by Cate Murway
Tax Collectors are independent constitutional officers duly elected by their fellow citizens and taxpayers. Taft Street resident, Anna [meaning gracious; one who gives] Bono Larrisey, St. Hubert Catholic High School’58, the 4th diocesan girls’ high school established in Philadelphia, directs, plans, organizes, budgets, sets and implements the Borough’s financial management matters. She is responsible not only for the collection of ad-valorem tax (Latin: by value), tax based on the value of real estate or personal property, but also the borough, county and school district taxes, as well as the monies the mortgage companies have collected and pay them. Anna then disperses those major sources of revenues. The goal of the Borough Tax Collector's exemplary office including full time clerk, Virginia (Ginny)[Corrigan] Paleafico, BHS’67, sister of the former State Representative, Honorable Thomas C. Corrigan, Sr., and Andrea [Tosti] Harvie, BHS ‘62 can be stated in one word: "SERVICE" - service to the citizens and service to the government agencies that do business with the office, in a most courteous, professional, innovative and cost-effective manner. The refurbished historically retained office, [it still houses the original Philadelphia made Stiffel and Freeman safe], was built in 1927 by the US Senator Joseph Ridgway Grundy, the textile manufacturer, industrialist and politician. He sold the building to the Borough for $1.00.
Indefatigable Mayor, Honorable Joseph [Joe] A. Saxton willingly shares, “Anna is the epitome of a volunteer; so involved in every facet of the Borough’s life. She truly represents the fabric of the community.”
Anna and her husband Joe, who was born in Dr. Wagner’s Hospital on Radcliffe Street, mutually recall dancing at the VanBuren Hall on Wood Street, currently the Dragon Moon Martial Arts Association, but never met there. The Jefferson Avenue resident, Anna, and Wood & Walnut resident, basketball guard athlete, Joseph Fenton Larrisey, BHS ‘58/ LaSalle College ’63 were introduced at the wedding of Anna’s girlfriend, Lena, Delhaas ’58 and Joe’s brother, the late Fenton Larrisey.
Joe and Anna were married May 1, 1965 and are celebrating 42 years! [50 in 2015!]
Through the good or lean years
And for all the in between years - come what may”
Quick and excellent ball handler Joe shared the court with BHS Hall of Fame inductee, the late Albert Van Wright, for whom the BHS weight room, the “Al Van Wright Fitness Room”, is named. Joe retired as a Financial Analyst from CertainTeed Corporation, the leading North American manufacturer of building materials, located in Valley Forge.
Both of their fathers, the late Anthony Bono and the late Fenton Larrisey were butchers and owned grocery stores with a Unity- Frankford sign looming overhead. Joe was a stock boy at Larrisey’s and recalls Joe Grundy being chauffeur-driven to his father’s store to shop for the savory Pennsylvania Dutch traditional scrapple. The Bono’s grocery stood at Jefferson & Chestnut, where Sanchez Pizza & Deli Express was recently located. Anna’s mom, Mrs. Rose Bono still resides in the Borough. Anna’s brother, Gaspare Bono is retired from Amtrak and Joe’s brother, William Fenton Larrisey is employed at Rohm and Haas. Their son, Simon and Shuster - Total Warehouse Services Corp. forklift operator, Joseph, BHS ‘84/BCCC and his wife, Jennifer are Borough residents and their son, Anthony, BHS ’88/Sranton University ’92 is an established events producer with a plethora of skills and resources, living in Manhattan, NY.
The highly motivated and inspirational Larrisey couple maintains a heightened sense of civic and social responsibility. The Bristol Lions, who celebrated 56 years of community service, applauded Anna’s spirit and leadership, naming her “2000 Citizen of the Year” for her moral guidance and unselfish service to others.
Both Anna and Joe encourage, motivate and raise the spirits of those around them with their idealistic concepts as members of the Celtic Heritage Foundation. President for the last 10 years, Joe was instrumental in the erecting of the High Cross Monument in Lions Park. About 5,000 spectators enjoyed the finest in Celtic arts, food, music, and piping during the June 24th Celtic Festival Day. The profits perpetuate the $5000. scholarships awarded to BHS for deserving graduates demonstrating community involvement or academic improvement, and the unrestricted funds donated to St. Mark and St. Ann Schools and Snyder-Girotti Elementary. Mayor's Youth Advisory Council member Gabriella L. Moyer was one of the senior scholarship recipients selected by the BHS Administration. On Bristol Day last October, Gabby assisted Anna in preparing The Wade Funeral Home on Radcliffe Street for visitors interested in the history of the house.
Anna recalls the beginning of her philanthropic ventures, and being “bitten by the bug” after she started to volunteer her services to the Warren P. Snyder- John Girotti Elementary School PTO. Shortly after joining the Bristol Cultural & Historical Society located on 321 Cedar Street, she was asked to chair Historic Bristol Day that features House Tours, Afternoon Tea, Guided Walking Tours, crafts, entertainment, and hayrides. Before long, she was honored with a Board position. Historian Harold Dodson Mitchener, BHS ‘56/WCU ‘60/ Masters Program, College of N.J., also on the Board of Directors, has known Anna for 25 years. “She is a very reliable, charming, friendly, helpful “people person”.” As retired president of the "Columbus 500 Foundation/ Celebration Committee", Anna worked tirelessly along with Tom Corrigan to raise the funds for the Columbus monument. It’s a commanding bronze bust on a granite base that is designed as a compass to include all the world's people who came to America.
