This story is part of Loved and Lost, a statewide media collaboration that works to celebrate the lives of every New Jersey resident who has died from COVID-19. To learn more and submit a loved one’s name for profiling, visit loveandlostnj.com.
One of Anna Brignola’s favorite activities was going to the Ramsey Farmer’s Market on the weekends.
“We always had a good time listening to music and taking a walk,” said Anna’s sister Theresa Iannantuano.
Brignola had recently moved to Mahwah with her mother, which is close to the farmers market. She loved looking for fresh ingredients for her famous vegetable soup.
During one of their trips, they saw a fake horse that they thought was real.
“We walked over to take a photo and we realized it was a fake,” Iannantuano said. “Anna was dying of laughing at the horse. She thought it was the funniest thing.
Brignola was born in Jersey City and raised in western New York. She attended Harry L. Bain School and Memorial High School.
Among his many hobbies were Mets games with his sister, spending time with his beloved nieces and nephew, listening to “Here Comes the Sun” and other Beatles songs, cooking, drinking beer. Starbucks coffee and talking on the phone.
One of Iannantuano’s favorite memories of his sister was going together to the Pinot Palette in Ridgewood, where people can paint and have a drink.
“Anna kept saying she couldn’t do it,” her sister said, “but by the end of the project her photo looked a lot better than mine.”
Above all, Brignola loved to talk to his family. She called her sister every day to take care of her niece, Emma, and their dog, Romeo.
Brignola died on January 23, 2021 at the age of 54. His gentle and caring spirit is missed by his family.
“She just had a way to make me feel better about myself even though she was going through her own pain,” her sister said.