The Passing of Wilma Jean (Ortigo) Reich

Wilma Jean (Ortigo) Reich, wife of Lewis Reich II (grandson of Tilly Genetti and Peter Zambotti of Hazleton, PA), passed away this week on February 3, 2018. We send our condolences to the family.

Obituary:

Haughton, LA – A Mass of Christian Burial for Wilma Jean Reich will be 10 a.m. Thursday, February 8, 2018 at St. Jude Catholic Church, Benton. Officiating will be Father Karl Daigle. Interment will follow at Haughton Cemetery. Visitation will be Wednesday, February 7, 2018 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Rose-Neath Funeral Home in Bossier City.

Wilma Jean was born August 19, 1954 in Shreveport to Vernice and Polly Ortigo and died February 3, 2018 in Shreveport. She retired as a sonographer from the medical field. Wilma Jean enjoyed traveling, square dancing, round dancing, gardening, photography and cross-stitching.

She was preceded in death by her parents and brother, Joseph.

Wilma Jean is survived by her husband of 36 years, Lewis; son, Christopher and wife, Heather; sister, Patricia Ortigo and brother, Ricky Ortigo.

Cugini?

Massimino and Camillo Genetti, probably late 1920’s, photo courtesy of Giovanni Marchetti.

I am FaceBook friends with Gemma Genetti. She lives in Merano, a beautiful historical city in northern Italy. Gemma’s roots are from Castelfondo, the ancestral village of the Genetti family. Over the past few years we have kept in touch and were sure we were related. But somehow the link between our families eluded me – until yesterday.

I saw a FaceBook comment Gemma made under a photograph of her father and uncle posted in “Chei da Chastelfon,” a private FB group that we both belong to. The group publishes many historical documents and photos of scenes and people from Castelfondo. Yesterday I was staring at a portrait posted by the group administrator, Giovanni Marchetti, of Massimino Genetti and his brother Camillo in military uniform. As I translated the comments below the photo, a realization came to me. I might be able to match up the two siblings in the town’s baptismal records. If I could find both siblings, plus their sister Anna (mentioned in one of the comments) I would have the correct ancestors for this family. Since we have many repetitive names on our tree (such as Pietro, Giovanni and Fortunato) this is not always an easy task. But if all of the siblings’ records matched and I had the exact names of their parents and grandparents, I could positively identify the branch of their ancestors.

Part of Genetti Family Tree showing Antonio and Veronica Genetti with their six sons.

Within an hour I had scanned through pages of Castelfondo records prior to 1925 and found two of the three siblings. The baptismal records had exactly the information I was searching for. I glanced up at the family tree hanging above my desk and immediately saw Gemma’s grandfather, Pietro!

Grabbing a piece of paper, I drew a descendant chart for Gemma and another for me – and yes, we shared a set of great-grandparents! Our 3rd great-grandparents, Giovanni Battista Antonio Genetti (1789-1852) and Veronica Paniza (1789-1871) are one in the same. That means my 2nd great-grandfather, Leone Genetti (1826-1909) and Gemma’s 2nd great-grandfather, Francesco Genetti (1818-?) were brothers. After counting down the generations, I concluded Gemma and I are 4th cousins (cugini) from the same branch of the Genetti family. Yea!

It’s always exciting to find our genealogical connections and to acknowledge those that came before us. The life paths our families chose were different and yet we have a deep connection through DNA and ancestral heritage. Gemma’s great-grandfather, Fortunato, stayed in Italy. My great-grandfather, Damiano, came to America. Two different countries, two different families, two different languages – and yet connected six generations in the past.

A special hello and thank you (ciao e grazie) to Gemma Genetti, Giovanni Marchetti and all of the wonderful members of Chei da Chastelfon. I have so enjoyed connecting to my Trentino heritage through your posts and photos.

The Passing of Leon A. Genetti Jr.

Leon Genetti with his great-granddaughters at Genetti Family Reunion, 2016

With much sadness, I bring you the news that my uncle, Leon A. Genetti Jr. of Hazleton, PA passed away suddenly on Monday, December 18th while at home. He was 89 years old, just two months shy of his 90th birthday. Leon was the son of Leon and Angeline (Marchetti) Genetti, and the grandson of Damiano and Oliva (Zambotti) Genetti.

Obituary:

Standard Speaker, Hazleton, Pennsylvania – December 21, 2017

Leon A. Genetti, 89, of Hazle Twp. passed away Tuesday [note: actual death date was Monday, December 18, 2017] at his home.

