Mrs. Silvia Pierini Dunn

June 28, 1969November 15, 2020

Silvia Pierini Dunn, a loving mother, wife, sister, and daughter, passed away surrounded by family on ­­­­November 15, 2020 at the age of 51, after a yearlong battle with cancer.

Silvia is survived by her mother, Adriana; her husband, Richard; her two children, Elzo, and Giulia; and her sisters, Maria Paola and Carla. She is predeceased by her father, Franco Pierini.

Silvia was born on June 28th, 1969 in Rome, Italy, to Franco and Adriana Pierini. She attended school in Rome graduating in 1988 from the Liceo Scientifico Statale J.F.Kennedy. Shortly after graduating, she took a position at the Vatican Museum. In 1993, she traveled to Denver, Colorado with the “Vatican Treasures” exhibition where she met her future husband Richard E. Dunn. On August 13th, 1994, they were married in Rome and moved back to the United States.

In the summer of 1996 they moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where they would plant roots and raise their family. On October 18th, 1996, her son Elzo Franco was born. Three years later, on September 21st, 1999, she welcomed her daughter, Giulia Roma - both continue her legacy of kindness and passion for life.

In 2001, Silvia started a business of interpretation, translation, and private language instruction. Much of her work was with families with disabled children that came from Italy for therapy. Her intelligence and warmth were a perfect fit for this work, and she developed lifelong bonds with many of these families. In between translation work, she taught Italian courses at the County College and did work for the local school district. In 2014, Silvia made a career change and started working for the University of Pennsylvania as the Classroom Scheduling Coordinator. She would then move on in 2017 to become the Coordinator of the Religious Studies Department.

Silvia was a passionate, generous, loving, and strong woman who left a path of happiness wherever she went. Her family was her pride and joy. Of all her accomplishments, she was most proud of being a mother, not only to her own children, but to all who needed a mother figure. She was active in her community, volunteering with the PTA, the soccer club (we can still hear her screaming in Italian from the sidelines), and with the performing and visual arts programs. She loved to travel, shop, and spend time with her family. Her vibrant spirit brought excitement and joy to everything she did and will be missed by her family and all those who knew her. Her resilience and sunny outlook on life is one that was respected and admired by all who met her. She will be missed. Please leave your remembrances of Silvia on



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Mrs. Silvia Pierini Dunn

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Tracey Lacey

November 21, 2020

We are so sorry for your loss. Silvia was an incredibly vibrant and unforgettable person. We are happy to have known her.
Tracey, Tom and Ellie Lacey

Margaret Mary Thomas

November 20, 2020

My heart is breaking. Silvia had the most beautiful smile and always made you feel good about yourself just by being in her presence. Silvia always went out of her way to help in anyway possible. She was always willing to go out of her way to help anyone be it a student, faculty member or colleague. If she did not know the answer she would follow up and make sure she found someone to help. Her love and compassion for all and her just making you feel like you were the only person in the room that counted made you feel so important. I count myself lucky to have met this fantastic woman💕 may this most beautiful lady Rest In Peace. Sending lots of love, hugs and prayers to all of you at this most difficult time.


November 19, 2020

Dear Rick, Elzo and Giulia,
My thoughts and prayers are with you all during this very sad time. Silvia was awesome! As a parent at Strawbridge School she was an active PTA member and a lunch aide. I remember her cooking up yummy food for Living History, as well as dressing up. As a lunch aide she was fair to the kids and a wonderful colleague. Talking with Silvia was a joy, as she was always laughing/joking and she made me smile. She was so proud of your accomplishments Elzo and Giuilia. When she left us to go to Penn I was sad for us, but knew the move would be a positive one for her- I was right. Silvia was a special person and those of us who came in contact with her are better from our time spent with her. She has left a mark on MANY hearts. Sending big hugs to you all.

Emily Romanello

November 19, 2020

Silvia was a special colleague at Penn. She always lit up the room with her presence. Even if it was a meeting with 100 other people, her being there made a noticeable difference. Working with Silvia was a pleasure, she brightened the day. I will never forget our bilingual phone conversations, it turned ordinary room reservation requests into something special. Silvia always radiated kindness and generosity. She will be greatly missed.


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