Visitation at Funeral Home
Obituary of Betty Jean Perino
BETTY JEAN [PANARO] PERINO
Betty Jean "BJ" Perino, a lifelong Florence resident, passed into God's eternal care on January 17th, 2024. She passed peacefully in her sleep at home surrounded by her loving children, at the age of 93 years and 4 days. She remained healthy, active and engaged in her hobbies and interests until her recent illness. In one of the many family talks around her bed in her final days, she said she couldn't have asked for a better ending to a wonderful life – loved and cared for by her children, and surrounded by loving family and friends.
She was born to Michaelangelo and Nellie [Cowan] Panaro on January 13th, 1931 in Florence, NJ. She acquired her legendary "green thumb" by following her father around the family business, the Florence Green House. She attended Florence High School (Class of 1948) where she met the love of her life, Anthony "Tony" Perino. They married on January 8th, 1951 in Reno, NV and until his death in 2020, celebrated every anniversary by recreating their first meal as a married couple – lamb chops, asparagus, and baked potato. Tony built the family home, and together they filled it with children, laughter, love, and memories to last a lifetime. Betty Jean had many superpowers. She loved gardening and growing flowers and could grow anything. She once tucked the seed from an orange she was eating into a potted plant on her desk. Ten years and seven feet later, Dad had to make a rolling platform for it so she could move it around seasonally. She was a gifted seamstress who somehow found the time to sew most of the clothes for her seven children and all of the neighborhood Barbie dolls. A notoriously picky eater herself, her cooking and baking skills were unsurpassed even for food she wouldn't eat. Her gnocchi could float off the plate, and you were lucky to be the recipient of a box of her fudge at Christmas. She was creative and artistic and mastered any craft she undertook. Together with daughter Michele, they sold their crafts at many bazaars and craft shows as "Mom and Me." Late in life, when she finally had time to sit down and take a breath, she discovered two new loves: reading books and watching "The Gilmore Girls" over and over again. She was their biggest fan. She loved boating at the Jersey shore with Tony and her family and spent many hours in the waters off Tuckerton aboard their boat, the "Miss Toni Jean."
Betty Jean worked at Griffin Pipe Products (Florence, NJ) where she started as the switchboard operator and retired from the Shipping Office. She made many lifelong friends at Griffin and kept in regular contact with many of them. Her Christmas card list was extensive. This was the first year she missed the Griffin Ladies Lunch.
A devoted wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and aunt, Betty Jean is survived by her sons Ernest (Lori), Michael (Alyson) and Anthony Jr. (Patricia); daughters Donna Ballas (Mike), Kim Perino-Michael (Stephen), and Michele King (Les), son-in-law, Robert Semptimphelter, 17 grandchildren, 16 greatgrandchildren and 2 on the way! Many nieces and nephews also mourn her loss. She was predeceased by her husband Tony, her daughter Toni Jean Semptimphelter, her parents, and all of her siblings - brothers Robert, Daniel, Alvin, Dave, and Edward Panaro, and sisters Helen Henderson and Lois Pieretti.
Funeral services will be 11:30 AM Tuesday, January 23, 2024 at Koschek and Porter Funeral Directors, 1115 Hornberger Avenue, Roebling, New Jersey with Rev. Cesar Anson officiating. Visitation will be Tuesday from 9:30 AM until the time of service at the funeral home. Interment will be in Calvary Cemetery, Florence. Flowers are appreciated as are donations to the Florence Township Emergency Medical Services, 401 Firehouse Lane, Florence, NJ 08518. Condolences may be sent to www.koschekandporterfuneralhome.com