IN THE PEWS: A conversation with the Ferdulas

 

Bob and Angela Ferdula have been married for 30 years. Usually, when you see one, you’ll see the other. They volunteer together in the parish at the festival and are part of the Marriage Ministry, and cantor at the same Mass, among others. Despite their togetherness they have one piece of advice for married couples — have two televisions.

Bob, you play in two golf leagues, engage in fantasy baseball and pitch leagues. How did you get involved in these endeavors?

Through friends and family

Angela, your passion is making many different chocolates and creating wreaths, especially with painted pine cones for all seasons. Please tell us a little more about these?

I’ve been making chocolates for over 30 years, and as time went on I taught myself to be more creative with assortments — and the last few years added truffles to my collection. The wreaths I just started making them a few years ago. I saw some on Pinterest and just started to experiment.

For many years, you guys organized yearly trips to Yankee Stadium, supplying goodie bags for all and offering other food on occasion. What went into creating these trips and why did you do it?

First, you have to get enough people to fill bus, but in the meantime the bus company is reserving our seats at the stadium. We thought the goodie bags would bring a smile to everyone’s face and we also planned the trips because we are both Yankee fans. 

Bob, you worked in the trash industry for 35 years and retired from the Utica City School District in December 2017. What were your duties and how did you stay in the same profession for more than three decades?

I started my career on the back of a trash truck, worked my way up to being a driver and ultimately in the office as supervisor. 

Angela, you worked for Attorney Carl J. Cochi for 42 years before retiring in 2017. Tell us about that job and how you stayed with it for so long.

The job was a one man-one girl office, so you can surmise that I was “chief cook and bottle washer.” Interesting job. You learn a lot, meet a lot of interesting people and Carl is not only a brilliant trial lawyer but great to work for, too.

You both went to Proctor High School and met through a mutual friend. Tell us more about how you got together and fell in love.

A mutual friend who had an office across from mine asked me if I went on blind dates. I told her I didn’t like blind dates but I wouldn’t mind meeting him. We finally met, and after going out to lunch with our mutual friend — who conveniently had to leave — we talked for hours later. We started dating, and five weeks later Bob proposed to me — two weeks after that I said yes! 

You both enjoy traveling and cruises. You even have a timeshare in Virginia Beach. What are some of your favorite memories during your travels?

We love the beauty and cleanliness of Virginia Beach and the boardwalk, and we enjoyed many activities down there over the years. Cruising is wonderful; almost everything about it is great from the restaurants on board, activities, shows and the many ports. One special place I absolutely loved was Roatan, Honduras. Love all the beaches. You can talk to God out there. One year at Great Stirrup Cay we went parasailing! Made some nice friends, too, local and otherwise.

You also are inseparable in the parish, volunteering with the marriage team where you administer one of the Pre-Cana choices called “Prepare” for more than 25 years. You’ve served on the Social Committee, cantor at the 8 a.m. Sunday Mass, participate in Sandwiches on Saturday and work pizza fritta at festival. Bob is a Eucharistic minister and Angela is secretary of Parish Council. What makes you want to volunteer so much?

We think that the Sacrament of Marriage is very important, and when Father Joe originally asked us to become involved with this Pre-Cana process we agreed and never left. It’s a great program, and the couples really seem to like it. Angela has been involved with the music ministry forever, and then Peter (Elacqua) connived us to cantor and here we are. It just comes naturally that we want to help and be involved in the parish. 

What advice would you give to young people about marriage and about their faith?

We try to stress the importance of attending Mass as much as they can and possibly be involved in a church activity. Somehow, we try to instill in them that prayer is important. Another piece of advice we give them is to have two TVs.

What does this parish mean so much to you?

It’s our second home. 

What do you hope the future holds for both of you?

Health and happiness.

Bob Ferdula

Age: 67.

Occupation: Retired.

Former occupation: More than 35 years in trash industry; retired from Utica City School District.

Education: Thomas R. Proctor High School.

Things you like to do: Golf, fantasy baseball league and involved in a pitch league.

Favorite book: “Killing Jesus.”

Favorite TV show: M*A*S*H.

Favorite movie: “Journey to the Center of the Earth.”

Favorite musician or musical genre: Classic rock.

Angela Ferdula

Age: 70.

Occupation: Retired.     

Former occupation: Legal secretary to Attorney Carl J. Cocihi.

Education: Thomas R. Proctor High School.

Things you like to do: Gatherings with family and friends; make all kinds of chocolates; making wreaths, especially with painted pine cones.

Favorite book: “The Godfather.”

Favorite TV show: “This Is Us” (also love the old “Law & Order” shows).

Favorite movies: “Now Voyager” with Bette Davis, “As Good As It Gets,” “A Few Good Men.”

Favorite musician or musical genre: Barbra Streisand, soft rock.