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Our Lady of the Angels (OLA) School Fire, December 1, 1958



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Annette A. LaMantia
Room Age Birthdate Grade B/G/T
212 10 7/31/48 5 Girl
Teacher
Sister Mary Clare Therese Champagne, BVM
Address
840 N Springfield 
Family
Father: Sam La Mantia
Mother: Lena (De Stefano) La Mantia
Sister: Marie La Mantia
Brothers: Peter and Sam Jr. La Mantia 
About Annette
 
Interred: Queen of Heaven (Hillside, IL)
Memories of Annette
My fondest memory of my lovely cousin was when she told me that she was going to go to Lake Geneva with my girlfriend and me, and I told her that she was a little girl and could not come with us. Well, needless to say she came with us and we had a great time. We played miniature golf and soaked up the sun. When we were heading back home she looked at me and said "did you ever have any doubts that I would come with you, after all you are my favorite cousin and I love you." She was such a sweet and lovely little girl that knew how to charm everyone she came into contact with. Our family was very blessed to have had her for the short time that we did. God gave us an angel for 10 years.

Another memory I would like to share is a time when Annette came to visit. She asked my father if she could have this white stuffed cat. What my father failed to tell her was that it was mine, given to me by a boyfriend. When I found out he had given it to her, I remember asking her for the cat back. She came over to me and placed her hands on my face and said, "but you know that you want me to have it because you want to share it with your favorite cousin, who you love very much." Now how could anyone refuse that.

Another memory I have is of Annette and her brother, Sam, sitting on the floor with a picture album. She was telling him who all of the people were in the photos. For the ones who had passed away she would tell him about them and say that they were with God now, but that they still looked out for all of us. I believe that was the only time that I saw her brother Sam sit still for any length of time. She even knew how to charm him.
    -- (Antoinette Fabiani, Cousin)


When Annette was in the 3rd grade and I was home on leave from the Navy, she asked me if I would come to school that afternoon because she wanted her classmates to see her brother in uniform. What I didn't know was, I was to be her topic for show and tell.
    -- (Brother)
I really did not know my aunt Annette, but the stories of the fire is all I ever heard about. I know none of the children deserved to go through this tragedy. But we all know that they are in a better place. In the recent past my Father has been keeping me updated on what had happened. Like this web page for one. It ills me to know that there are people in this world that do horrific things to innocent people. Even in this day in age we have the same kind of tragedies. Some get solved, others are just put away in a file. I am glad that this web site is here. It keeps everyone that is involved, directly or indirectly, informed. Thank you DAD for making me aware that I had a sweet Aunt. Now she is one of the angels that are probably looking down on me and my daughter Rachel day to day.
    -- (Daniel LaMantia, Nephew)
Annette was just the most beautiful girl. I remember her telling of her trip to Arizona, she spoke of how large her sister's bedroom was, being larger than the classroom. She told us this just before the fire. I found out from the LaMantia's that this was the trip she took for her sister's wedding. I still miss her and I guess I always will. Always, John.
    -- (John Raymond, Friend)