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Eugenia "Jennie" Pagnucco

December 29, 1924 June 21, 2016
Eugenia "Jennie" Pagnucco
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Obituary for Eugenia "Jennie" Pagnucco

Eugenia Maria “Jennie” Pagnucco died June 21, 2016. She was 91 years old. Jennie was born December 29, 1924 in Cavasso Nuovo, Italy to Maria (nee Maraldo) and Giordano Michielutti.

Jennie is survived by her children, Lou Pagnucco, Denise (Ron) Lance and Dave (Maureen) Pagnucco and grandchildren, Jeff (Jill), Rachel (Nick), Kevin (Shea), D.J., Maria, Julia, and Celia. She is also survived by her brother, Don (Nancy) Michielutti and several nieces and nephews. Jennie is preceded in death by her beloved husband, Gigi Pagnucco, parents, Maria and Giordano Michielutti, and brother, Louis Michielutti.

Jennie came to the U.S. with her mother when she was almost 2 years old to live with her father, who was already living in the lower eastside of Detroit. She grew up with her 2 younger brothers Louis and Don. Even though the Depression years were tough, she often said that “those years and growing up with her family was the best of times". When her brother Louis died of illness suddenly at the age of 15, the family bond grew together even stronger.

She attended St. Catherine’s Grade School and St. Catherine’s High School. After graduation Jennie worked part-time at the Packard Motor Company in the health insurance department working for Mrs. English…a wonderful lady Jennie greatly respected. Through the war years she worked as a waitress at the Venetian Club in Detroit, was a “Rosie the Riveter” at Briggs Industries smoothing out rivet heads on airplane gearshifts.

It was during WWII that she met her future husband (Gigi) who was an Italian POW in Toledo, Ohio. At the time, Italian families were allowed to visit the camp on Sundays, and Jennie and her family were one of the many visitors. They fell in love and after the war they returned to Italy to be married at the same church (San Remigio) where her parents were married and where Jennie was baptized. She returned home to Detroit and waited 6 months before Gigi could join her to start their new life and begin raising their family. They moved into their own home in northeast Detroit and had 3 children.

Jennie learned to drive at the tender age of 50 and afterwards worked part-time for the Michigan Dept. of Licensing for almost 15 years as an administrative clerk. Throughout all her life, however, her main focus was her family and being the best homemaker she knew how. She would do whatever it took to encourage her family...a family she treasured dearly. Without doubt she was a skilled and able cook with talents ranging from flavorful gnocchi and polenta to what her family universally hailed as the world's best apple pie.

And always Jennie had a smile on her face, a gleam in her eye and a laugh in her heart.
She was the primary caregiver for her own parents for many years and throughout her own later years she was very appreciative of all the help people would give to her. The way she said the words “Thank You” were most touching.

We will miss her dearly.

A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Anastasia Church, 4571 John R., Troy, Monday, June 27th at 9:30am. Friends may visit at church beginning at 9am. Burial will be in White Chapel Cemetery, Troy.

Memorials appreciated to The Capuchins, 1820 Mt. Elliott Street, Detroit, Michigan 48207.

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