Yolanda Julia Lanza died on July 20, 2021 surrounded by her adoring family. She was born in Brooklyn, New York on September 27, 1933 to her parents Pantaleo and Angela Cosmai. Yolanda was the last surviving member of her immediate family.
When she was 23 years old, Yolanda married Peter Lanza after first meeting at a Halloween party. Together, they settled into their home in Brooklyn and began their own family. First, there was their daughter Roseann (Logan), followed by their son Leonard, and completed with their daughter, Julia (Bolt). After careful consideration, Yolanda and Peter relocated their family to New Jersey, eventually settling in Ridgewood in 1967 where she resided until she passed.
After raising her children, Yolanda took a position as a teacher at First Presbyterian Nursery School in Ridgewood where she worked for 20 years (and where her daughter is currently Director). She never learned to drive but walked over two miles to work and back each day, rain or shine, deep-freeze or heat wave.
As the matriarch, Yolanda or Minna as she was affectionately known, possessed a deep love for her family and emitted a quiet magnetism that was evidenced by the warmth of her home. All who entered were welcome. Her kitchen was where she expressed her love for family and friends. She never worked from notes (in her later years, her grandchildren did their best to capture some of these recipes). From Zucchini Flower Patties to Crab Spaghetti, Yolanda’s cooking was at the center of every holiday and get together and the basis for some of her family’s fondest memories.
Yolanda was a voracious reader with an uncanny ability to remember the finest details. This penchant translated to a resonant kindness, generosity, and thoughtfulness that will be sorely missed. She enjoyed watching the New York Mets (David Wright was her favorite player) and capped many evenings with an “old movie” on the TCM channel. Yolanda loved to travel. She was fearless and strong, humble and tenacious. She often reminded her loved ones “You should do it now while you still can.”
Her home was a hive of activity where family and friends came to connect. Whether she was doling out straightforward advice at the kitchen table or quietly observing her backyard, her presence was always a source of comfort and her candor never failed. She spoiled her family and friends with her love, patience, and perspective. You’re forever in their hearts, Minna.
She is survived by her loving husband, Peter; children, Roseann, Leonard, and Julia; son-in-laws, Thomas Bolt and Todd Logan; grandchildren Catherine Blanar, Nicholas Bolt, Christina Cordaro, Michael Bolt, Peter Bolt, and Matthew Logan; and their spouses Michael, Olivia, Justin, and Carolina.
Visiting hours will be held at Feeney Funeral Home from 2:00-6:00 pm on Sunday, July 25. Yolanda’s funeral mass will be at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Roman Catholic Church on Monday, July 26 at 10:00 am.
The Funeral Mass on July 26th at 10:00 am will be live streamed. Please click on one of the following links to view the live stream:
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