Irene Gianni, 97, passed away in her sleep on Saturday, October 24, 2020 in her parents’ family home in Beechview. Irene leaves behind her son, Robert Gianni, and her daughter Pamela (Stetzer) Gianni; her grandchildren Aaron Stetzer, Noah Stetzer Stevenson (Jeffrey Stevenson), and Jordan Stetzer Tetlow (Frank Tetlow); and her great grandchildren Egan, Maddie, and Franny Tetlow. She was preceded in death in 2007 by her husband of 60 years Peter R. Gianni (Pete), owner of Gateway Studios.
Born in Lucca, Italy on January 30, 1923, Irene came to America with her parents when she was 5 years old. She remembered a stranger lifting her high above the ship’s railing so she could see the Statue of Liberty as their ship approached Ellis Island. When the family arrived in Beechview, her cousin Lillie taught her English, Rene explained, so she could 'yell back' at the bullies on St. Catherine’s playground in a language they understood. At 6, she helped her dad ring the bells at St. Catherine’s Church by grabbing onto the bell pulls and riding them up and down. At St. Mary’s High School on Webster Avenue in the Hill District, she was the very popular, very pretty class prankster who continued to go to her class reunions until only she was left.
We remember her kindness, love, and compassion. Her audacious spunk. Her ‘oh-my-god-can-you-believe-this?’ eye rolling at the fools she never suffered gladly. Her big sunglasses and signature berets. The spaghetti sauce she made from her mother’s recipe and her Tuscan fried chicken. Soft, sweet-smelling bedsheets she actually ironed, and a linen closet that smelled like DOVE soap. Her adventures and misadventures with her cousin Lil well into their seventies. Her beautiful smile. She was Mummy, Nonni, Irene, Rene, and Renie. We will miss her with all our hearts and remember her a thousand times over.
As per Irene's wishes, there will be no visitation for Irene. Family and friends are invited to attend a Mass of Christian Burial that will be celebrated on Monday, November 2, 2020, at 10 a.m. in St. Teresa of Kolkata Parish St. Catherine of Siena Church, 1810 Belasco Ave., Pgh., PA 15216. Arrangements entrusted to BRUSCO-NAPIER FUNERAL SERVICE, LTD., 2201 Bensonia Ave., Pgh.,PA 15216.
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