SALVINA JOSEPHINE FARRUGIA, AGE 71

Salvina Josephine Farrugia died peacefully in the first minutes of the day on Saturday, March 23, 2024, at her home in Crossville.  She was 71 years old.

Salvina was born on March 29, 1952, on the Mediterranean island of Gozo in Malta, the seventh child to parents Annunziata and Paul Grech. As a teenager, she immigrated to the United States and lived in New York City, where she worked as a file clerk for J. P. Stevens.  It was in New York that she met and married the love of her life, Angelo Farrugia, in 1972. After a few years together in Astoria, New York, Salvina and Angelo moved to Crossville for Angelo to pursue a job opportunity with his uncle. Their first daughter was born in 1979, and Salvina delighted in full-time motherhood before going to work in the cafeteria of the local elementary school. In 1983 the family returned to New York City, where their second daughter was born in 1986. Salvina was a devoted wife, mother, and homemaker who always preferred small-town life to the big city, so she enjoyed weekends and summers at their vacation home in the Pocono Mountains, where she became an avid flower gardener. In 1996, Salvina began working part-time as a bookkeeping assistant for Buchbinder & Warren, the same company where Angelo worked as a superintendent (they never could stay away from each other).

Eventually, eager to escape the big city for good, Salvina retired in 2009 back to Crossville, where she rejoined the St. Alphonsus Catholic parish, and Angelo followed four years later. During her retirement, Salvina became known throughout the neighborhood for her beautiful flower gardens; she was frequently seen kneeling with her hands in the dirt, her favorite activity. In addition to gardening, she enjoyed traveling to the beach, taking long meditative walks through her hilly Crossville neighborhood, and relishing a glass of wine with family and friends on her back porch.  She took great pride in decorating and maintaining her beautiful home, where she hosted many Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings.  And when her granddaughter Zora was born in 2019, she finally fulfilled her long-awaited dream of becoming a Nanna.

More than anything, Salvina will always be remembered for her genuinely open mind and heart, her ability to love unconditionally, and her signature laugh: sudden, boisterous, and infectious, a sound of pure and uninhibited joy.

Salvina is survived by her husband: Angelo Farrugia; daughters: Elaine Farrugia of Terre Haute, Indiana, and Kimberly Farrugia of Crossville; granddaughter: Zora Farrugia of Terre Haute, Indiana; sisters: Mary Grech, Agnes Grech, and Loretta Portelli of Nadur, Malta, and Angela Casutto (Barry) of Lenoir City; brothers: Joseph Grech and Frank Grech of Nadur, Malta; and many beloved nieces and nephews, to whom she was often like a second mom.

She was preceded in death by her parents; brother-in-law: Michael Portelli; and siblings: Gladys and Saviour, who died in early childhood.

A funeral mass will be at St. Alphonsus Catholic Church, 151 St. Alphonsus Way, in Crossville, on Friday, April 5, 2024, at 11 a.m. Central.  Instead of flowers, and to honor Salvina’s memory, please consider donating to the Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance in her name: https://tribute.ocrahope.org/salvinafarrugia

Obituary by Bilbrey Funeral Home in Crossville.