OBITUARY

Gina Maria Mangiapane

May 21, 1926March 29, 2021
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Gina Maria Mangiapane, passed away on March 29, 2021, in Peoria, Arizona. She was 94 years old. She was born in Detroit, MI, on May 21, 1926, the daughter of the late John (Giovanni) and Colomba Mattiucci. For much of her life, Gina went by the name “Jean” as it was the American translation of her name. When she started school, it was her teachers who were eager to Americanize the names of their students whose parents were immigrants. “Gina” was called “Janet” at one point, and then “Jean”. When Gina moved to Sun City and she had to get a new driver’s license, and provide official documentation, she decided to go by her given name, which she liked better. Some of the happiest years of her life were spent on a small farm in Holley, NY, where her mother, father, older brother, Albert, and younger brother, Raymond, moved during the great depression. She had many stories about living in a farm home without running water, electricity and only a wood burning stove for heat and cooking. She loved the cats, dogs, and farm animals. She rode bareback on their plow horse, milked the cows and her little goat (who she named “Scudzy”). She helped her mother make cheese, picked peas, tomatoes, cherries, and worked right along with the rest of her family members. She loved to visit her cousins in Rochester, and also loved when they would come to spend time with her and her brothers in the summer time. She told us stories about walking to their one-room school house in the snow, and then later attending Holley Jr./Sr. High School. The family moved back to Detroit when Gina was going into 9thgrade. She went to Barbour Jr. High and then to Eastern High School. She enjoyed being a majorette with the twirling team. Living in a big city was a new adjustment for her, but she made friends easily and maintained friendships with some of those same girlfriends throughout their adult lives. She worked at Chrysler Corporation in Highland Park when she was 16 years old as a runner (messenger/ visitor escort) and file clerk in the blueprint vault. She loved that job. Gina’s older brother, Albert, introduced her to his fiancée’s brother, Tony (Antonio) Mangiapane in 1942. She was taken with Tony’s good looks, attention, and generosity. She said he resembled the movie star, Errol Flynn. Gina and Tony were married in 1945. They had four children: Anthony was the firstborn, then Joann (who sadly passed away at 3 months old), Shirley, and then David. They were together for 59 years, until Tony’s passing in 2004. The family lived in Detroit and then later in Sterling Heights. Lots of good times were enjoyed with all the relatives, most of whom lived nearby. There were countless gatherings for birthdays, holidays, picnics, weddings, etc. She so loved family gatherings and all the meals and laughter we shared together. She was a wonderful homemaker who liked cooking, baking, sewing, and keeping a tidy home. When living on Cooper St. in Detroit, she was the translator for many of the immigrant Italian families who rented the upstairs second story flat. English was her second language. Italian was her first. She was always interested in her family member’s activities, and attended as many school and sports events that she could. She encouraged her children to do well in school, to have confidence in themselves, and to exercise good judgment. She reminded us to be careful, stay safe, and maintain good health. Her love for her family was always evident, and the love her family had for her was immeasurable. When her parents moved to Florida and started a restaurant business in 1950, Tony and Gina and their children spent their annual summer vacations there. A few years later, when other family members took over the restaurant business, John and Colomba moved to Arizona. Tony and Gina then made Arizona their annual vacation destination to visit Gina’s parents in Youngtown. Eventually, Tony and Gina planned to move to the warm and dry climate of Arizona when Tony retired. Tony retired from Chrysler Corporation in 1984. They sold their home in Sterling Heights, packed up their belongings, and moved to Sun City. They made many friends in Sun City and enjoyed many social events together. Gina was active in the Needle Craft Club and crocheted many beautiful pieces, including afghans for her children and grandchildren. In 1995, Gina was diagnosed with oral cancer. Never a tobacco user and fastidious about her dental health, it was just an unfortunate occurrence. She underwent multiple surgeries, the removal of four inches of her jaw, the reconstruction of it with bone taken from her hip, dental implants, etc. In between there were several radiation treatments, hyperbaric chamber treatments, loss of taste and smell, difficulty chewing and swallowing. She suffered through many uncomfortable moments, but she maintained her fortitude to get better. Despite all those difficulties she was a survivor for over 25 years. Gina was always kind, compassionate, caring, hospitable and gracious. She was the type of person who put others before herself. The wellbeing of her family was of utmost importance to her. She reminded us to always treat others as we would want to be treated. She did not gossip and advised her children that “those who gossip to you, gossip of you.” She had a genuine purity in everything she said—never pretentious, always truthful, and a good example for her children and grandchildren. In 2015, Gina thought it was time to move to a senior facility where she no longer had to worry about the upkeep of her home. She enjoyed living at Palos Verdes Senior Living in Peoria, AZ, in an independent apartment. Last year she moved to the facility’s Memory Care unit where she was cared for by a loving staff. She loved nature and frequently spent time outdoors, sitting on the patio of the Memory Garden. On March 22, she fell on the cement patio after losing her balance. She didn’t lose consciousness, but had a large hematoma on the back of her head. There were no broken bones, but Gina was just too weak to recover. After one week of trying hard to get better, she finally found peace. Gina is survived by her 3 children and their spouses: Anthony (Pam) Mangiapane; Shirley (John) Worden; and David (Angela) Mangiapane; 8 grandchildren; and 7 great-grandchildren. She is also survived by her brothers: Albert Mattiucci and Raymond Mattiucci.

