It’s been less than a week since Mob Wives star Angela ‘Big Ang’ Raiola was laid to rest in Brooklyn following her passing at age 55. The family has released the eulogy, written by Diane Morton-Gattulo, and has requested that it would be released to the public.
“Today we gather to honor and celebrate the person that defined more than the two words “Big Ang,” but rather, Angela Raiola-Murphy, who I shared quite a different relationship with, than most people had.
“I guess originally, I was supposed to be part of her team, assisting with this massive operation of being a reality TV star. Suffice to say anyone who knew her wayward nature along with her family, namely her sisters and brothers, they immediately opened this imaginary back door into their private lives, and swept me into their family as one of their own.
“I’ll never forget the day, when her sister Janine assigned me to go on what would eventually become one of the first ever appearances that I would accompany her on. It was to a book signing in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. Now I want you to imagine this scene …
“We hardly knew anything about each other, and I was told to just show up in her driveway and she would come out. I didn’t even have her cell phone number yet. I thought to myself, ‘these people are crazy! Some random kid shows up at a high profile celebrity’s house, and no one in their right mind checked into anything about who I was or where I came from…’ In her charming and effervescent way, she came down the steps of her home on Wagner Street and greeted me with a Moore cigarette in one hand, and an excessively large bedazzled I-phone in the other. With her sunglasses on and a red streak in her hair she gave me a smirk, and threw the keys at me to AJ’s Escalade that was loaded with over 500 books and said, ‘Let’s go, you’re driving!’ This would be the first of many adventures that I had the privilege of participating in.
“Needless to say, every adventure became bigger and better (no pun intended), and more grandiose from there on out. I remember saying to myself, ‘What did Janine get me into!’ I guess I was the perfect fit for the task of being a social media director, a personal handler (for not just her, because eventually her girlfriends would accompany us on these journey’s, and we all know how fun they are), a valet, a merchandise salesman, a bathroom attendant, a security guard, which worked out quite well considering our very noticeable size differences, her manicure consultant, and one of the brains in any quick witted, fast money making scheme we could come up with. I was even her assistant manager some nights by closing the Monkey and counting the cash after a big night of business and partying. Basically I was, and still am, the young kid who lives at home with his mother and father, and had no one to answer to after being out with Angela from sundown to sunup. My grandmother even called her my fiancée at one point. It was a very committed relationship. But I digress…
“To know Angela was to love Angela. She was not the sentimental and overly affectionate type. In fact that made her uncomfortable if you ‘cramped her style.’ If you were a good time, and fun hearted like her; that was all of the love she needed to share with you. Her actions spoke volumes to explain just how BIG she loved.
“Angela was the type to give of herself time, and again. In the very short time of her celebrity coming into her life, she paid it forward more times than anybody I know, probably better than most of today’s A-List names that have much more than she ever did. Charity and humanity were two of the best characteristics and qualities that Angela embodied.
“Along with her longtime friend Jennifer Patafio, affectionately known as ‘Little Jen,’ the two formed a beautiful organization called Big Ang’s Angels, which made a difference in the lives of every individual it touched. The mission of this philanthropic effort was to provide aid, and financial relief to those in need. Angela would act quickly upon any and every request that would come her or Jen’s way.
“The recipients of her generosity and selflessness were not only Staten Islanders devastated by Hurricane Sandy, but also Brooklyn-ites, extended family members of life long Howard Beach friends, families in the Rockaways, and even some habitants of the Jersey coastline. She personally cooked meals for people, gave clothing to children, drove kids to school, and even drove a truckload of washer and dryers out to those who needed them.
“Some other efforts that she made it her business to partake in was to visit, and take students with special needs from the Hungerford School on shopping sprees. One girl in particular referred to Angela as her best friend, after Angela bought her half of the clothing in the Strawberry Store.