Born in Hazleton, he was the son of the late Leon A. and Angeline (Marchetti) Genetti and was a member of Queen of Heaven Parish at Our Lady of Grace Church, Hazleton.

Leon was affiliated with the Genetti supermarket chain and owned a local trucking company for that firm. He later owned Hazleton Engine and Brake Co. and operated it with his two sons, Leon and David.

He was an avid fisherman, had his private pilot’s license and had a love for flying.

Preceding him in death, in addition to his parents, were his wife, the former Marie Passarelli, in 2014; brothers, Joseph and John Genetti; and sisters, Catherine Farkus, Rita Young and Adeline Kashi [note: another sister, Joyce, passed away in 1934].

Surviving are his sons, Leon J. and his wife, Diane, Hazle Twp.; David P., Wake Forest, N.C.; and Michael A., Drums; grandchildren, Leon Scott, Ross, Jillian, Lori and Chandra; great-grandchildren, Kaylee Grace and Kelsey Rose; and numerous nieces and nephews.

His funeral will be held Saturday [December 23, 2017] at 9 a.m. at Joseph A. Moran Funeral Home, 229 W. 12th St., Hazleton, Pennsylvania.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 9:30 a.m. in Queen of Heaven Parish at Our Lady of Grace Church.His funeral will be held Saturday [December 23, 2017] at 9 a.m. at Joseph A. Moran Funeral Home, 229 W. 12th St., Hazleton, Pennsylvania.

Burial will be in Our Lady of Grace Cemetery.

Friends may call Friday from 6 to 8 p.m. at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Hazleton Animal Shelter, P.O. Box 481, Hazleton, PA 18201, or to the Hazle Twp. Fire and Rescue Department, P.O. Box 499, Harleigh, PA 18225.

Condolences may be sent through http://www.moranfuneralhome.com

[webpage for condolences: click here]

Webmaster Note: Visit Leon’s Tribute page on the Genetti Family Genealogy Project website: https://genettifamily.com/leon-a-genetti-jr/

If the family would like to contribute addition photos to our Tribute page, please send them to: info.genetti.family@gmail.com. 

Goodbye to Olivia Reich Hearn

Sadly we say goodbye to our cousin Olivia Ann Reich Hearn who passed from this life on December 10, 2017. She is the daughter of Lewis Reich (1908–2003) and Elizabeth (Zambotti) Reich (1912-1995); and the granddaughter of Peter Zambotti (1881-1966) and Tilly (Genetti) Zambotti (1890-1985).

Obituary: 

Date of Birth: April 30, 1942

Date of Death: December 10, 2017

Olivia was born in Mt. Pleasant, Pennsylvania, to Lewis and Elizabeth (Zambotti) Reich.

She received her Registered Nursing Degree in 1964 at Hazleton State School of Nursing, Hazleton, Pennsylvania, with emphasis on psychiatric care. Immediately after graduation, Olivia worked at the Veterans Administration (VA) Hospital in New York City as a Psychiatric Care Nurse. She left that position in 1968 to ski in the mountains of Utah (Alta). In Utah, she worked as a Registered Nurse in the Salt Lake City VA until 1972 when she moved with her husband to Hebo, Oregon. She was a dedicated mother, homemaker, and for a short time in 1990’s worked as a librarian at Holy Trinity Catholic School, Beaverton, Oregon.

She was married on February 19, 1971 to her husband, Vern Hearn, at Hill AFB, Utah.

Olivia was an active member of St. Pius X Catholic Church since 1973 and served in several volunteer positions. Most notably, she taught Junior High Religious Education (CCD), served on the Funeral Committee, was a church board member, and a member of the Women’s Club. In the 1980’s, she served as a volunteer and key organizer for the Cedar Mill Community Library. In recent years, she found a great deal of pleasure in being a “room mother” for a William Walker Elementary School Kindergarten class until she was no longer physically able. She really enjoyed working with those kids.

Her hobbies included needlepoint, sewing, maintaining her reading library, traveling, gardening, as well as watching old movies, BBC International and History Channel (AKA WWII Channel).

Olivia is survived by her Husband, Vern; Daughter, Charis; son, Joel; brothers, Conrad and Lewis Reich; and sister, Ann Marie Shelby. She was preceded in death by her parents and son, Nathan.

Olivia’s Viewing and Rosary Service will be held on Sunday, December 17, 2017, starting at 6:00 PM at Springer and Son, Aloha Funeral Home, 4150 SW 185th Ave, Beaverton, Oregon.