In lieu of flowers, please donate in her name to Hospice, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, or Support for People with Oral & Head & Neck Cancer SPOHNC.org or your favorite charity. To send condolences to Gina's family, please visit www.SunlandMemorial.com.

  • FAMILY

  • Shirley Worden, Daughter

Services

  • Funeral Service

    Saturday, April 3, 2021

Memories

Gina Maria Mangiapane

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Jeff Mangiapane

April 11, 2021

Some people have to wait to get in to heaven but I'm sure that my grandmother had a RSVP right to the front of the line she was a sweet lady I have fond memories of her when I was a child visiting her on the weekends with my father she never said anything bad about anybody she always gave great advice. You could feel her love when you walked in the front door of her house from the smell of the cooking always concerned about everybody else she was the last one to sit at the table that's the love she had for her family
to make sure everybody had everything they needed before she even sat down. I am heartbroken but I know she's with the Lord now and at peace and reunited with many of the other relatives that have went home with the Lord ,God bless her and all the others that have passed on in this family.

Jim Mangiapane

April 4, 2021

Dear Anthony, Shirley, and David...

Our hearts go out to you and your families on the loss of your mother, our Aunt Jean. She was always such a kind and classy lady, always with a beautiful smile. The tribute and movie did a great job of showing how much she enjoyed life and her family. Thank you for sharing those precious memories with us.

God bless and take care.

Love,
Jimmy and Debbie Mangiapane

Pamela Mangiapane

April 4, 2021

To the dearest and sweetest Mother-in-law a person could have the privilege to know, I was one who was blessed to have the honor and pleasure of knowing you and loving you. From day one when I met you we hit it off wonderfully, you were so warm and kind to me, that was the way you were with everyone all the years I have known you. I have known you for 44 years and I would tell my family and good friends I have the best mother-in-law in the whole world, you were a true friend. I will cherish and remember all the good times we had together when you and dad came to visit us in Michigan. The time you and dad came camping with us. You were a real trooper. Then when we came to visit you and dad in Arizona and enjoy the beautiful weather and scenery there. The good times we had when all the family would gather at your home for a delicious spaghetti dinner. The great breakfasts you would make for us each day and the talks we would have after, about both dad and your life together. All the hearty laughs and fun times we had as we reunited again. The times we would laugh so hard we cried and our stomach hurt.
You were a real treasure to have known and I will miss you so much, but on that day I will once again be blessed when we meet you again in heaven to rejoice with Our Savior and Lord. May you be at rest and peace now in the comfort of Our Lords Loving Arms. You will be in my Heart forever.
Love your daughter-in-law Pamela

Anthony Mangiapane

April 4, 2021

Dear Mom, It was a long time ago, remember, March 14,1946, the day The Lord brought you a special little present, and you were overjoyed and happy (You were overjoyed and happy weren't you?).
Yeah The Lord knew what he was doing when he gave you this little angel, because he knew you were the right mother for me. I'm forever grateful to him and to you. He knew you were going to take good care of me all through my childhood, feed me, wash me, check my diaper, change it ("the dirty job") if necessary. Yeah, he knew you were going to pick out some nice clothes for me to wear, buy me some toys, take care of my skinned knees and bandage my cuts. Nurse me back to health when I was sick, send me to school, help me to learn to talk, read, write my name, tie my shoes, teach me about right from wrong, listen to my problems, offer me advice, comfort me, worry about me when I was away from home, play with me and make me laugh. He also must have given you a ton of patience when I was a bad boy too, huh? I know it was a tough thankless job, but you must have been tough too and I think The Lord is pleased with the way you handled such an awesome responsibility.I guess, I just want to thank you for all the good things you did for me and the untold sacrifices that you must have made! I will always be thankful to the Lord and I will never forget you My Beloved Mother all the days of my life! Love Always, Anthony

Kathy Momrik

April 1, 2021

So sorry for your loss. Your mother was one of the sweetest and kind person. Prayers for all.

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