Alba Giuntoli Clay, 76 of Chandler AZ passed away unexpectedly on Friday, July 26, 2019 while vacationing in San Diego CA.
Alba was born to Ovidio and Irma Giuntoli on August 30, 1942 and raised in the village of Traversagna, Italy. At the age of 11, she moved with the family from Italy to Phoenix. Alba learned English and graduated from St. Mary’s High School (’60). She earned a scholarship to Arizona State University to study French and Spanish and graduated with a Bachelor of Education (’64). She continued her studies on scholarship at ASU earning a Master of Arts in French (’65). In her first year teaching French and Spanish at Carl Hayden High School she met, fell in love with, and married James Clay who taught English across the hall. They were married until Jim’s passing in 2002. During her 30 year career in the Phoenix Union High School District she served as World Language Department Chair and Unit Chair for the Classroom Teachers Association until retiring.
One of her proudest moments came in 1984. During the Papal visit to Phoenix by Pope John Paul ll, Alba had the honor of serving as the personal French language translator for the Pope. After retirement she continued to be generous with her time. She volunteered with the Needlewielders. The group knits blankets for babies and helmet liners for members of the armed forces. She also volunteered at Mercy Gilbert Hospital. Alba was a proud breast cancer survivor.
Alba loved reading and found great joy in gardening and taking care of the family dogs. She lived for her family and there was nothing she wouldn’t do for her children and grandchildren as she loved them all dearly. She is survived by her daughter Gina Vullo; son-in-law Steven Vullo; daughter Juliana Mandat; grandchildren Joey Vullo, Natalie Mandat, and Augie Vullo. She also leaves behind her beloved brothers-in-law, cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends.
A celebration of her life will be held on Saturday August 10, 2019 at 10AM with a visitation beginning at 9AM at Whitney & Murphy Funeral Home, 4800 E. Indian School Rd., Phoenix. Interment will follow at St. Francis Catholic Cemetery. Condolences may be expressed at www.whitneymurphyfuneralhome.com
Sharzad and shoo
Beautifully written. Alba was an exceptional woman and loved by countless friends and relatives. Sending you love and peace during this difficult time. May the wonderful memories comfort you
Alba was a dear friend for many years. We raised our kids together, swam together, dieted together, traveled together, laughed and cried together. I loved her and I will miss her. I am glad she is with Jim again, tho.
I will Be forever grateful to Alba for supporting our business and believing in us. She was a kind, smart, generous, and beautiful woman. Wishing your family love and peace.
I will keep in mind an excellent memory of her. Alba was a very kind, helpful and patient woman. She always care about everyone and this is the highest quality of a human being. I haven’t meet her from more than 12 years. I’m sure she was the same till she passed away. All my condolence and affection to her family. Kind regards, Angel
Dave and Kathy Silcox
Gina and Juliana—–Our sincere condolences to you and your family. Your mother was a dear friend, great teacher and wonderful mother and grandmother. She will be greatly missed by many. May your many memories of her be of comfort to you during this time of grief, knowing she will live on through you and your children . We are so sorry to be unable to be with you this coming Saturday, as we will be in Minnesota, but also know that you will be in our thoughts and prayers daily.
Alba was a brilliant teacher, kind, sensitive, intelligent and a friend. I was honored to teach with her and with Jim. One could always count on her wise council. Thinking of her family and so glad she was a part of my professional life. Best wishes.
Alba was an amazing person with a remarkable life. I feel lucky and privileged to have known her as a colleague and dear friend. I will always be grateful for her mentorship and kindness. Alba will be in our hearts and memories forever. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family in this difficult time. Rest in peace dear Alba. Elena, Adrian, and Ileana
Alba you are in our heart for ever
Katia and Marisa
Katia Pasquinelli, Pistoia Italy
Ma très chère Alba, Carissima cugina – amica del cuore e dell’anima
You and all your family will be always in my heart! James, zio Arminio zia Irma & other relatives are waiting for you! Miss you so much& Love you so much! Giuliana
P.S Perhaps they are not stars in the sky, but rather opening where our loved ones shine down to let us know they are happy -Eskimo Legend
My sincere condolences to your family. I have known and worked with Juliana for 9 years. Now I can see where she gets her intelligence and beauty.
I served at the pope visit in 1984 as a minister of the Eucharist. And my kids are also St Mary’s Alumni. While I never met your mother personally maybe we crossed paths at some point.
Your mommy was beautiful and had a beautifully impressive life
Feeling condolences from Patrizia Giachini
(daughter of Piero Giachini and grandson of Giuliana Giachini))
My utmost condolences for your family’s loss. My great-grandmother was Cordelia Giachini, daughter of Luigi Giachini and Giulia Zucconi.
