In Our Care

Elda Cristini, 18 days shy of age 103, of Belmont, MA, passed away on April 30, 2023. Born in Caramanico Terme Abruzzo, Italy on May 18,1920, she was one of five siblings born to Angelo and Maria DeAngelis Pastore. Married to Giuseppe Cristini, together they immigrated to the United States in 1953. She was deeply devoted to her family and is survived by her daughter Maria Pia Cristini, her son-in-law Abrasha Staszewski, her grandchildren Dimitri Alexander and Ruben David Staszewski, and her sister Eva Sacco.

Elda and her husband moved to Belmont in 1963. After Giuseppe (Peppino) died in 1979, Elda remained fiercely independent. She wintered with her sole daughter Maria and her family in San Francisco until she was 98. She built meaningful relationships with her grandchildren and son-in-law, and developed a strong community of friends who loved her as family in San Francisco. On both coasts, she won everyone's heart with her cooking and generosity; and her animated spirit and strong will inspired and endeared all who knew her.

Growing up in Italy, Elda was intimately involved in managing her family's pensione in Caramanico. She lived in her small town through World War II and endured the scarcity, hunger, and fear of the times. Shaped by her experiences in Italy, she embodied an increasingly rare old-world perspective.

In the US, Elda worked as a seamstress, chef and restauranteur, and computer chip manufacturer. In the 1960s, she used her culinary skills to run Elda's Restaurant in the North End of Boston. At age 98, she collaborated with her grandson Dimitri to create a cookbook called Heart-Shaped Tomatoes featuring some of her most loved recipes.

Elda was always ready with advice. Early in the Covid-19 pandemic, she shared: "Be grateful for the commodities we have. Keep a supply of provisions in the house. Be grateful for your refrigerator. Eat everything without wasting anything, mix it all together and it will be good."

As a centenarian, Elda exemplified graceful aging. Her many talents and interests included gardening, knitting, and sewing. She was an avid reader, loved history, and always followed the news and politics, all of which she enjoyed well past 100. Her door was always open to friends for an espresso and animated conversation. As a devout Catholic, Elda had a strong connection to Padre Pio.

Elda spent her final days reveling in the love that was shown to her by the countless people she came to know over the years and doing what she loved most: sharing stories and wisdom with friends and family, cooking with her grandchildren, and making new memories through her final moments with us. She was animated until the end and transitioned in her beloved home with her loving daughter by her side.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to:

Padre Pio Foundation: Elda was deeply devoted to Padre Pio throughout her life. You can make a tribute gift to the foundation online at: or by mailing a check to: Padre Pio Foundation 463 Main Street Cromwell, CT 06416 (Note: In Honor of Elda Cristini on the check)

One Tree Planted: Elda was an avid gardener and had a great appreciation for nature and life. You can plant trees in Elda's honor by donating online: or by mailing a check to: One Tree Planted 145 Pine Haven Shores Rd #1000D Shelburne, VT 05482 (Note your email address for a receipt, they do not send paper receipts)

Relatives and friends are invited to visit in the DeVito Funeral Home, 761 Mt. Auburn St., WATERTOWN on Monday from 9:00 - 10:00 am and to her funeral mass at 10:30 am in St. Luke Church, Belmont. Entombment to follow in Mt. Auburn Cemetery. Please visit to view an online guestbook.
Monday, May 8, 2023 9:00am to 10:00am
Funeral Mass:
Monday, May 8, 2023 10:30am
Monday, May 8, 2023 11:45am