Obituary of Gina Magnoni
Gina Magnoni, a faithful Catholic passed away on October 3, 2018 in Blacksburg, VA at the age of 100. Gina was born in Swanton, CA on September 5, 1918. When she was two years of age her mother, Teresa took Gina and her older brother Attilio back to Italy, while her father Luigi stayed in Santa Cruz. In 1943 she met her husband Giovanni, they became engaged and she waited in Italy while he fought the Germans and was a prisoner of war for 2 ½ years. They married in 1948 and had a daughter Claudia the following year. In 1952 John’s employer sent him to Mexico City to manage their paper company. Gina was pregnant with Anna at the time. John stayed 2 ½ years in Mexico City but it was decided the family would stay in Italy because of the instability in Mexico at the time.
Gina’s uncles and father left she and her brother various holdings and it was decided they would all move to the U.S. They began a new journey where they spoke no English and attended night school so he and the children could become American citizens. They settled in Santa Cruz where John began working for P.C.A. in Davenport while Gina cared for her daughters and worked nights at the cannery.
In 1964 Gina began work for S.D. Derelian on Graham Hill Rd. where he lived and had a large workshop. It was there that he taught her to repair tapestries that were centuries old and worth millions of dollars, which included works from the Vatican and private collections from J. Paul Getty, Doris Duke and museums from all over the world. It could take six months to repair a 2 ½ in hole. Mr. Getty was so impressed with her work that he personally invited her to the opening of his new museum in Los Angeles. She met many notable people while working with Mr. D and was featured in Life Magazine, the New Yorker, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury and the Santa Cruz Sentinel.
She and John retired and traveled the world going to Italy many times, France, Switzerland, Portugal, Spain, Germany, Yugoslavia, Poland, Ireland, Belgium, Thailand, Cambodia, Tahiti, Canada, Alaska, Hawaii, Panama, Japan, China, Bahamas, Monaco, Philippines, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Belize, Barbados, Nicaragua and Singapore. They loved going to Lake Tahoe and Laughlin, NV to the casinos. Gina continued to travel the world even after John’s death in 1994. Mom and Dad loved to dance and would whenever they had the chance. Saturday nights the furniture would be moved in the living room so they would have room to dance while watching Lawrence Welk.
Gina lived alone until the age of 95 when she left to live with Claudia in Virginia, where she had 4 ½ happy, healthy active years until her decline in health precipitated her moving to Commonwealth Senior Living for the last two months of her life. On September 29th, Anna and her son Sean went to visit her. When she saw us she said our names and smiled. They spent the last precious days together before her death.
She is survived by her daughters, Claudia Goldstein (Bob) of Blacksburg, VA., Anna Magnoni Dillingham (Scott) of Aptos and Watsonville; grandchildren, Robin Blount (Wally) of Fredericksburg, VA., Abe Goldstein of Blacksburg, VA., Leah Erby (Mike) of Mechanicsburg, PA. and Sean Magnoni of Watsonville; great grandchildren, Madelyn Blount, Maya Erby and Chase Erby. She is also survived by a special niece, Margaret Liberatore along with numerous cousins, nieces and nephews in Italy and France.
A private service was held Monday at Holy Cross Cemetery where she was interred with her husband and joins her beloved recently departed brother Attilio and his wife Anna Cantoni and her dear mother Teresa Cantoni. The last time she spoke to Attilio he said, “I will see you in heaven” and on October 3 at 7a.m. (est) she kept that date.