Eugene “Gene” Gazzola passed away peacefully on May 27, 2018 (Trinity Sunday) after a long and valiant fight with leukemia. He spent his last days with his daughters, grandson, and son-in-law, laughing and sharing cherished family stories. Gene was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Giacomo and Genevieve Gazzola. While growing up in the Windy City, he became an Eagle Scout, joined a Lake Michigan sailing club, and led the swimming team at Wright Junior College. As a young man, Gene served honorably in the U.S. Army as a marksman during the Korean War. Returning to Chicago after his service, Gene was lucky enough to marry his sweetheart, Joan Naccarato. They moved to Phoenix in 1962. Gene worked hard his whole life, first as a draftsman for General Electric, and later as an engineer for Honeywell and Sperry Rand. In the interim, he earned undergraduate and Master’s Degrees from Arizona State University. Upon retiring, Gene was anything but. He served as a Eucharistic Minister at the Maricopa County Jail and helped those in need as a member of the St. Francis Xavier Chapter of the St. Vincent DePaul Society. In his free time, Gene was an active member of the American-Italian Club, playing bocce competitively. A dedicated father, his daughters, Theresa and Julie, his son-in-law, Doug, and his grandson, Ted, are left to cherish his memory. Gene’s life will be celebrated with a viewing from 6:00-8:00 p.m. on Friday, June 8, 2018 at Whitney & Murphy Funeral Home, 4800 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix. A Funeral Mass will be held at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 9, 2018 at St Francis Xavier Catholic Church, 4715 N. Central, Phoenix. In lieu of flowers, it was Gene’s wish that donations be made to the St. Francis Xavier Chapter of the St. Vincent DePaul Society. Visit sfxphx.org
Julie and Theresa,
It was our pleasure to serve your father and get to know him, even if for a brief time. Gene was a very kind man and we are blessed to have known him (and each of you). Thank you for giving us the opportunity to be a part of his life and yours. Our thoughts and prayers are with you, as you celebrate the life of your father.
The Team at Home Instead Senior Care
In the St. Vincent de Paul pantry at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church there is a sign that quotes Gene Gazzola: “We were born to serve Jesus and the poor.”6 Gene lived by that credo, delivering food boxes to the needy and the homeless . He ministered to jail inmates, took the Eucharist to the sick and dying and helped the downtrodden in a variety of ways. He was an inspiration to me by the way he embraced his Catholic faith. He was my friend and the friend of every needy person, especially those marginalized by society.
We are so sorry to learn of Gene’ s passing. I was a classmate of Gene’s at Crane HS and my wife and I would visit Gene and Joan on winter stays in AZ. We were not able to go to AZ this past year and my last contact with Gene was by mail when we found out of Joan’s passing. Our condolences to his family.