Her Funeral Mass will be held at St. Pius X Catholic Church, 1280 NW Saltzman Road, Portland, Oregon, on Monday, December 18, 2017, at 1:00 PM. Fr. Julio Torres will be presiding over the Mass and Deacon Bob Little will be the Homilist.

Memorial Donations may be made in Olivia’s honor to any of the following organizations:
Doctors Without Borders (www.doctorswithoutborders.org)
Catholic Relief Services (CRS) (www.crs.org)
Catholic Medical Mission Board (CMMB) (www.cmmb.org)

All viewing and funeral services are be handled by Springer and Son, Aloha Funeral Home, Beaverton, Oregon.

 

Note: Find Olivia’s tribute page on the Genetti family website at:
https://genettifamily.com/olivia-ann-reich-hearn/

 

Guest Post by Cecelia Joliat

Cecelia Joliat, a descendant of the Genetti family, is the granddaughter of Regina Branz Daly (1931-2017) and Dr. Joseph E. Daly (1919-2013). She is also the great-granddaughter of Henry Branz (1897-1971) and Erminia Genetti (1896-1971).

Last year Cecelia made the long journey to her ancestral home of Castelfondo in the Val di Non. Today Cecelia shares with us an essay she composed about her family’s homeland along with personal photos from her trip. Many thanks Cecelia for your beautiful words and images!



The Val di Non – by Cecelia Joliat

Winter and spring had met in the valley and decided to form a truce; through the air was warm, little patches of snow clung to the grass and hid in the shadows of the houses at the base of the mountains. The mountains themselves served to break up the monotony of the blue sky, which threatened to swallow the valley whole. Indeed, the Val di Non was a place of perfect peace and clarity, a place where the tedious actions of every day life seemed to be carried away with the wind. It was there that my family packed its belongings and, with heavy hearts, left the comfort and security of their homeland to travel to America.

Over a hundred years later, I was inspired to make a personal pilgrimage to the land of my ancestors, and what I found exceeded expectation. The hillsides were covered in bare apple trees, slumbering in preparation for the next harvest, and the roof of every church glittered like a green gem. Train tracks cut swaths through the fields and bored holes in the sides of the mountains, with the stops punctuating the vast stretches of empty land in between. Neither photographer nor painter could do such sights justice.

No measure of time spent in the valley would have been long enough, so when it came time to leave, I left with the same heaviness of heart that my ancestors had. The windows of the train framed the snowy peaks, quaint farms, and ancient castles until the sun retreated and I was left peering into the darkness, hoping one day to return. ~ by Cecelia Joliat

 

(click on photos to view larger)

 

 

Asking for Prayers

Family member Anne Marie Shelby is requesting prayers for her sister, Olivia Hearn, who is very ill right now. Anne Marie and Olivia’s grandparents were Peter Zambotti and Tilly Genetti. Please remember Olivia in your heart, thoughts and prayers, with the hope that she regains her health.

Passing of Regina (Jean) Branz Daly

Sadly, we bring the news that another cousin has passed away. Regina (Jean) Branz Daly died on November 20, 2017. She was the daughter of Henry Branz (1897-1971) and Erminia Genetti (1896-1971), and the granddaughter of Damian Genetti (1857-1944) and Oliva Zambotti (1861-1938). A tribute page has been published for Jean along with many lovely photographs contributed by her daughter, Barbara Joliat, commemorating Jean’s life.

To visit the tribute page to Jean Branz Daly, click here.

 

 

Obituary:

WATERBURY – Regina (Jean) E. Daly, widow of Dr. Joseph E. Daly, died Monday, Nov. 20, 2017, at her Waterbury home. She had suffered from the effects of cancer and Parkinson’s disease in recent years, but she remained active until the week prior to her death.

She was born March 21, 1931, in Freeland, Pa., to parents who had emigrated from what was then Val di Non, Tirol, Austria. Her parents [Henry Branz 1897-1971 and Erminia Genetti 1896-1971] instilled in her the principles of hard work and thrift, to which she added her characteristic sense of humor. After graduating from high school, she entered a nursing program at Hazelton Hospital in Hazelton, Pa., and graduated in 1951. She later moved to New York City to become head operating room nurse at New York Polyclinic Hospital, where she met her husband, then a surgical resident.

