Tom Menino’s biggest supporter, his wife of 48 years, was always by his side. While Angela was often silent, her strength spoke volumes.
Boston met Angela when Tom won his first election in 1993.
“I see so many friends, but my most important supporter is one of the people standing beside me, my wife Angela,” Menino said when he won that year.
In his book, Menino described what he thought of young Angela Faletra.
“She was pretty, bright, funny and compassionate. A Roslindale girl, but you can’t have everything.”
“I think it was love at first sight. He didn’t go out with a lot of girls so it was his good fortune that he met Angela the way he did,” Menino’s childhood friend Dennis DiMarzio said.
They met in 1963 in Hyde Park; he was playing tennis with a buddy and Angela was on an adjacent court. The way the story goes, her balls kept flying into his court so he suggested a game of mixed doubles.
Soon after, they started dating.
Three years later, it was wedding bells. DiMarzio was Menino’s best man and vice-versa.
“She’s a terrific lady and she was just his support from day one,” DiMarzio said.
It was his beloved Angela who would introduce Tom at his first State of the City speech.
“As the city’s first lady I am so very proud to turn over this city and the podium to my husband, the Mayor of Boston,” she said in 1994.
She was always there for him, sometimes a step or two off the pace just out of the spotlight.
“I don’t think she liked the limelight but she accepted it very graciously,” Father Paul Phinn said. “Always very supportive. Al, you know?”
Menino respectfully disagreed when people said his biggest break was becoming mayor after Ray Flynn decided to become Ambassador to the Vatican in 1993.
“He said ‘my biggest break was meeting Angela’ and I think he meant it 100 percent and she has been fantastic for him,” DiMarzio said.