Anita C. Cimeno died peacefully in her sleep at Windemere on Dec. 18. She was 89.

She was a loving and devoted Nana, Mom, employee and friend, and was dedicated to her faith.

She was born in Pittsfield, the daughter of Anna Cornelia Hall and Rodman F. Backus Sr., and the sister of Rodman Backus Jr, and Edward Backus. Her family moved to Martha’s Vineyard in 1946 and she graduated from Tisbury High School in 1950. She went on to attend Sacred Heart Academy Nursing School in Fall River. Anita moved back to Martha’s Vineyard after graduating. She married Louis J. Cimeno and they started their family. They moved outside of Boston and then back to Martha’s Vineyard in 1965.

Anita was one of the hardest working and most dedicated women. She devotedly raised her eight children, while working in long-term care at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital. Even while working overnight hours, she loved and took care of her family, always providing a full meal on the table and finishing the laundry. She made sure every one of her children knew how special and unique each one was. She instilled good values in her children and grandchildren.

When her first grandchild was born in 1974 she became a Nana, which, her proudest job of all. She was the light in the lives of her 14 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.

She never missed an opportunity to go on the dance floor. She was an incredibly strong woman and touched the lives of everyone she met. She will be missed and her memory will live on with all those who were privileged to know her.

Anita is survived by her children and their spouses, Anna Maria (Ria) Cimeno and Gerald Franzago, John Cimeno and Amy Singer, Nancy and Howard Applebaum, James and Sydney Cimeno Sr., Karen Cimeno, Linda Cimeno, Tamma Cimeno, and Mary Margaret (Meg) Cimeno; grandchildren Alicia, John Francis, Noah, Bella, Natalie, Dyana, James, Chris, Chyenne, Ashley, Amber and Brianna; and great-grandchildren Luna, Freya, Sanetty, Jude, Lucas, Jack, Khloe, Almanzo, Shelby, Della, Leah, Summer, Taylor, Emmalee Rose, Myles, Jude, Arya and Éowyn. She is also survived by many loved nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased by her parents Anna Cornelia Backus and Rodman F. Backus Sr., brothers Rodman F. Backus and Edward Backus, granddaughters Laura Cimeno and April Cimeno, and her beloved Scottish terrier MacDougal (Dougies).

A funeral mass was held Wednesday at St. Augustine’s Church in Vineyard Haven, officiated by the Rev. Paul Fedak. Interment followed at Oak Grove Cemetery in Vineyard Haven.

Donations can be made to Windemere Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, P.O. Box 1477, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557; or to the Alzheimer’s Association at Visit for online tributes and information.