Lena Yolanda Rizzo (Pettinelli)
Lena (Gramma Lena, Auntie Lena) died March 14, 2023, peacefully in her sleep at home. She is the beloved wife of her late husband Joseph (Joe). Beloved daughter to the late Carlo and Rosa. Sister to her beloved late brother Carlo (wife Karen). Aunt to Tim, Jim, Lisa and Lori. Mother of Gloria Rizzo and the late Janet Loresch (Aunt Jan). Loving grandmother of Toni (husband Bryan), Robert, Carla (husband Matt), Michael (wife Carri) and Monica. Great grandmother of Matthew (wife Amanda), Vincent, Hayley, Kyle, Samantha, Phil, Madison, Christian and Lauren. Great-great grandmother of Giovanni, Tyson, and Tristan.
Gram's home was always filled with love especially on Sunday afternoons when she would cook an Italian pasta feast for family and any friends and neighbors that would stop by. In fact, food was always cooking, and she would always be baking chocolate chip or pizzelles cookies for something sweet. If our parents said no, Gram said yes. Yes, to candy, cookies and snacks as well as numerous pet fish, hamsters, and guinea pigs. She lovingly cared for the grandchildren for weekends on end, graciously hosted all birthday and graduation celebrations, and regularly treated the grandchildren to memorable excursions to Kiddie Kingdom and so much more. She loved walking (she never drove) to the Hillside mall almost every day and would treat us to ice cream at the Woolworth diner.
Gram was kind, compassionate and loving and was always a central and stable figure in the lives of the grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren. She was exceptionally proud and always encouraged them to succeed in their pursuit of college and careers. Gram was a strong, determined, and independent woman who always loved going out with her girlfriends. She loved her apartment at Mayslake Village and always enjoyed gathering with her friends in the dining room for bingo and lunchtime entertainment. When alone, she enjoyed word search books, jigsaw puzzles and guessing the clues on Wheel of Fortune.
Gram loved when the extended family would gather which happened a few times a year. We made Christmas, Easter, Mother's Day and her birthday special occasions worthy of celebration. Gram always enjoyed Saturday afternoon visits with Kyle and Toni which often included many adventures like lunch and a movie, visits to the zoo, hikes around the lake at Graue Mill, musicals, medieval times, Christmas lights at the zoo and much more. Gram also enjoyed her outings with Robert which she would talk about for weeks afterwards. Especially memorable was the time she met the late Mayor Daley and his wife Maggie.
Gram always reminisced about times spent with family and friends long gone. So, Gram, we hope that you are with them all now. You are truly missed! Until we see you again, hugs and kisses! We Love You!
Family and friends will meet at Northlake Funeral Home on Saturday, March 25, 2023 for a Memorial Gathering from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM. Committal Service and Burial will follow at Queen of Heaven Cemetery.
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