Remembering Renee
Recordando a Renee

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Remembering Renee

Story and photos by Mónica Barnkow

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Robert Mancino is embraced by a friend.

Hundreds gathered at the Riverdale Funeral Home this past Thurs., Nov. 13th to pay their respects to Renee Mancino, owner of Carrot Top Pastries.

Renee, beloved neighborhood maven of pastries, humor and counsel, was remembered as a warm and generous spirit.

Robert Mancino spoke lovingly of his wife of over 30 years.

“I am going to miss her,” he said. “But I think she is peaceful now.”

Mourners chose to recall the many happy moments with the woman who had founded two pastry shops that became neighborhood gathering spaces and whose delicious cakes served as the centerpiece of many a family celebration.

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A mourner pays her respects.

Tony Naccaratto has called Robert a friend for half a century. The two were childhood friends growing up in Brooklyn.

Naccaratto, who attended the wake with wife Mary, knew the couple well.

“Renee was a wonderful wife,” he recalled. “And a great marketer.”

“We were there, at the conception,” added Mary Naccaratto. “She was the baker and the marketer; Bob was the business side, the negotiator.”

The two families remained closed throughout the years and had recently spent time at the Mancino family home in New Jersey. Renee dazzled her guests with a delicious Italian supper.

“She made good Italian bread and sauce,” said Mary. “She was a very good cook, and a wonderful [mother and] grandmother.”

For Valerie Miller, Renee was someone to look up to.

“When I was 15, I was one of her first employees,” recalled Miller, whose father was a partner to Robert at the New York Police Department. “She became my mentor and hero because of the way she overcame obstacles.”

“[She] had a heart of gold,” said Mancino.

“[She] had a heart of gold,” said Mancino.

Between tearful embraces and remembrances, Robert praised his late wife effusively.

“I remember she was cooking a carrot cake,” he said. “And people were like, ‘Wow, she is beautiful.’ This girl had a heart of gold. I never stopped loving her.”

He said he would always celebrate her perseverance.

“She was tough,” he said.  “Nobody knew the pain she was in. She would still smile.”

Recordando a Renee

Historia y fotos por Mónica Barnkow

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Roberto Mancino es abrazado por un amigo.

Cientos se reunieron en la funeraria Riverdale el pasado jueves 13 de noviembre para presentar sus respetos a Renee Mancino, propietaria de la pastelería Carrot Top.

Renee, amada en el barrio y experta en pasteles, humor y consejos, fue recordada como un espíritu cálido y generoso.
Roberto Mancino habló con cariño de su esposa de más de 30 años.

“Voy a extrañarla”, dijo. “Pero creo que ahora está en paz”.

Los dolientes optaron por recordar los muchos momentos felices con la mujer que fundó dos pastelerías que se convirtieron en espacios de reunión de los vecinos, y cuyos deliciosos pasteles fueron servidos como la pieza central de muchas celebraciones familiares.

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“Renee fue una esposa maravillosa,” dijo Tony Naccaratto, con su esposa Mary.

Tony Naccaratto ha considerado a Robert como un amigo desde hace medio siglo. Se hicieron amigos mientras eran niños que crecían en Brooklyn.

Naccaratto, quien asistió a la vigilia con su esposa Mary, conocía bien a la pareja.

“Renee era una mujer maravillosa”, recordó. “Y una gran comerciante”.

“Estuvimos allí, en el nacimiento de la idea”, añadió María Naccaratto. “Ella era la panadería y la comerciante; Bob era la parte comercial, el negociador”.

Las dos familias continuaron siendo cercanas a lo largo los años y recientemente pasaron tiempo juntos en la casa de la familia Mancino en Nueva Jersey. Renee deslumbró a sus invitados con una deliciosa cena italiana.

“Ella hizo un buen pan y una salsa italiana”, dijo María. “Era una muy buena cocinera y una maravillosa [madre y] abuela”.
Para Valerie Miller, Renee era alguien a quien admirar.

“Cuando tenía 15 años fui una de sus primeras empleadas”, recordó Miller, cuyo padre era compañero de Robert en el Departamento de Policía de Nueva York. “Ella se convirtió en mi mentora y héroe debido a la forma en la que superaba los obstáculos”.

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El velorio se celebró en la funeraria Riverdale.

Entre abrazos llenos de lágrimas y recuerdos, Robert elogió efusivamente a su difunta esposa.

“La recuerdo cocinando un pastel de zanahoria”, comentó. “Y la gente la veía como pensando: ¡Wow, es hermosa! Tuvo un corazón de oro. Nunca dejé de amarla”.

Dijo que siempre celebrará su perseverancia.

“Ella era fuerte”, mencionó. “Nadie conocía el dolor por el que atravesaba y aun así, sonreía”.