“…In my observation from the outside looking in, I’d say Angela was very rich in many ways, and I’m not referring to her amazing collection of every name brand handbag and designer shoe, or fur coat. I mean in the simple joys that she had which we take for granted every day. I’d like to share some of her riches with you now. Her six precious grandchildren, her two beautiful children Raquel and AJ, her loving and supportive siblings, Dom that includes the fact that she saw you as a brother and someone she could always depend on, her countless nieces and nephews, which include her godchildren, the multitude of acquaintances, and most importantly her girls. And I stress that in her life, she held each of you in a special very place within her heart, and never once did you ever have to compete for her love. And I think you should annually continue your Christmas dinner tradition at Rao’s in her honor, and lastly she was extremely blessed with not one, but three very amazing, and instrumental men in her life who came together as close friends to love and protect her, and assure that they would take care of her to the very end, and that is just what James, Robert and her husband Neil all did. In quoting Clarence the angel’s inscription in the front cover of George Bailey’s Tom Sawyer book in the movie +It’s A Wonderful Life+, he wrote, ‘Remember no one is a failure who has friends!’ In that case not only was Angela rich, but she was immensely successful. In true Angela fashion, she was surrounded in the hospital by her family and close friends during her journey home. I was moved when watching her mother-in-law Maryanne hold her hand during her final journey at her bedside, until her own mother Jean gently took her hand and welcomed her home on the other side. Angela’s last moments were full of support, dignity and unconditional love, as she calmly crossed into her next life in Celia, Jennifer, and Janine’s arms.
At age 55, Angela managed to accomplish in that time span, more than most average people do in their lifetime, and she always owed a personal debt of gratitude to Jennifer Graziano, who helped her reach her fullest potential. I would also be remised if I didn’t acknowledge her on-screen costars, who will celebrate her legacy from Mob Wives, to the Big Ang show, to Miami Monkey, Celebrity Wife Swap, Couples Therapy, countless amounts of press appearances, a line of fine wines, and a coffee table book. These were just some of her greatest accomplishments. George Hamilton, Sir Anthony Hopkins, P Diddy, Rihanna, Nikki Minaj and Lil’ Kim were just some of her more high profile fans and friends. Thank you to Steve Spinelli her amazing friend and lawyer for always looking out for her and had nothing but her best interest at heart. She truly loved you!
“If it were up to Angela, right now we would be on the dance floor in her absolute favorite night club Pastels, as part of a five-night disco celebration of her life, where every night she would be in a more elaborate outfit, with drinks going around, and disco classics playing loud! Truly she was not here for a long time, but most definitely a good time. Until we meet again where I’ll be DJ-ing in your nightclub in the sky, as you affectionately told everyone, I say to you sleep easy my baby, and may God bless you from now until eternity. Thank you for all you have brought to my life, it was my distinct pleasure to walk alongside you through many adventures, and many life lessons. I will always love you.” source: people.com
What I admired about Big Ang was how she never ever fought with any of the women. They always went to her for advice or she went to them to tell them how she felt and how it needs to stop. I was in state of shock when I heard of her passing. She will be greatly missed.
To Vinnie Medugno, I was going ask few questions and now i forget. Damn. … But, also saw u wrote somthing about you dont kno where people got there facts from? And hat the media is not reporting things right? I looked an didnt see nothin in comments bcus if I saw anyone disrespecting ANG I would go off and defend her to fullest and go too 1000 with being rude. I’ve had to do it few times already cus I can’t believe the haters and what assholes mofo’s can be. Cus I’m huge supporter of big ANG. But anyway, that was a beautiful eulogy. ANG was the most sweetest, kindest person. she had a heart of gold. I didn’t kno her personally but I really wish I had. Her death has really affected me more then I ever knew. and I was sick with anxiety for days when finding out she had actually passed away. seeing her go through hell and be so scared an worried an in pain really broke my heart. My dad has cancer, had it in different parts of his body and he just had another surgery 1:30pm the same day ang died and I feel big ANG reminds me of my dad in some ways. My dad also smokes and drinks heavy. dad co-owned a bar when I was younger an I was always there with him. Playing the pinball machine for hours. Sitting on a stool at the bar just watching, I was a daddy’s girl. Forever will be.. My dad had friends who were connected had bookies and lived that life of the olden days and ways. My childhood city was Somerville connection to whitey boldger winter hill gang. Not saying my dad was friends with him but saying guys of his or wise guys of guys my dad definitely knew… I wish big ANG was my mom or had a mother so loving as her an as a person. She was full of life, love and so supportive!! Her sayings an life’s quotes are just so real and true. Big ANG was beautiful inside and out and she will forever be loved an missed. Never forgotten. RIP BIG ANG. FOREVER IN MY HEART..
I never met her but I felt I knew her as maybe my best friend. She was always the peace maker. Her laugh, her smile, her giving soul made me love her. My heart broke when I heard the news. I lost a friend. I know when it’s my time I will make sure I find her. You will never be forgotten. Thank you for the time I got to know you.
U will be missed.
