Carole S. Pennisi
Carole Syvia Satin Keyser Pennisi was born in Philadelphia, PA on May 20, 1932 to Edward and Esther Satin.Her life was as interesting as her name.Her childhood was spent in three places-Philadelphia and Lancaster, Pennsylvania and Atlantic City, New Jersey.At the age of 16, Carole met her first husband, Arthur Keyser, who was 19 years old.Arthur had recently returned from 18 months in the U.S. Army, serving mostly in Japan.
Carole graduated from Atlantic City High School and completed a program as a Stenographer.At age 18, she and Arthur became engaged and a year later they were married.They moved to Washington, DC, where her husband worked for the Pentagon during the day and attended George Washington University Law School at night. Carole worked as a secretary at the Pentagon. They lived in Washington for 4 years.When Carole became pregnant with their first child, Robert, they moved back to Philadelphia and moved in with Arthur’s parents. Two more children followed, a son, Joel and a daughter, Andrea.Carole was not content to be a stay-at-home mom.She was way ahead of her time and decided to launch a home-based business called Maids by Phone.This business evolved into Europa Placement Agency and by the time Carole and Arthur’s marriage ended in 1960, she was traveling all over the world helping young women from Africa, Europe, South America and Asia come to the United States to work. It was in this capacity that Carole met her second husband, Dr. Salvatore Pennisi.Carole was searching for a housekeeper for Dr. Pennisi, who was recently widowed and had six children.Carole became his wife, his cook and the mother to his six young children-Alfio, John, Lisa, Anthony, Andrea Lee, and Salvatore, Jr.
The newly blended family of 9 children moved to Moorestown, New Jersey. Carole ran the household like a drill sergeant—all the children were to make their beds with hospital corners, drawers were checked and if clothes were not folded neatly enough, drawers would be dumped out of the window for children to fold again.Carole did her grocery shopping on Italian Market at the Philadephia Wharf, buying fresh vegetables and meats for her large family. She became an expert cook, running her kitchen with passion and love. All meals were homemade, including the bread and pizza doughs.Even while raising such a large family, Carole continued to operate interesting businesses.She started a dress-making business in Philadelphia and later a catering business in which all the children who were old enough to work would be the waiters and bartenders.Five years after they married, Carole and Sal gave birth to Johanna.Now the family was officially yours, mine and ours.
Carole devoted her life to her family.She spent hours teaching all the children the value of hard work, academics, music, and sports.She was very involved in her daughters’ lives.She planned five weddingsin one year, she attended many births of children, she babysat grandchildren and made sure all of the children would be together for holidays.
She and Dr. Pennisi started exploring Southwest Florida 29 years ago.First living in Marco Island part-time, then moving to Sanibel and finally ending up in a home facing the mouth of the Caloosahatchee River in Palm Acres near Shell Pointe.She played tennis, ran for miles, worked out and continued to cook for years.As her knees gave out, she took up walking.She and her husband took daily 5 mile walks each day.Daughter Andrea, her husband, Mark and their three children spent nearly every holiday with Carole and Sal in Fort Myers. She and her family moved to Fort Myers to be closer to Carole and Salvatore. Later, Carole and Salvatore each began to experience cognitive decline.
Carole died on March 28, 2018, after a lengthy battle with Alzheimer’s.Throughout the disease, she never became violent or unpleasant.She was one of the favorites of the nurses and aides at Cypress Cove.While she lost her ability to speak, she often hummed and carefully watched all activity around her.She left this world a better place-always ahead of her time, speaking her mind, but with an open heart and open mind.She had a smile for nearly all and wanted so much to improve the world around her.She is obviously up in Heaven cooking up a storm, talking and giving life advice to everyone around her.Carole is survived by 10 children and 30 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Hope Hospice c/o Development Office, Hope Hospice,9470 HealthPark Circle, Fort Myers, Fl 33908.
Mullins Memorial Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Fort Myers, is entrusted with final care.