Alba and her family had been my next door neighbor for many years. Our kids played together. I remember Alba as a lady of loving, kind and intelligence. She loved her teaching carrier. She loved her family. She was a loving, devoted wife, daughter, daughter in law , mother and grandmother. She took care of her husband, parents and parents-in-law to the end of their lives. My sincere condolence to her family.
I’m so sorry to hear of your moms passing. I know how close you all were and. she will be deeply missed.
Speranta E Klees
God bless you and may you rest in peace, Madame Clay! Madame was my French teacher for one semester and she set me on my path for a successful career! I came to school as a refugee, not speaking English, and was placed in her class because I had studied French. Madame, along with my ESL teacher, determined I was ready for college, though I spoke about 50 words of English. I NEVER forgot these educators, who boldly put me in their car and got me enrolled in college with financial aid! I became a teacher, counselor and administrator and told this story many times. Madame was a courageous educator who was relentless in helping her students. Her legacy will be forever!
Dear Gina and Juliana,
My deepest condolences for the passing of our beloved Alba with whom a group of us had the great pleasure to work close to her. Alba was an amazing Department Head and a wonderful Teacher. She was super devoted to the students, the school, the teachers, and all the School District, as as as devoted to her family. My friend Pat and I were planning to get in touch with her a week before she passed away. Once we learned the news, we were very sad to know that we did not get to visit with her again. I initiated my Spanish teaching career at Carly Hayden, and Alba was so supportive of my teaching and many activities we did together for the school. It is unbelievable that on my first day back to school this year, I received the news that left me feeling tristful. She will continue to live in our memories forever. She was a very special teacher, friend, and colleague. Rest in Peace, Alba.
I’VE KNOWN MRS CLAY FOR NEARLY 43 YEARS I WAS HER NEXT DOOR NEIGHBOR FROM SEPTEMBER 1976 TO JUNE 1983 & JULY 2005 TO ABOUT MARCH 2014. SHE WAS VERY KIND. MY SISTER WOULD PLAY WITH MRS CLAY’S YOUNGEST DAUGHTER. SHE WOULD TAKE CARE OF THE FLOWERS IN HER FRONT YARD. SHE WAS AT MY LATE FATHER’S FUNERAL IN 2005 & OFFERED HER CONDOLENCES TO ME & MY FAMILY. ME & MY MOTHER WENT TO HER MOTHER’S FUNERAL AND OFFERED ARE CONDOLENCES TO HER AND HER FAMILY. NOW I OFFER MY CONDOLENCES TO MRS CLAY’S FAMILY. I WILL REALLY MISS MRS. CLAY. ME & MY MOTHER WILL BE@THE FUNERAL & VISITATION THIS SATURDAY.
La tua morte inattesa e rapida lascia un gran vuoto fra tutti coloro che ti amarono. Nel loro animo sarà sempre vivo il tuo sorriso, la tua pazienza, la tua forza di volontà, il piacere di stare con i tuoi cari e supportarli sempre con amore di Mamma e soprattutto sarà sempre vivo il tuo ricordo
Monica, Moreno e Giulia
Your unexpected and rapid death leave a great void among all those who loved you. In their hearts will always be alive your smile, your patience, your willpower, the pleasure of being with your loved ones and always supporting them with Mother’s love and above all, your memory will always be alive!!!
With love, Monica, Moreno and Giulia
Everyone in our family loves Mrs. Alba Clay, her kindness and smiling warmth and caring nature. She made this world a better place. She set a good example for how to live a good life and serve others. She is strong and wise. Our hearts are with you Gina and Juliana and family, we wish you comfort and peace in this time. Mrs. Clay always lives in our hearts. God bless. With love and deepest condolences.
Dear Family, I was blessed to know your dear mother, Alba Giuntoli, since age 11 when she came to St. Mary’s Elementary School and joined my class. We ate lunch together in the cafeteria and also bonded walking from school to our respective homes, she near 3rd St and McDowell and mine, near 10th St and Moreland. As we graduated from elementary school in 1956 and subsequently entered St Mary’s Girl’s High School that Fall, we remained friends, through our Graduating Class of 1960. We reunited years later when our Class of 1960 lunches began, and Alba would join in. On the occasion of one of our Christmas lunches , Alba graciously hosted our group. Your Nana was living with Alba and we enjoyed her company too. When your Nana passed. several of us joined with Polly to help with the reception after the funeral service. Dear Family, today as you mourn the sudden passing of your dear mother, please accept my sincere sympathy. I will treasure my lengthy friendship and memories lived with your precious mother, and mourn with all of you and all of our St. Mary’s Lunch Bunch friends.
Moreno Mascani e famiglia
Dear Alba, I hope you’ll get this my last letter in the fantastic world I think you are now.
My first thought now is when I called you few days ago, while you were about to leave from the airport for San Diego. “I only have 10 minutes before my flight” you said. Those 10 minutes were very intense and wonderful. I have never heard you so relaxed, peaceful and calm. You told me everything was better than ever. We speaked about seeing each other very soon and we started laughing, like we always did when you came and visit us. We spent days together on our couch, reminding us of our families, grandparents, aunties and uncles.
