Youngstown – Santina Nicolina “Sandy” (Bernabeo) Pecchia, 93, of Youngstown, passed away at Mercy Health - St. Elizabeth in Youngstown on Sunday evening, October 31, 2021.
Sandy was born on May 20, 1928 in Manoppello, Pescara, Italy, a daughter of Giuseppe and Lucia (Marino) Bernabeo.
In 1929, Sandy and her family immigrated to the United States. They settled in Cleveland, OH, where Sandy graduated from John Adams High School. As a talented musician at a young age, Sandy would ride a street car to Holy Rosary Church in Little Italy to play the organ. Her love of music would follow her throughout her life.
In 1950, Sandy married the love her life, the late Joseph Pecchia. The couple then moved to Youngstown, where they shared 60 years of love and marriage together until Joseph’s death in 2011.
Besides being a proud homemaker, Sandy was dedicated to her work. In her early years, she ran Pecchia’s Bakery concession, located inside Sears in the Southern Park Mall. Most notably however, Sandy was a customer service employee of Toys R Us in Boardman for 20 years. Her position meant the world to her and often said, without hesitation, that she loved showing up for work.
When she was not working, Sandy was an active musician. She was an accomplished organist, pianist and accordionist and was gifted with perfect pitch. It was through music that Sandy was able to relive and retain many of her memories, combatting the struggle of dementia. After many years of playing and creating beautiful music, Sandy’s gift was able to give back to her.
Sandy was also enjoyed writing and reading poetry, crocheting afghans and was known for her famous wedding soup and meatballs. It goes without saying that she was very proud of her Italian heritage. Sandy was very organized and was known to be spunky and feisty at times. She loved her family and she will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved her.
Sandy leaves behind to hold onto her precious memories her children, Joseph (Linda) Pecchia of Boardman and Joanne (Dan) MacMurchy of Boardman; grandchildren, Nicole Pecchia (fiancé Shaun Lindsay) of Austintown, Luke (Jennifer) Pecchia of Boardman, Christina (Anthony) Jandrokovic of Boardman, Julie (Justin) Rings of Indianola, WA, Jessica (Jane) MacMurchy of Poland and Dan (Jessica) MacMurchy of Boardman; great grandchildren, Vinny, Christian, Marissa, Gavyn, Sophia, Devin, Landyn, Jimmy, Eli, Lennon and Niko; sister, Fina Pecchia; sister-in-law, Clara (Jim) Richards and many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Besides her parents and loving husband, Sandy was preceded in death by her brother, Gabriel Bernabeo.
Sandy’s family would like to graciously thank two caregivers, Barb and Lisa, who spent wonderful hours caring for Sandy. Special thanks also goes to the staff at Wickshire Living in Poland.
Family and friends may visit and pay tribute to Sandy on Wednesday November 3, 2021 from 4 to 7PM at the Rossi & Santucci Funeral Home of Boardman, 4221 Market Street, and again on Thursday, November 4, 2021 from 10 to 11AM at St. Charles Borromeo Church in Boardman.
There will be a Mass of Christian Burial, presided by Rev. Phillip Rogers, on Thursday, November 4, 2021 at 11AM at St. Charles Borromeo Church in Boardman.
Burial will take place at Resurrection Cemetery in Austintown.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Greater East Ohio Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, 225 N. Michigan Ave. Floor 17 Chicago, IL 60601.
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