He was born and raised in Iron Mountain, Michigan and went on to join the Navy. After leaving the service, he spent many years in the car sales business, both as an owner of dealerships and as a used car manager. He moved to the Tri-Cities area 20 years ago as he looked for someplace a bit warmer than his childhood home in Michigan or Appleton, Wisconsin where he also spent much of his life.
He loved to entertain and cook, so most memories his family and friends have are of the feasts he would put together on warm summer afternoons to entertain friends or the wonderful holiday meals he'd enjoy making to celebrate with his family. No matter the get together, his big personality ensured great fun and laughter.
Besides his love of food, he loved riding his motorcycle. Having owned a number of them over a 40 year period, he spent many hours riding the roads with his wife enjoying the beauty of the country and the freedom he felt on his bike.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Fred and Cecile Gianunzio; son, Paul; and daughter, Lisa.
He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Louisa (Montpas); daughters, Denise (Ken) Nieland and Christina (Douglas) Peterson-Gianunzio; four grandchildren, Alayna (Brian) Colombino, Taylor (Blake) Evenson, Mason and Neven Peterson-Gianunzio; three great- grandchildren, Isabel and Paul Colombino and Maddox Evenson; as well as a brother, Warren (Rose) Gianunzio; cousins, Pat Heisenfeldt and John (Sandra) Massicotte; and many nieces and nephews.
The family will receive friends from 10-11:00 a.m. on Thursday, March 14, 2019 at St. Dominic Catholic Church, 2517 John B. Dennis Highway, Kingsport, TN. A Memorial Mass will follow at 11:00 a.m. Entombment will be in Iron Mountain, Michigan next to his son and daughter at a later date.
The family would like to extend a special thanks to the entire staff of Amedisys Hospice, especially Denise, Becky, Chelsea, and Tiffany; and also Restore Life USA for granting his wish to die with grace, dignity, peace, and a laugh.
In lieu of flowers, the family ask that donations be made to St. Jude’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105 or stjude.org.