Rotterdam - On Monday February 13, 2023, Antoinette “Toni” Rose Gizzi Renna entered into eternal life surrounded by her loving family.
She was born on June 12, 1929 to Louis and Nancy Gizzi. Toni was a graduate of Mt. Pleasant High School. After raising her family she returned to school and received a business degree from Schenectady County Community College with high honors. She was employed at Schenectady Electronics and continued her career at General Electric Company in the finance office. Later in life Toni worked into her 80’s at the Ellis Hospital Gift Shop. She married her husband Anthony F. Renna on September 5, 1948. Together they raised a large and loving family of 8 children.
Toni was a lifelong parishioner at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church. She served her church community throughout her lifetime. Toni held many leadership roles within the church community that included the woman’s society, parish council, and the annual parish festa. Toni was also a member of the choir, a cantor, Eucharistic Minister, and lector. She has been a part of the Visitation Ministry since its inception. She has served as president of the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Seniors. She was the president of the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine through which she taught religious education and helped the pastor with various duties. For all her devotion to her church, the late Rev. Carl Urban of St. Adalbert’s bestowed on her the informal title of “Mrs. Mt. Carmel”.
In addition to her service in the parish community, Toni volunteered as a Eucharistic Minister at Ellis Hospital visiting those who were hospitalized offering them Holy Communion. She was also a den mother for the Cub Scouts when her sons were young.
Toni sang with the St. Clare’s Choraleers for many years and was a long time member of the Sons of Italy. She was honored in 2018 by the Capital District Senior Issues Forum for her faith based service. In addition she was named a Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow for her long time service to the community.
Toni has been the loving matriarch of her large family and an example of strength, compassion, and kindness to all she knew and encountered. She will be dearly missed.
She was predeceased by her parents, her husband, her son Louis P. Renna, brother Michael and sister-in-law Esther Gizzi, and several other brother and sisters-in-law. She is survived by her son Frank A. Renna (Sharon), daughter-in-law Gerri Renna, daughters Dee Dee Lawrence (Thomas), Nancy Harrigan (Kevin), Rosie Van Patten (Richard), Teresa Cristello (John), Toni McGraw (David), and Luann Renna-Friello (Anthony). She is also survived by 21 grandchildren: Melissa Murphy (Jason); Frank A Renna Jr.; Janel Mosburg (Brad); Anthony F. Renna (Melissa); Nikki Lawrence (Domenic Gianfrancesco); Ryan Lawrence (Shannon); Kelly Harrigan (Renzo Alarcon); Christopher T. Harrigan (Mrika); Richard Van Patten III; Danielle Van Patten (Lewis Hwang); Ashley McDonald (Robert); Branden Cristello (Kristin); Aubree Hutchinson (Tyler); Ahnalee Cristello; David, Kallee, and Alana McGraw; Anthony, Jordan, Nicholas, and Michael Friello. She is also survived by 12 great grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church, Pleasant Street, Schenectady on Saturday February 18, 2023 at 10am. Calling hours will be 5-8pm at DeMarco Stone Funeral Home, 1605 Helderberg Avenue, Schenectady on Friday, February 17, 2023. Burial will follow at St. Joseph's Cemetery.
Scleroderma is the disease that took her son Lou’s life. In lieu of flowers donations can be made in her memory to Steffens Scleroderma Foundation at steffens-scleroderma.org, or to Our Lady of Mt Carmel Church.
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