What’s the first thing that will come to mind when you hear the name Big Ang? That Voice, The Raspy laugh… that quirky sense of humor!! All of it will be missed! An all over beautiful woman who loved her family, friends & LIFE!!! No more pain, no more suffering, now you can Rest In Peace!!! I love you Big Ang!!!
All I can hear is that raspy laugh in my mind…. see those big lips and the boobs that were a hundred 10 times bigger!!! 😉 (Don’t take it out of context people, this was out of fun memories)
Ang, was shown as a great lady who seemed to want to be a peace maker, now she is at peace but will be missed severly. Rest In Peace you beautiful woman. Get the wings that you are happy with, and don’t settle for nothing less! Watch over your family and friends and make sure you still keep the peace by letting your presence be known.
Beautiful & Strong woman don’t die, they just fade away! Rest In Peace Big Ang!!!
A fan In Connecticut <3
That was beautiful. Even though I’m just a fan her death effected me too. Never had the pleasure of meeting Ang. Now I visit her resting place every time I visit my parents. So very sad, way too young, she still had a lot of living to do. Now she can light up the heavens and dance with the angels. <3
The beautiful eulogy was written by Vinnie Medugno.
Fly high beautiful angel A Beautiful Soul Gone Too Soon MY thought and prayers are with her family and friends
Wow I can’t believe ur gone u were the most loving kindest person I have watch ed on TV u were my favorite by far u will be so missed
That was such a touching, loving tribute for such a beautiful,generous soul. Like others have posted,I never met Big Ang but she somehow touched my life. Thank you for sharing your this with us.
Hi my name is Vinnie Medugno, I actually wrote and read this publicly at Angela’s wake. Diane is a friend for years and contributed as well. I’m not sure where you all have your facts from, but if you are going to report things, they need to be done accurately. The press was intrusive enough with Angela’s death, the least they could do is report it accurately.
There is just too much I could say about Angela,but most importantly,thank-you,Ang for bringing us into your life.There will never be another woman like you and who gave so much to so many people.We love and honor you and hope you are having that party up in Heaven.Rest easy my baby.
This was beautiful… I cried so much when Ang was called home…I wish I got to meet her but I feel I got to know her watching all the episodes she was in mob wives, Miami monkey, big Ang…she was the life of the party… God has a sweet loving angel in his kingdom…. Angela will be missed but never forgotten…. My condolences to her family, friends, & fans( I am a Hugh fan) Rip Big Ang ???? I love you!! ????❤
Big Ang was a beautiful person inside & out ❤❤❤
Big Ang you were such an inspiration to others.Your kindness was huge.You helped so many people who were in need.Any you never made people feel like they were less then yourself.Family was everything to you and the most important.You are in Heaven with our Lord and all the Angels.You are one special Angel now yourself.RIP Big Ang.
Big Ang I love watching you on mob wives there was just something about you that caught my eye and my heart a beautiful person gone too soon rest in peace Big Ang you truly will be missed.
What a beautiful soul May she rest in peace.????
That was beautiful , she will surely be missed by many.
this was so beautiful,heart felt story.im crying because im a little sad but the warmth i feel in my heart now of her life.you were all so truly blessed.R.I.P.A.N.G.i think god has bigger plans for you.ty
I hate this, I watched the show all the time, the last one I watched was she didn’t want to have anymore surgery. I feel for her friends and family. Prayers for all.
How could you not love Ange from the minute you met her on screen? You almost felt like you’ve always known her.
She will be missed.
That was Truly one of the most Beautiful heartfelt tributes I have ever read. Angela was the life of the party
I actually think she was Bigger than life. Thank you so much for letting us have the chance to read this Beautiful tribute to Ang .Thank you so much
I’ve known big ang from the beginning of the mob wife’s. I always thought to myself I wish I knew her personally so I could be her friend. Her heart was so huge. I learned alot from big ang. When she went “home” I literally cried. I loved her. Actually as I sit here she’s the first person I’ve cried for that I personally didn’t know. I’m blessed to have known ang. My prayers go out to all her family and friends.
Loved all the positive outlooks Ang had with life our lord has gained such a spiritual friend /family member thoughts n prayers to all whom effected with her loss ❤️????????
From the very first time I saw a big Ang on television I knew she was a friend of mine. no we didn’t know each other but if we did we would have been friends. her love for everybody was fierce. Just how she was. I can’t keep a dry eye. Big Ang, I hope you meet my son in heaven. my heart goes out to your entire family, grandchildren and Neil we’re praying for you.
A beautiful story a beautiful woman. She deserves so much more.
Wow she was an Awesome lady! Now in Heaven with my dad.