Jean and Joe married on May 23, 1959, and then moved to Waterbury, where he had lived his whole life. He had been widowed six years earlier, and Jean happily took on the job of raising his five children from his first marriage. They then had one daughter together and were able to live to see their six children grow up and give Jean and Joe 21 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren. The youngest three great-grandchildren were born this past year, and Jean was delighted by the continued growth of her large family.

Jean loved her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and spent many happy years baby-sitting and traveling for baptisms, first communions, graduations and weddings. She enjoyed doting on all of the children and never forgot a birthday or anniversary. In addition to her love of spending time with her family, Jean enjoyed bridge, bowling and tennis with many dear friends. She volunteered extensively – at her beloved parish, St. Margaret, where she assisted with everything from altar linens to planting flowers, and at St. Margaret School, and for many charitable organizations, including Saint Mary’s Hospital and the Heart Fund. She was a longtime member of St. Margaret Ladies Guild and the Theresians. Very few people could keep up with the pace that she set.

Jean leaves behind two sons, Joseph and his wife, Candace, of Peacedale, R.I., and Kevin and his wife, Cheryl, of Summerfield, Fla.; and two daughters, Catherine Canning and her husband, Ray, of Bennington, Vt., and Barbara Joliat and her husband, Christopher, of Waterbury. She was predeceased by two sons, Terrance and Charles.

Funeral and burial will be private. There are no calling hours. The Murphy Funeral Home, 115 Willow St., is in charge of arrangements.

Last Call for Family DVD

This is the final notice about our professionally edited DVD: “The Genetti Family of Castelfondo: Our Journey to America“. The deadline to order is fast approaching and I know you don’t want to miss out on this opportunity to own a piece of Genetti genealogy. There are only a few left and no more will be issued. Hurry! The last day to order is December 31, 2017!

The price for this beautifully packaged presentation is $20 (includes shipping).

Please send your check addressed to:
William Genetti, 1345 N. Church St., Hazle Township, PA 18202

And with Christmas right around the corner, you still have time to order a memento or family tree from the Genetti Family Shop.

The Passing of Edward F. Genetti

Edward F. Genetti, 81, of Sugarload Twp. passed away November 12, 2017 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Born in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, he was the son of the late Stanley and Eleanor (Rauzi) Genetti and was a member of St. John Bosco Church, Sugarloaf Twp.

Ed started his career by becoming a busboy in the family-owned Tyrolean Room. He also worked on the family fox and mink farm and then in the Genetti supermarkets.

Ed graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business, where he served in his senior year as president of the Psi Upsilon fraternity.

In 1961, he was called into the U.S. Army during the Berlin Crisis.

After his return, he developed Townview Estates in Hazleton, and in 1965, with his brother, Richard, he built and operated Pantry Quiks, the first convenient store chain in the area. In 1967, he built the Church Hill Mall in nine months. Ed also owned several AM and FM radio stations and started Panorama Magazine in 1981. At his death, he served as the chairman of the board of Genetti-owned enterprises and companies.

He was active in several civic organizations, having chaired the United Way Campaign in 1968. In 1978, while participating in the Action for the Eighties, he helped develop the project for the building of the senior community center in downtown Hazleton.

Ed had many interests, including importing Hanoverian horses from Germany and racing cars on the east coast. In his later years, he loved traveling, reading and history, especially the study of World War II.

Preceding him in death, in addition to his parents, were his first wife, the former Rosemary Gaudiano, in 2001, and his brother, Richard Genetti, in 1983.

Surviving are his wife, the former Edwina Roland Ustynoski; sons, Timothy Genetti and his wife, Michelle, Sugarload Twy.; and Alan Genetti and his wife, Dana, Sugarloaf Twp.; grandchildren, Stephen, Douglas, Alexandra and Ava Genetti; sister, Beverly Perry, Virginia; five stepchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Saturday at 10 a.m. in St. John Bosco Church.

Entombment will be in Calvary Cemetery, Drums.

The family will receive friends Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. at Joseph A. Moran Funeral Home, 229 W. 12th St., Hazleton.

 

The Passing of Another Cousin

We have sad news to report. One of our Genetti cousins, Edward F. Genetti of Pennsylvania, passed away on November 12th. Born in 1936, Edward was the son of Stanley Genetti (1899-1988) and Eleanor Rauzi (1909-2005), and the grandson of Damiano Genetti (1857-1944) and Oliva Zambotti (1861-1938). He is the husband of Edwina (Roland) and was preceded in death by his first wife Rosemary (Gaudiano). We send our sympathies and condolences to Edward’s family.