Genevieve Ann Williams
Genevieve Ann Williams
  • January 20, 1925 - May 20, 2017
  • Bedford, New Hampshire

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Genevieve (Genny) A. Williams (nee Brenzo), 92, of Bedford, New Hampshire passed away at her Bedford home of nearly fifty years, on Saturday, May 20th, after a period of declining health. From Elmira, New York, she was the sixth of seven children born to her Italian immigrant parents, Antonia (nee Gagliardi) and Giovanni Brindisi (American-ized Brenzo). Her pride in her Italian heritage was immeasurable. Anyone who knew her heard her say, "I am Italian." This month marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of her first visit to her parents' birthplace in Pietrelcina, which led to meeting relatives and many memorable visits with them. Her Catholic faith was deep and her devotion to Italy's Saint Pio, a man who was neighbor and friend to her mother, was profound.

Her family is comforted that she had a long, joy-filled life. To the end, she was smart, observant and beautiful. Among her traits, she was curious and creative. "Ever since I was little, I wanted to learn everything," she said. While raising seven children was her greatest accomplishment, she had many interests and hobbies. She used to joke, "I am jack of all trades, master of all." It was true. She took apart broken things, whether the toaster or a picture frame, and fixed it. She was artistic; loved sketching and drawing; and won a cartoon drawing contest. She loved English and writing and was a published poet. Last Christmas, she gave a card to each of her children with her handwritten words of the traits in them she most admired. She loved language and spoke Italian to her last day. For many years, she sang soprano in the choir at St. Elizabeth Seton, even as a soloist. The day before her end, she sang "Santa Lucia" and "O Solo Mio" to a few of her daughters, hitting the high notes masterfully. She won a dance contest and to watch her and our Dad dance the polka was nothing short of exhilarating. For more than forty years, she and our Dad were members of the Manchester Country Club. She loved wearing gowns to the Saturday night dinner dances. She was a member of the Women's 9-hole Golf League and known for her strong drives and brilliant chipping. She loved to put.

Her most appreciated asset was her generosity and loving, open heart. Many people she met felt touched in some special way. Friends who visited her over her last months told her how kind and loving she had always been to them, leaving a strong impression. We heard many friends say she was always smiling and positive. Everyone loved her. "Shoot" or "Sugar" were her harshest words. Attending her grandchildren's soccer, baseball and football games, she was greeted as "Grandma Genny," by children and adults. Sunday pasta dinners at home brought her family together weekly. If we brought friends, she would say, "The more the merrier." The Sunday tradition is carried on. On Mother's Day, all were at the dining room table together.

She loved fashion and dressed up every day. Red was her favorite color. With six daughters, clothes and shopping was an everyday topic of conversation. She would tell us, "You look spiffy." When she said how beautiful we looked, we told her, "We take after you, Mom," and she would say, "Well, thank you." Her manners were always in place. Each day, until the end, she delighted in choosing her outfit from an overflowing closet, selecting her jewelry and putting on her red lipstick. "A class act," many called her.

She enjoyed a long retirement with her husband James, who predeceased her in October, 2013. That April they celebrated 65 years of marriage, renewing their wedding vows at St. Patrick's Church in Elmira, where they had been married.

Her greatest mastery was her family. She wanted her house full of family and it nearly always was. In addition to her pride in her children and their spouses, was her pride in her 3 granddaughters, 6 grandsons and two great grand-sons, ages 5 and 3. Her entire family feel deep gratitude for the gift of her in their lives. Her children are: Ms.Sharon Williams of Bedford; Barbara Hall and husband Peter of Hooksett; Janet Mustico and husband Robert of Elmira; Kathleen Fortin and husband Daniel of Bedford; Carol Pelissier and husband William of Manchester; Gena Heidenreich and husband Scott of Goffstown; and, one son, James Stewart Williams II and his wife Susan (Hansberry) of Bedford. Her youngest sister, Angela Gayer and husband Harold Gayer reside in River-side California. One brother-in-law, Albert Williams and wife Pat live in Cambridgeshire, England.

She was strong-willed and not one to give up on anything. Her view of life was simple yet profound, "I did what I had to do." The word "stress" did not exist in her vocabulary. I call it "Life," she told us. These and many other words of her wisdom will be long remembered. In this "Month of Mary," we honor our Blessed Virgin Mary and ask for her blessings of grace for Genevieve, Mom, Grandma Genny and for all of us.

A viewing will be held from 4:00-7:00 pm on Thursday, May 25, 2017 at McHugh Funeral Home, 283 Hanover Street, Manchester. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place on Friday, May 26, 2017 at 10:00 am at Saint Elizabeth Seton Church, Bedford. Memorial donations may be made to Families in Transition, 122 Market Street, Manchester, NH.
Arrangements under the direction of McHugh Funeral Home and Cremation Service, Manchester, NH.