Anita Nahrgang Macrone, known to her family and the many children she worked with as “Nanny”, peacefully passed away Tuesday, May 12, after listening to the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, just as she requested. She was 87 years young.
Anita was a devoted mother to her seven children, Deborah Graziano (Carmen), Bruce (Charlene), Stephen (Andrea), Michael (Barb), Christopher (Kathy), Susan, and Mark (Judy) and her 31 grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great-great grandchild. Her abundant love for all children was evident every single day of her life. She was overjoyed when surrounded by her family, as well as the many children she worked with for several years at St. Joseph/St. Robert School CARES program, where she was known affectionately as “Nanny, the marshmallow lady.”
Anita was born on August 22, 1932 and raised in Ardmore, Pennsylvania. She was the loving daughter of Francis L. and Esther Lindsay Nahrgang. Anita was very proud of her Scotch Irish and German ancestry. She cherished her visits to extended family in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. Anita was a proud graduate and May Queen (1946) of St. Denis Catholic Elementary School in Havertown, PA, and Alumnus of Notre Dame Moylan Girls Catholic High School, Class of 1950. Anita still had contact with many of her classmates. For the past several years, Anita resided at her son and daughter-in-law’s home in Horsham Township. She was preceded in death by her parents and former husband, BG Pasquale J. Macrone, Jr.
Everyone who had the distinct honor of friendship with Anita knows she lived a full and adventurous life - always filled with laughter. Taking each of her children when they were young, one at a time, on a day trip to New York City so she could share her many interests with them, including having lunch at Sardi’s and waiting by stage doors to talk to the Broadway stars as they left the theater. Anita was a contestant on several game shows in the 70’s, including Concentration and To Tell the Truth. She frequently drove into Philadelphia by herself while her children were at school and was a regular audience member of The Mike Douglas Show, where she managed to bump into many celebrities “by accident” on the elevator, engaging them in conversation and always getting autographs. Anita’s annual vacation to Puerto Rico with her daughters and their families was indeed the highlight of her life each December. Her love of the island and her many dear friends there was evident as she proudly wore her oversized “I Love PR” button almost everywhere she went. Anita’s love of the slot machines in Atlantic City, Las Vegas, and Puerto Rico, resulted in lifelong friendships with many casino employees in each location. Although she never got to write the book she was going to title “Bartenders I Have Known”, Anita made lasting friendships with bartenders everywhere she went. She shared many hours of stories and laughter with each one, and always “suggesting” tips on how to make her Rob Roy the way she liked it. There was never a first conversation with Anita without her asking your birthday so she could share your zodiac traits with you - she was a very proud Leo and every trait ever written about Leo’s was part of her personality. She loved doing Crossword puzzles and hated when the answers were printed on the same page because she was determined to finish puzzles by herself and not “cheat” by looking. Anita loved all animals, especially cats - big and small, and served regularly as a dog-sitter for her grand-dog, Shecky. Not well-known for her cooking skills, Anita’s children often joke about how they survived on some of the concoctions she lovingly prepared when they were kids - from Tang (“orange water”), instant mashed potatoes enjoyed with a straw, and Hamburger Helper always “stretched” with extra noodles to feed her large family. When her kids were young, every meal ended with a huge bowl of iceberg lettuce and oil & vinegar. Anita herself had a unique diet with affection for sardine sandwiches, miracle whip, fried bologna, grape jelly with everything, and a sweet tooth for Circus Peanuts (the orange ones) and butterscotch candies. Anita’s children have fond memories of annual summer family vacations to Brigantine Beach – the same beach town Anita enjoyed as a child with her parents.
Up to her final days, Anita’s mind was sharp and she was still driving her ’98 Oldsmobile Intrigue until the peripheral artery disease she suffered many years with finally took its toll, and took her from us. Anita’s children wish to send their sincere and abundant thanks to her doctors and all the staff at the Warminster Hospice, where she received loving and compassionate care the last week of her life with her son and daughter at her side. A private Mass of Christian Burial will be held for Anita with her cremated remains to rest eternally with her parents at the Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Cemetery in Philadelphia. Anita’s Celebration of Life will be announced and held at a later date - it promises to be the party of the century, just as she wanted. In the meantime, raise a glass of your favorite beverage and toast to our beautiful, loving mother and friend to all. If you desire, the family requests donations made in Anita’s remembrance to the Augustinian Fund at Villanova University to support the retired and infirmed friars, or to the animal charity of your choice. “When you’re born, you are crying, but your world is rejoicing. When you die, your world is crying, but you are rejoicing.”
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