Obituary of Lina Josephine Gemignani
Lina Gemignani passed away peacefully at home with family by her side. She almost made it to 100. Lina was born at home in Nimis, Italy. Her parents were Angelina Ronchi and Gianni Bressani. This same house is still occupied by the Bressani family today. During childhood she survived the hardships of poverty and sickness and later survived the hardships and devastation of World War Two. Lina became a prisoner of war and was assigned the job of servant to SS Officers, an elite military part of the Nazi party headquartered in Udine, Italy. Because of her selection from the line, she survived being sent to the Dachau concentration camp.
Helped by her sister, Valentina, Lina left war torn Italy and set sail for America on December 16, 1947, on the Greek Line, the Nea-Hellas. America was life changing for her. She loved her new life and settled in Davenport, lived with family, and made lifelong friends, many of whom she met while working for the Levi Factory in Santa Cruz.
She had her first date with handsome, fun loving Joe Gemignani on New Year’s Eve 1947. They married in Las Vegas on March 19, 1948, in a double wedding ceremony with his best friend Fred Dimeo and lovely fiancé Alice. The young war bride and the army sergeant built a prosperous life in America, raised a family in Santa Cruz and were together until Joe’s passing in 1998.
Lina enjoyed playing tennis, taking computer classes, going to the spa to stay in shape, dancing, listening to Elvis songs, high fashion and last but not least having dinner and a Cosmo at Chili’s every Friday afternoon.
Lina was a long-time member of The Italian Catholic Federation and a parishioner of St Joseph’s Catholic Church.
Lina is survived by her son Dino Gemignani and daughter-in-law Sheila of Arroyo Grande, Ca; her daughter Joanne Swaney and son-in-law Jan Swaney of Santa Rosa, Ca; her grand children Jenna Swaney (Kent), Jessup Swaney (Jennifer), Kadin Swaney (fiancé Trinity), Corrina Gemignani, and Angela Gemignani, and great grandchildren; Raegan and Cassidy Patty and Jax and Kennedy Swaney. She is preceded in death by her sister Valentina Comelli, Jobatta Bressani, and Venerina Dri.
We would like to extend special thanks to care giver Michele Trujillo. Special thanks to Sal Locatelli Jr, who connected us with CiCi Kaci a 24-hour care provider, and special thanks to Donna Comelli who helped us in our time of need and to her grandson Andrew Roubal who offered to provide music at the Recitation of the Rosary.
Recitation of the Holy Rosary and a Catholic Blessing Ceremony will be held on Friday, February 2, 2024 at Pacific Gardens Chapel beginning at 1:00 p.m. A private committal will follow at Holy Cross Cemetery in Santa Cruz.
To light a candle and share your condolences with the family, please visit www.pacificgardenschapel.com. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Hospice of Santa Cruz County or a charity of your choice.