The funeral of retired farm worker, Annunziato Romeo, of Hill Road, Oakham, took place at St Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church, Oakham, Father Stephen Dye officiating. Interment followed at Ketton Park Burial.
Mr Romeo died at his home after a long illness, aged 94.
Born in Montebello Ioniche in Reggio Calabria in Italy, he was the second youngest of nine children born to Carmelo Romeo and Carmela Pamela and was educated in a small rural school.
He grew up in hard but happy times, with his mother raising the family while his father worked away. At the age of 14 he became the local milkman delivering milk on his donkey and cart.
At the onset of the Second World War at the age of 19, he trained for the cavalry in Verona and while serving in North Africa was captured and shipped to Britain. He was held at what is now Normanton Park Hotel.
He worked on a farm owned by George Panter in Ketton, where he met his future wife, Enid, who also worked on the farm.
Mr Romeo then moved to work for Rolt Beckingham at Tickencote Warren, followed by farming at Egleton. Before retirement he worked at Markon Engineering. Throughout his life his garden was his pride and joy, but his greatest pleasure was when family gathered together to eat.
His message was: “Enjoy Life”. He loved visiting family in Italy and taking trips in his car around Rutland Water. In later years he enjoyed cooking.
He leaves his widow Enid, children Diana, Lavinia, Julia, Carmelo, Angela and Antonia, 11 grandchildren and four great grandchildren.
Family mourners included: Enid Romeo (widow), Carmelo Romeo, Diana Dodd, Lavinia Bailey, Julia Sells, Angela Bailey-Sessa, Antonia Wright, Brian and Jemma Dodd, Ray and Karen Sells, Davinia and Chris Riddle, Lui Sessa, Stuart and Mark Bailey, Sam, Emily and Lucy Bailey, Clare and Steve Rudkin, Stephen Wright, Gary Sells, Becki Plant, Susan, Gabriella and Daniella Romeo, Olive, Sue and Christopher Thorpe, Ken Plant, Doris and Cressy Campbell (representing Carol, Phil and Chris Gutteridge), Sue and Trevor Palmer, Patsy Day, Mr and Mrs Sessa, Mr and Mrs Hawkins.
Sympathisers included: Wendy Sanders, Gary and Clair Munton (family), Ken and Linda Edward, Angela Bunting (Mrs L Bunting), John and Eleanor Martindale, Lynn Wiggington (Alan Wiggington), Joseph Concadoro (John Concadoro), Anna Concadoro and Alex Russo (Daniel Russo), Sheila Beckingham (Andrew and Sarah Beckingham), Tim Ennis, Debbie Gregory, Harry Ford (Nick Ford and Di), Jackie Gregory and John Friend (Rutland Stroke Club).