Dena Marie (Bianchi) Gennari, 78, of Sandusky, was called to her eternal home by Jesus Christ Our Savior on Sunday, July 20, 2008. She died peacefully at home after an extended illness.
She was born Oct. 10, 1929, on Kelleys Island, to Adam and Josephine (Poggiali) Bianchi. She was first-born American to her family who came to the United States from San Marino, Italy. She learned to speak English at an early age, by her older brother, Nello, so she could attend school. She was a 1947 graduate of Kelleys Island High School. She moved to Sandusky and worked for the former Philco Corporation, and then met and married the love of her life, Charles C. Gennari, Oct. 21, 1950. Together they had five children and raised them in the house they built.
She was a devoted wife and mother. She enjoyed crocheting, gardening, canning, playing cards and crossword puzzles. She never missed her favorite game shows and soap operas. Over the years, she enjoyed watching many school performances and band concerts. She was best known for her homemade Italian “Grandma Noodles” and everyone will remember them fondly as her way of sharing traditional Italian home life with family and friends.
She was devoutly religious and a member of Holy Angels Catholic Church.
She will be forever loved and missed by her children, Donna Violette of Huron, Mary Jo (Daniel) Vladiff, David (Denise) and Dale (Roberta) Gennari, all of Sandusky, and Mark (Jodee) Gennari of Vickery; 13 grandchildren, Heather (Matt) Purdy, Daniel and Tiana Vladiff, Matt, Rebecca, Michael and Nicholas Gennari, all of Sandusky, Kevin Violette of Port Clinton, Sara Violette of Oklahoma, Elizabeth Gennari of North Carolina, and Amanda, Courtney and Bradley Gennari, all of Vickery; two great-grandchildren, Kaiya and Adrik Purdy; brother, Dominic Bianchi of Kelleys Island; lifelong friend, who will sadly miss her, Lena Clary; and several sisters-in-law and a brother-in-law, and many nephews and nieces, including favorites Teri Beatty and Peg Hassinger.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 48 years, Charles, in 1998; granddaughter, Jessica Vladiff in 1981; her parents; brother, Nello Bianchi in 2007; and other relatives in San Marino.
Friends may call 3-5 and 7-9 p.m. Thursday in Groff Funeral Home, 1607 E. Perkins Ave., Sandusky, with an 8:30 p.m. prayer service. Prayers will be recited at 9:30 a.m. Friday, at the funeral home, and a 10 a.m. Mass of Christian Burial will follow in Holy Angels Catholic Church, 428 Tiffin Ave., Sandusky; the Rev. Chris Kardzis is the celebrant. Burial will follow in St. Joseph Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be directed to Holy Angels Window Fund or Stein Hospice Service, Inc. Condolences may be shared at grofffuneralhomes.com.