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BY ALBERT AMATEAU | Christine Barattini, a Village resident since she was brought to America as a baby in her mother’s arms, died Fri., March 9, at 98.
A resident of Sixth Ave. near Bleecker St. for more than 70 years, she was the center of a circle of family, friends and neighbors, said her daughter, Geraldine Silver. Born July 5, 1913, to Giuseppe and Rosalia Esposito in Sorrento, Italy, she was five months old when she came to the U.S. with her mother, a brother, Louis, and an uncle. Her father had emigrated to the Village some months before.
“She told us about presenting Mayor Jimmy Walker’s wife with flowers at a school assembly around 1926,” her daughter said.
Christine Esposito gradated from P.S. 38, then a Village school, in June 1926 and went to Washington Irving High School.
As teenagers, Christine and Paul Barattini met while they were taking Italian classes at the Scuola Serale (Evening School) of the Children’s AID Society on Sullivan St. She was 15 and he was 18 when they began keeping company.
She graduated from Washington Irving in 1930 and married Paul Barattini at Our Lady of Pompei Church in 1936. Their daughter Geraldine was born in 1942.
Paul, who had become a civil engineer after graduating from the University of Alabama, designed concrete structures during World War II, only to learn years later that the project was part of the Manhattan Project that developed the atom bomb. Christine and Paul, who died in October 2002, were married for 66 years.
An active member of Our Lady of Pompei Church, she was also a volunteer since the mid-1950s with the American Committee on Italian Immigration (A.C.I.M.), a group founded by the Scalabrian Order and based at Our Lady of Pompei to advocate for Italian immigrants.
After her father, Giuseppe, died in 1955, Christine brought her mother to live with her and cared for her until her mother died in 1980.
“We often joked that her mother lived under her roof longer than she lived under her mother’s roof,” her daughter said. Christine lived with her daughter Geraldine and her son-in-law Saul Silver from September 2010 until her death.
“It was a great honor for me to have been so close to my mom and to learn from her,” her daughter said.
Perazzo Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements. The funeral was on Tues., March 13, at Our Lady of Pompei Church.