Anna and Joe together labored on the "BRISTOL-1681 - 2006, 325 years of rich historical past to be shared" project. President Anna, who served as corresponding secretary for the 300th celebration, appointed Joe “Chairman of the Commemorative Booklet Committee”. Another joint venture the couple chaired was the 1995 “150th St. Mark Anniversary”. Anna also coordinates baptisms for Father Dennis Michael Mooney, Northeast Catholic H.S. ‘68/ St. Charles Borromeo Seminary. Per Father Mooney, “Anna is involved in every activity at St. Mark’s, much more than just the Baptisms; Appreciation Night, picnic planning, dinners for Confirmation, and the annual Blue Mass”. This venerable tradition remembers unsung heroes; law enforcement officers, firefighters and emergency personnel who have perished in the line of duty, and prays for the safety of all officers.
“Taller than the tallest tree is
That’s how its got to feel
Deeper than the deep blue sea is
That’s how deep it goes - if its real”
Anna unreservedly confides, “Whatever I am involved in, Joe is always there”.
“When somebody loves you
It’s no good unless he loves you - all the way
Happy to be near you
When you need someone to cheer you - all the way”
Their favorite recreational pastime is a trip to NYC, where culture just seems to be in the air, like part of the weather; for dinner, a play and to visit their son, Tony. Memorable 8PM "curtains" were the record-breaking 12 Tony Awards winning “Producers” written by Mel Brooks, the Best Musical Tony Award “42nd Street”, and “Chicago”, the world's longest-running musical revival on Broadway.
A favorite meal choice for both is pasta and a “nice glass of chianti”, Italy's most famous red wine. Joe particularly enjoys the Stuffed Peppers served at the “Becco [means to nibble or savor in a discriminating way] Restaurant” on West 46th Street, NYC, owned by cooking show host, Lidia Bastianich, the reigning queen of Italian cuisine. They use cubanelle peppers, also called banana peppers or Italian sweets that are his favorite, grown in his own home garden along with tomatoes and basil, “nothing challenging”. Anna does the cooking indoors, and makes her own sauce using her American born Grandmother Filomena Ciambella’s recipe. Joe, the fair weather outdoor cook, barbeques everything on the gas grill. Accolades from the Mrs., “wonderful steak on the grill, terrific steak and veggies; we especially like grilled zucchini and eggplant.”
As for color, Anna loves pewter grey-blue with its delicate ambience that spotlights tranquility and “gardener” Joe prefers the neutral shades and comforting hues of earth tones, like brown. Joe said he “should have been a UPS driver!”
Classic jazz, Broadway show tunes and Cat Stevens [the English musician, born Steven Demetre Georgiou] satisfies the auditory appetite. Anna’s favorite tune is “All the Way” sung by Frank Sinatra or Jerry Maurio. They were rapt audience at the BRT for Jerry’s recent GoodWill Hose Company #3 Volunteer Fire Company fundraiser!
They own an elegant, stylishly designed Manhattan Club Timeshare with their friends, Borough residents, John & Beverly [the Cocktail Party Fundraiser Committee & Web Site Link Chair for the 325th Celebration] Kalinowski. In their sparse “spare time”, they are capable of exchanging externally into thousands of other timeshare resorts worldwide.
“Who knows where the road will lead us
Only a fool would say”
Anna Bono Larrisey, Administrator
Bristol Borough Tax Collector
250 Pond Street
Bristol Borough, PA 19007
Hours of Operation:
Monday - Friday 9:30 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.
[“All the Way” recorded by Frank Sinatra,
written by acclaimed lyricist Sammy Cahn and American pop composer James Van Heusen]
To recommend a Bristol Borough Character to be spotlighted:
email : firstname.lastname@example.org
American Heritage Dictionary
1.Moral or ethical strength. 2.A description of a person's attributes, traits, or abilities.
Bucks County Courier Times
Rosina "Rose" (Ciambella) Bono passed away peacefully Thursday, Oct. 9, 2008, at the home of her grandson in Bristol Borough. She was 87.She was born in Ehrenfeld, Pa., and was raised in Bristol Borough. She, along with her husband, owned and operated Bono's Market in Bristol Borough for more than 40 years. Later, they also owned and operated a 7-11 in Levittown for several years. Rose was a very traditional Italian wife and mother. She will best be remembered for her cookies, cheese bread, and holiday dinners. She was the devoted widow of Anthony, to whom she was married to for more than 43 years. She also is preceded in death by her sister, Lucy Ciambella. Rose will be greatly missed by her children, Anna L. Larrisey and her husband, Joseph, and Gaspare "Gap" Bono and his wife, Nancy, both of Bristol Borough. She was the loving grandmother of Joseph Larrisey and his wife, Jennifer, with whom she resided in Bristol Borough, Anthony Larrisey of New York, Anthony Bono and his wife, Katrina, of Bristol Borough, Anne Bono of Hatboro, Regina Rose Bono of Bristol Borough, and Cheryl of Bristol Borough. She was the devoted sister of John Ciambella and his wife, Violet, and Albert, Eugene, and Ronald Ciambella; and sister-in-law of Jennie Costantini and her husband, John, and Linda Bono. She also is survived by many nieces, nephews, and cousins. Relatives and friends are invited to call from 7 to 9 p.m. Monday and from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. Tuesday at Galzerano Funeral Home, 430 Radcliffe St., Bristol Borough. Funeral Mass will follow at 10 a.m. in St. Ann Church. Interment will follow in St. Mark Cemetery. The family requests memorial donations be made to St. Ann School, 418 Jefferson Ave., Bristol, PA 19007.Galzerano Funeral Home,Bristol
October 12, 2008 12:00 AM