Elsie Giuntoli, 91, died peacefully in her sleep while surrounded by her loving family.
Elsie was born in Oakland on March 1st, 1927 to Andrew and Maria Elena Arata. She lived her entire life in Oakland, attending school at Sacred Heart Elementary and Holy Names High School. Upon graduation from High School, she worked in the insurance industry and soon found the love of her life when she married Silvano Remo Giuntoli in 1949. They were married for over 14 years before his untimely death in 1964. She was the proud mother of their four children: John, Steven, Michael, and Mary Anne, and the doting Nonna to her three grandchildren – Elizabeth, Michael, and Nicole. She was also the loving great grandmother to her three great grandchildren – Camden, Sofia, and Jacob Botvinnik. Elsie is also survived by her younger brother Ray Arata, and was the proud mother-in-law to Patricia Giuntoli. Elsie was also the cousin to many relatives in Italy and Chile.
After her husband’s death in 1964, Elsie was faced with the difficult task of raising her four children as a single mother. Thankfully, her strong faith and close knit group of relatives and friends enabled her to raise her children in a stable and loving home. She became quite involved at St. Theresa’s church and school, and also joined the Italian Catholic Federation, remaining a faithful participant for over 50 years. During her subsequent years, she also became a dedicated member of the Colombo Club Auxiliary, the St. Theresa’s Ladies Guild, the Ligure Club, and St. Theresa’s WINGS. She was also a member of the Madonna Della Guardia. Her participation in these organizations reflected a truism about Elsie - that Church, family, and friends were to be cultivated and deepened throughout one’s life.
When Elsie’s children were young, finding work while being a stay at home mom was a challenge. To earn money for her family, she would iron clothes and address envelopes. As her children grew older, she joined the workforce by working as a teller for Wells Fargo Bank. She enjoyed meeting and working with her customers, and worked for Wells for over 20 years. At age 65, Elsie retired from Wells and spent her remaining years helping to care for her family and friends and participating more fully in her church and social organizations.
Elsie loved to cook and bake and work in her garden. She grew string beans, squash and tomatoes and used them in her cooking, or provided them to her neighbors and friends. She was also extremely interested in her family’s genealogy here and in Europe and Chile. She made three trips to Italy during her later years to meet with her many relatives and friends. Once all of her children had moved out of the house, Elsie opened up her home and provided a place to stay for young exchange students from Italy, Japan, and Germany who wanted to visit and explore our country.
The Giuntoli family extends a heartfelt thank you to Lhot and Alfreda for their wonderful care in helping take care of our mom during the remaining years of her life.
We welcome you to join us in a Rosary service for Elsie to be held on Wednesday evening, April 4th at St. Theresa’s Church in Oakland at 7:00 pm. The public viewing will be between 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm. The funeral service and Mass shall be held at St. Theresa’s Church on Thursday, April 5th at 10:00 am, with a reception immediately following. Burial services will be at the Saint Joseph Cemetery in San Pablo following the reception.
In lieu of flowers, you may donate to the Alzheimer’s Foundation (www.alzfdn.org) or the charity of your choice. Thank You.
Alzheimer's Foundation of America