HAVERHILL - F. Antoinette (Trigilio) Salerno, 94, of Groveland, formerly of Bradford, passed peacefully at her Nichols Village home on March 25, 2021, surrounded by her loving family.
She was born on June 13, 1926, in Lawrence, MA to the late Sebastiano and Concetina (Borngiorno) Trigilio. Beloved wife of Salvatore Salerno for 71 years, she was pre-deceased by her sisters Lucy Scalora, Anna Tineo, Nellie Montefusco, and Michelle Camello. She also was the loving sister in-law of Dr. Joseph Salerno and his wife Helen, of Salem, MA, whom she adored and whose family celebrated numerous holidays and birthdays together. She was the devoted mother of eight children: Nancy Niccolini and her husband Drew of Hampton, NH, Anthony and his wife Judy of Wellesley, MA, Patricia Crimmin and her husband Stephen of Bradford, MA, Constance Salerno of Merrimac, MA, Teresa Salerno of Lohr am Main, Germany, Barbara McCaffery of Hampstead, NH, Mary Noyes and her husband Brian of Groveland, MA and Jennifer Salerno of Haverhill, MA. She is also survived by thirteen grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren who adored their Grammy.
Following her life-long ambition to become a teacher, she graduated from Salem State Teacher’s College in 1948 and began her teaching career at Merrimac High School. Her distinguished career included more than 30 years as a teacher in the Haverhill school system. While raising her large family, she went on to earn her Master’s degree in education, plus an additional 60 hours of graduate-level academic credits. During a summer internship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, she created a new model of note taking called ‘ABC Shorthand’. This hybrid form of stenography simplified the world of sophisticated shorthand and made it accessible to college-bound students, an innovation that was incorporated into the business studies curriculum at Haverhill High school.
Antoinette was an active member of Sacred Heart and St. John’s churches, which she regularly attended with her husband Sam. She was an extraordinarily talented person with wide-ranging interests that she tirelessly pursued. She was an innovative cook and her recipes frequently were featured in local newspapers. As an adolescent, she apprenticed at her aunt’s bridal shop, eventually becoming a master seamstress who went on to create elaborate wedding gowns for all her children’s weddings, as well as all types of dresses, wearable fashions and window treatments for her growing family. In addition, she excelled at all forms of fine needle-work, including crochet, needlepoint, embroidery, and cutwork, creating numerous heirloom pieces for family and friends.
While her grace, humility, laughter and extraordinary personal strength will be missed, her altruistic spirit and the authenticity of her devotion to her faith lives on in everyone who knew her. Her family is deeply grateful to the staff at Nichols Village, as well as the dedicated caretakers who became a joyful part of her life over the past several years, especially Debbie McInnes, Yamir Rodriguez, Wanda Cook and Fr. John Delaney, Pastor of Sacred Hearts Parish.
Private family services with Catholic Funeral Rites officiated by Fr. John and interment in Linwood Cemetery will be held. Celebration of Mrs. Salerno's wonderful life is planned for this summer and will be announced. Arrangements by Driscoll Funeral Home, Haverhill. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in her memory to Beacon Hospice, 290 Merrimack Street, Suite 242, Lawrence, MA 01843. For guestbook, please visit www.driscollcares.com
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