Ann M. Testa, 79: Mother of five sons sang strictly for the family

Ann M. Testa sang when she did household chores, and serenaded her five sons, too.

Apparently, the boys embraced her love and appreciation for music. Sam made pocket money playing guitar while in college. Carl studied music at the University of Indiana and plays locally, regionally and internationally with his own band, Forte. An Atlantan, he also gives private voice and piano lessons.

Randy performed with a dance and singing group while in high school and, in their younger days, Larry played the saxophone and David played the piano.

"All my wife's singing was done to her kids, never professionally," said Sam Testa Sr., her husband of 59 years. "And all the encouragement for our sons to pursue music came from her. The love of music has trickled down throughout our family. They all have musical backgrounds."

Five years ago, Sam and Ann Testa moved to Marietta to be near family. In June, she fell backwards trying to get in bed, and broke three ribs and a vertebrae. She was undergoing physical therapy when she took a turn for the worse, and died Tuesday at Hospice Atlanta. She was 79.

A funeral will be held at 2 pm. Friday at the Catholic Church of St. Ann in Marietta. H.M. Patterson & Son, Canton Hill Chapel, is in charge of arrangements.

Mrs. Testa was born in Canton, Ohio, the daughter of Romanian parents who'd initially migrated to Detroit. Her mother, the late Anna Sprit, had been a singer in her native country and had dreams of pursuing a career in the United States, but it never happened. She and her husband worked in the restaurant industry.

"Her mother and father were gourmet cooks," her husband said, "and she picked up a lot of skills from them. The kids loved her lasagna, and they loved her stuffed cabbage rolls and nut bread."

Mrs. Testa was a sophomore at Canton's Timkin High School when she met her future husband who, at the time, was a sophomore at Ohio State. They wed in 1951.

When the couple lived in Ohio, Mrs. Testa attended Kent State briefly, and worked for a year at the Department of Natural Resources in Columbus. She became a full-time homemaker when Sam, the eldest child, was born. She enjoyed bowling in her younger days, and was an avid reader.

Outside of family, the only time Mrs. Testa sang publicly was in a high school choir.

"She sang strictly for the family," her husband said.

Survivors beside her husband include her sons, Sam Testa Jr. of  Maple Grove, Minn.; Randy Testa of Cambridge, Mass; David Testa of Marietta; Larry Testa of Princeton, N.J. and Carl Testa of Atlanta; a brother, Bill Sprit of London, Ohio; 10 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.