She was quite industrious and and did typing for college students on the side!
Lillian met the man of her dreams, Guido J. Allegrezza, (1925-1989) at a Chez Vous dance in Philadelphia. Guido was from Milford, Massachuettes, served in the US Army in World War II and earned a purple heart. Guido then earned an engineering degree at Villanova, through the GI Bill.
Lillian was married for 34 years to Guido. They were devoted parents and active members of their church and community. Lillian dedicated herself to raising their family of eight children in Ambler, PA. The family regularly attended St. Alphonsus Church and school. Lillian was involved in the life of the church in many ways. She was also a Girl Scout leader.
Lillian was a zealous supporter of each and every activity her 8 children were involved with from preparing crowns for Mary at the St. Alphonsus Grotto to cheering on the Upper Dublin football, wrestling, hockey and rifle teams, as well as the band! Lillian prepared countless lunches, and dinners as well as entertained family and friends regularly for each and every holiday,
Lillian was an amazing organizer! She recorded, corresponded and journaled throughout her life about every doctor visit and the garden vegetables that she canned. Lillian wrote grocery lists, menus and lists each and every day. She labeled each and every picture and project each child prepared. She labeled every card that arrived for every event for each child.
The family teases that Lillian did her own version of scrapbooking and Facebook before it became the rage it is today! She labeled each and every picture taken and prepared countless albums for the family as well as for each individual child. She researched family history and typed pages and pages of detailed information for each child. Once a book was “published” family members were expected to know the information and not ask questions but refer to her books! Lillian thoroughly enjoyed research, Her children tried to keep the topics of their reports a secret because she required much more than their teachers.
Lillian was a very hard worker. She was extremely proud to work with Guido to build their large split level on Three Tuns Lane in Ambler. They moved in with three children with many parts of the house unfinished. She talked about carrying buckets of water to the lower level when the plumbing was only working at the upper levels. Little by little she and Guido completed a beautiful, large home to raise their large family and host nieces and nephews to visit over the summer.
Lillian had a heart so big and strong, it could not be measured. Lillian thoroughly loved each of her children. Her love and strength was tested when her fifth child, Beth, was born premature, weighing only three and a half pounds, which was quite a challenge for doctors in 1962. With love and support, Beth survived and throughout life was considered to be our fighter, just like her mother! Lillian’s love was further tested when her sixth child, Thomas, was born in 1964, with a Cleft Palate and a hole in his heart. Lillian and Guido worked tirelessly with doctors at CHOP, and brought Thomas home after six months. Lillian was resourceful and encouraged her older children to take Thomas up the street to Detwiler's farm in a little red wagon to join in on all the fun because he did not have the strength to walk that distance on his own. Lillian went on to deliver her seventh and eight children with no health issues! By the age of seven, Thomas required heart surgery, but passed away in the attempt. Lillian was devastated, but continued on to love and support her children, however during the following year suffered a stroke which paralyzed her right side. Lillian worked hard at Moss Rehabilitation Center and returned home to continue cooking, cleaning and loving her family.
Lillian was able to continue to live in her own home for many years, even after Guido passed away, with the help of her children. When her big house became too much, Lillian was actively involved in supervising the building of an addition to live with her daughter and son-in-law, for eight years, where she continued to lead her family in love. When Lillian required more assistance, she moved to a lovely personal care apartment at Doc Woods. Lillian enjoyed using her scooter to attend activities at Doc Woods. Once Lillian required skilled nursing care, she took her scooter to a skilled nursing facility in Ephrata where she demonstrated amazing grace and effort to do her very best to continue her role as matriarch of the family. She joined in on week long vacations at Fred’s beach house every year until 2018. Lillian recently donned a navy and silver gown to attend the wedding of her niece, Joy, in June of this year.
One of Lillian’s favorite words has been “wonderful”! She continued to use this word to describe moments even in her last hours as she viewed videos from family in her hospital bed. Truly, Lillian was an example of wonderful love and a “Pillar of Faith” as her daughter, Beth, would say!
She is survived by seven children, Mary Louise Cook of Lancaster, PA, Guido Allegrezza, of Versailles, KY, Fred Allegrezza of Line Lexington, PA, Carol Mears of Newtown, PA, Beth McPhilmy of Frederick, MD, Jack Allegrezza and Anita Allegrezza Fantini of Yardley, PA. Her son, Thomas Allegrezza, succumbed to a heart condition at the age of eight. She was also “Nana” to twelve grandchildren, James Allegrezza, Lisa Allegrezza Holmes, Patty Allegrezza Ward, Charles Cook, Johnahtan Cook, Michael Allegrezza, Lauren Allegrezza, Grace Mears, Joy Mears, Ricky Mears, Sara McPhilmy and Denise McPhilmy, as well as twelve great-grandchildren. She was also loved by many nieces and nephews and their families.
A viewing will be held Friday, September 6, 2019 from 10:30 to 11:30 am, followed by a Funeral Mass at St. Alphonsus Church, Conwell Drive, Maple Glen, PA and graveside burial at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery.
Arrangements by Shaeff-Myers Funeral Home
Donations in Lillian Allegrezza’s honor can be made to:
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