NILES - Giovanna S. "Jeanne" Pritchard, 78, went to be with the Lord at 6:50 p.m. Sunday, May 26, 2013, at St. Elizabeth Health Center in Youngstown, surrounded by family and friends.
Her family would like to say, "She courageously fought to stay with us after complications from long-term diabetes and a stroke suffered eight months ago, all this with no complaints. It was her unending love for her family that propelled her struggle for survival."
She was born Dec. 9, 1934, in Formicola, Naples, Italy, the daughter of Vincenzo and Angela Simone.
She convinced her mother to move to America, the land of opportunity, in 1954. Her love for America came during the Italian war when the American soldiers came to support the Italians. She said they were like angels that came to restore peace and that is when she developed a love for this country. So in three separate trips, all five siblings and parents came from her home city of Formicola on the famous ship the Andrea Doria.
Her life revolved around her children, grandkids, nieces, nephews, brother and sisters. She always defended the children and was named "the attorney for the children" as they could do no wrong in her eyes.
After raising her grandchildren, she fell in love with her ''grandpuppy'' Sonnie, whom she called "my little joy" and referred to him as an angel sent from heaven. They had an unconditional bond for each other.
She loved all animals. When raising her kids they always had pets - dogs, cats, ducks, geese, chickens, even a pet rat. She even fed Rosie the rat Italian food and found love for them all.
She was a member of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, spent years caring for the elderly, sitting with them, spending time and cooking for them. No one could ever leave Giovanna's home without being full from her wonderful cooking.
''Everyone fell in love with her for her kind gentle heart as she passed no judgment and loved everyone and found the good in all. She is now with the Lord and heaven has become an even better place to dwell with her spirit there.''
Giovanna is survived by her devoted son, Brian L. (Beth) Pritchard of Niles; loving daughter, Chrissy (Charles) Repomonto III of Palmdale, Calif.; grandson, whom she raised like a son, Tyler Gajda of Niles; beautiful granddaughter, Alexa Repomonto of Palmdale, Calif.; brother, Frank Simone of Girard; three sisters, Mary (Paul) Gerthung of Girard, Christine Buccieri of Girard and Teresa (Charles) Scaglione of Palmdale, Calif.; and many nieces, nephews and friends who will all agree it is our loss but heaven's gain.
She was preceded in death by her parents; former husband, James E. Pritchard; her very special Zia Margherita; brother-in-law, Robert Buccieri and sister-in-law, Domenica Simone.
Calling hours will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday at the Holeton-Yuhasz Funeral Home, where the Mount Carmel Bereavement Ministry will conduct prayers at 6:30 pm. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. Friday at Our Lady of Perpetual Church, McDonald, preceded by a 9:15 a.m. prayer service at the funeral home. The Rev. John-Michael Lavelle will be the celebrant. Burial will be in Girard City Cemetery.
Visit www.holetonyuhasz.com to send condolences.