Elvira, on the other hand, was born in New York City's bustling Mid-town section of Manhattan in a hospital that her grandfather, Donato Viggiano, had co-founded. She was the second daughter - and part of the second generation - of a large Italian family that also included a younger brother and sister and a very large and closely-knit extended family. Initially living in the large home of her grandparents in Brooklyn, her family soon moved into subsidized housing. During this time, her father, Ugo Viggiano, founded a manufacturing business with the money her mother, Anne, had saved over the course of 20 years while working at the telephone company of New York; a position she started at the age of 12, much to her disappointment in having to leave school and enter the work force.
Eventually, the family moved into a three-story home in Great Neck, NY, where Elvira attended parochial schools. When she was 11 years old, the family moved to Middletown, NJ to shorten her father’s commute to his factory in Elizabeth, NJ. In 1966, she graduated from Middletown High School and shortly thereafter joined her older sister, Julie, at Tusculum College in Greeneville, TN. After college, Elvira spent a year in southern California before joining Trans World Airlines as a flight attendant. After working out of JFK airport in New York for two years, Elvira transferred to Kansas City, where she bought a small home.
by Aaron Delaplane | Page 3 of 10