Sibling Squabble Ruins Mother's Obit

A.J. Anello aired his family's dirty laundry in the obit

By Tierney McAfee
|  Thursday, Feb 23, 2012  |  Updated 11:05 AM PDT
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Sibling Squabble Ruins Mother's Obit

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“She is survived by her Son, 'A.J.', who loved and cared for her; Daughter 'Ninfa', who betrayed her trust, and Son 'Peter', who broke her heart,” the obit read.

Josie Anello, 93, passed away peacefully at home on Feb. 11, but the obituary that followed was less serene.

On Feb. 14, a local newspaper ran Josie Anello’s obit, which included a shocking line that went viral across the Web.

“She is survived by her Son, 'A.J.', who loved and cared for her; Daughter 'Ninfa', who betrayed her trust, and Son 'Peter', who broke her heart,” the obit read.

Angelo "A.J." Anello, who wrote and placed the obituary in the Tampa Tribune, penned the line because of a rift between he and his two siblings, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

A.J. Anello, 63, claims his sister, Ninfa Simpson, and her husband used their mother's Social Security checks to take vacations to Branson, Mo., and Alaska. Simpson, 65, claims her brother maxed out their mother's credit cards and spent all of her savings.

Both siblings deny the other’s accusations.

"My brother is not telling the truth,” Simpson said. “He's having his moment of revenge.”

"They are so riddled with guilt, what they are doing is pointing fingers at me,” A.J. Anello said.

Peter Anello, the eldest brother, has been estranged from the family for more than 25 years and could not be reached for comment by the Times.

Simpson placed another obituary — without any reference to broken hearts or betrayals—which appeared on Feb. 15. She said her family is crushed by her brother’s public betrayal.

"I have never done anything to my brother, and I have never betrayed my mother in any way," Simpson said. "Everybody that knows me and knows the family is furious."

A.J. Anello said his mother died at home, in his arms, of kidney failure.

He said he wrote the obituary "not to get even with anyone, or to be vindictive or spiteful. The obituary reflected what she had said right up to the end."

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