Those days we were together (Juliana, Gina, Natalie, Joey and you) here in Montecatini were beautiful. I always told you Massimo’s bed would be always available for you, whenever you decided to come back.
We will never forget our visit in Phoenix with Zia Irma and your beautiful family.
You were our favourite cousin and your unexpected departured shattered us all.
We wish you a beautiful journey and we hope you will be reconnected with your beloved Jim and your parents, Ovidio and Irma.
I still have with me the beautiful pictures of when you left Gusci for the States, especially that one we are on the van window, in Nonno Pippi’s backyard.
You will always be in our hearts. Rest in peace.
Your cousins Moreno, Annarosa, Simona, Massimo, Riccardo.
questa mia ultima lettera speriamo tu possa vederla e riceverla in quel meraviglioso mondo che penso tu possa essere.
Il primo pensiero e ricordo è quello di pochi giorni fa quando ti ho chiamato, che stavi per partire dall’aeroporto di Phoenix per San Diego. “Ho dieci minuti e poi l’aereo parte” mi dicesti. Sono stati dieci minuti intensi e meravigliosi. Non ti avevo mai sentita così rilassata, tranquilla e serena. Mi hai detto che tutto procedeva nel migliore dei modi. Abbiamo parlato di rivedersi presto o da te in America o da me in Italia e abbiamo cominciato a ridere, come si faceva tutti i giorni che sei stata da noi sul divano di casa mia a ricordare i bei tempi delle nostre famiglie, dei nonni, degli zii. Quei giorni passati tutti insieme (tu, Juliana, Gina, Steven, Natalie e Joey) qui a Montecatini sono stati meravigliosi. Ti dicevo sempre che quando saresti ritornata il letto di Massimo sarebbe stato per te. Momenti bellissimi quelli passati a Phoenix con la zia Irma e la tua bellissima famiglia, non ce li potremmo mai scordare, come dicevo sempre.
Sei stata la nostra cugina preferita e l’improvvisa, inaspettata dipartita ci ha sconvolto tutti.
Ti auguriamo un bellissimo viaggio e di ricongiungerti al tuo amatissimo Jim, ai tuoi amatissimi genitori, Ovidio e Irma.
Conservo ancora oggi le bellissime foto di quando partiste dal Gusci per l’America e soprattutto quella che siamo affacciati io e te al finestrino del furgone nell’aia del Nonno Pippi.
Rimarrai sempre nei nostri cuori. Riposa in pace.
I tuoi cugini Moreno, Annarosa, Simona, Massimo e Riccardo.
I was her neighbor since a baby and remember playing with the Clays and Clevers around the cul-de-sac with so much fondness.
I moved to New York, but would get to see her when going back to Phoenix in the same cul-de-sac. And Mrs. Clay still had such a kind expression and a welcoming heart. I miss that greatly.
The world has lost a wonderful lady. I was so glad to have been a friend for the last few years and even spent a week with her in San Diego. We laughed a lot at comparing results of similar surgeries we had! She will be so missed! My sympathy goes out to all her friends and family.
I have no idea what you must be going through in losing what I think has been the strongest pillar of strength in your life. I know your mother was that for you, and with this loss comes so many layers of heartache. The love you and your sister have for each other, as well as each other’s families, is a direct reflection of your mothers loving and beautiful heart. Sending love to you, your precious babes and family.
Deepest sympathy to all Mrs. Clay’s family and friends. I was in her French class the two years before I graduated from Carl Hayden High School in 1968. I loved her energy and enthusiasm and was grateful for her support and encouragement. It all seemed so natural for her, no effort at all. I loved being in her class. I’m sure that was only a glimpse for us into how she greeted all of life on a daily basis. Makes her easy to admire and very hard to part with. Hope for the easing of the pain and ever-longer moments of peace for all.
I wish to express heartfelt sorrow in the passing of a wonderful colleague and copine, Alba. I always admired her for her energy, compassion and love of languages. Madame Enthousiaste. She welcomed me in the Arizona Language Association and had encouragement for me as a new French, Spanish teacher. I will always remember this lovely lady.
My most sincere and profound condolences to your family. Mrs. Clay was my teacher back in 1990 . I woke up this morning and for some odd reason I thought of her and this is where I heard of her passing. I didn’t learn much French, but the few words I did was because I will never forget the emphasis she put on them. Her favorite word in class was fish in French
“le poi’s san” I think it was. Again,so sorry for your loss.
Rest In Peace dear teacher. I was lucky enough to have been in her class for 2 years while attending Carl Hayden High School. She was an excellent teacher and made me want to take French my junior year as well. I loved the way she taught and was one of my favorite teachers!
Vas en paz madame! J’taime toujours!