Eugene Chianelli

September 5, 1934April 22, 2021

Following a brief illness, Dr. Eugene W. “Gene” Chianelli, 86, of Raleigh, North Carolina, passed away on April 22, 2021, surrounded by his family.

Gene was born in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania on September 5th, 1934, to Dr. and Mrs. Salvatore E. and Evelyn L. (Campbell) Chianelli. He graduated from Williamsport High School in Williamsport, PA and then attended Mount Saint Mary’s College in Emmitsburg, MD. He went on to receive a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Pittsburgh in June, 1958 and remained dedicated to his beloved Pitt Panthers for life.

Despite contracting polio as a young man in 1958, Gene was able to overcome many challenges throughout his lifetime and was an inspiration to everyone he encountered. He always faced adversity head on, and never viewed the physical limitations that polio left him with as obstacles to leading a full and rewarding life.

Gene married Emily D. Reynolds on December 28, 1963. They spent their early years in their hometown of Williamsport, Pennsylvania, raised their three children there and were active in their community. Once retired, Gene and Emily moved to Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia in 2001 and spent many relaxing years there. More recently, they moved to Raleigh to be closer to their three young grandchildren, whom Gene adored. His grandchildren loved their Nonno right back and treasured visits with their Nonna and him even when COVID made that difficult.

Known affectionately to many as “Doc,” Gene worked as a dentist in Williamsport and had a successful practice there for more than forty years. He was passionate about dentistry and thrived on interacting with his patients and colleagues.

An avid outdoorsman, Gene loved fishing, boating, hunting, bird watching and gardening. From the time he was a young boy, he and his family traveled often to the Rideau Canal region in Ontario, Canada where they created many fond memories with family and friends. Gene and Emily owned and operated a Christmas tree farm near Williamsport for many years where he enjoyed interacting with his holiday customers. He also collected toy trains, had an avid interest in antique cars and deeply appreciated music. Gene delighted in sharing his hobbies with others and loved teaching everyone about his many interests. He took pride in his Italian heritage and served as the family historian. After moving to Smith Mountain Lake, Gene spent many hours volunteering at the Smith Mountain Lake State Park visitor’s center and at area dental clinics serving lower-income patients. Gene is survived by his wife of 57 years, Emily; his daughters Evelyn (Stephen Brawley) and Barbara Chianelli; his son Eugene Chianelli, Jr. (Christina); his grandchildren, Lucca, Liliana and Lia Chianelli; his brothers Robert E. (Geraldine) and Michael L. Chianelli (Cindy DeCarlo); his nephews, nieces, grandnephews, and grandnieces.

Gene is preceded in death by his parents Salvatore E. and Evelyn Chianelli as well as his loyal service dog, Guinness.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held in June at Resurrection Catholic Church in Moneta, Virginia. Family and friends will gather later this summer in Williamsport to celebrate Gene’s extraordinary life. Memorial donations may be given to the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine, Suite 440 Salk Hall, 3501 Terrace Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15261; Saint Francis Service Dogs, PO Box 19538, Roanoke, VA 24019; or the Friends of Smith Mountain Lake State Park, 1235 State Park Road, Huddleston, VA 24104.

Gene’s family wishes to thank caregivers Cheryl Brown and her team of Raleigh, and Sherry Spencer of Moneta, Virginia for their outstanding care over the last few years of Gene’s life.


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Eugene Chianelli

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Susan Crossley

May 4, 2021

I will miss my Uncle Gene. We always had many conversations about Baba and Muff. I am so grateful that we always had such a close family. Rest In Peace, Uncle Gene. And prayers for your family. ❤️❤️

Sonya Boden

April 26, 2021

I am so very sorry to hear that your dad passed away. My heart goes out to all of you. I have many great memories spending time with you all. Gene and I would have good conversations when he would pick me up and take me home when I would babysit. Great memories will help you get thru this difficult time. From all of us we will keep you in our thoughts and prayers. It is tough but in time you can laugh and smile at all the great memories, It truly helps to ease the pain. Take care and God bless you all. Sonya and sisters