Andrew “Joe” Pignanelli died peacefully in the arms of his wife surrounded by beloved family members at his McDonald home in his Ohio State room on Monday, July 30th, following a year of treatments for an aggressive brain tumor.
Joe was proud of the fact that he shared his birthday with King Elvis on January 8. He was born in Youngstown in 1951 and graduated from Girard High School. While a senior, he began his career with UPS as a clerk, and soon began delivering packages, most recently at the Niles Eastwood Mall Complex. Upon retiring, he made the switch to delivering McDonald School students as a bus driver for 14 years. Joe was passionate about driving, and even more passionate about his cargo. He had a love and respect for McDonald students, coaches and athletes, and it was mutual. He also worked a few summers for Squaw Creek Golf Course.
Joe’s hobbies included watching high school and college sports, especially McDonald Blue Devils and The Ohio State Buckeyes. He also never wavered from being a Cincinnati Bengals fan, and was always loyal despite the lean years. He could be heard announcing McDonald Blue Devil football games for several seasons, trying to name each athlete each play to make their families proud. Joe enjoyed vintage cars, loved the beaches in Florida and Myrtle Beach, and enjoyed a good round of golf with his friends. He was an active member of the McDonald Lions Club for 10 years, where he always seemed to be “in the kitchen” at most events. He loved Italian food, and was especially proud of his annual homemade Christmas cavatelli. Additional volunteer time included working with special needs children and assisting with various events of BBBS of the Mahoning Valley. Joe could be found often at the McDonald Community Room or having coffee in Girard where he shared his gift of gab.
Joe is survived by his wife of 44 years Norma (Brainard) Pignanelli, and his daughter Andrea (Alexis) Grey, along with some very special nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents, Andrew and Laura, and his only sibling Carole Ann.
The family would like to thank all of you who kept Joe in your prayers throughout the year. His positive attitude, kind spirit, quick-witted humor and infectious smile were a blessing to those he is leaving behind. Kudos to Dr. John Gianetti, the OSU James Center Brain & Spine Hospital doctors and staff, and Hospice of the Valley workers. Their combined compassion and care kept him comfortable as he battled this disease.
The family will receive friends at Blackstone Funeral Home Sunday from 4-7 p.m. A memorial worship service celebrating Joe’s life will be Monday, August 6, at 11 a.m. at Lord of Life Lutheran Church, 550 North Broad St. in Canfield, where he attended. Friends may call one hour prior to the service at the church.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Joe’s name to McDonald Village (Memo: Community R.E.S.T. Program), or Lord of Life Lutheran Church. You can also honor him by merely being a blessing to someone today, as he was to all of us. . Visit www.blackstonefuneralhome.com to view this obituary and to send any condolences to the family.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”-Maya Angelou. That describes our beloved Giuseppe!
Visit www.blackstonefuneralhome.com to view this obituary and to send any condolences to the family.