Virginia Lucy (Taibi) Giaconia, age 94, passed away peacefully in her sleep on July 2, 2022. Her family and friends are saddened by her passing, but they find comfort in the knowledge that she is in the loving care of the Lord and is with those beloved family members who preceded her in death. In her 94 years, Virginia touched many lives.
Virginia is survived by five of her children, Jo Ann (David), Rose (David), Sal (Judy), Virginia (Paul), and Anna Marie (Carlo). Her beloved son Vincent (Dorothy) and precious grandson Franklin predeceased her. She is also survived by five grandchildren, Shannon (Jason), Santino, Dominique (Josh), Desirée, and Phillip; by one great-granddaughter, Mia; and by several nieces and nephews across the country.
Virginia was born Vincenzina Taibi in Rochester, New York, on August 9, 1927. Her parents, Salvatore and Rosina Taibi, were born in Sicily and emigrated to the U.S. in the early 1900s. Virginia was the youngest of 6 children. She was predeceased by her 4 sisters, Giuseppina (Josephine), Alfonsina (Florence), Assuntina (Anne), and Rose, and by her brother Antonio (Anthony).
Virginia grew up in Rochester, where her father and mother owned a neighborhood market. She had fond memories of her adventures and misadventures working in the family store with her beloved sister Rose. Virginia also liked to entertain her family with stories about her other childhood companions, a 6-toed cat and a parrot that her father had taught to speak Italian.
Virginia met the love of her life, Santo Giaconia, through her sister Florence. Santo also came from a Sicilian family, and Virginia’s sister knew that they would be a good match. Because her father was so strict, Virginia and Santo initially corresponded by mail in secret, with some outside help. Their love grew, and they were married in Montebello, California, at St. Benedict’s Catholic Church on June 24, 1950.
Santo and Virginia then moved to Arizona and started their family of 6 children. Santo ran his own bookkeeping and accounting business, and Virginia helped him with the business. Together they raised their children to follow their example of being caring and compassionate people who are always ready to help others. Virginia’s children fondly remember some of the wonderful Italian meals that their mom cooked. Her meatball recipe is still the gold standard for her family. Her chicken pot pies, turkey stuffing, meat pies, roasted potatoes, and homemade Christmas cookies were also family favorites for her children and grandchildren.
Virginia adored her grandchildren and great-granddaughter, and they dearly loved their grandma and great-grandma. They have happy memories of visiting and playing games with her—and receiving many “Grandma hugs.”
Virginia was devoutly religious, and her strong Catholic faith sustained her during very difficult times in her life—the death of her mother when Virginia was a teenager, the deaths of her father and her siblings (especially her sister Rose, with whom she had a lifelong, special bond) and the deaths of her beloved husband Santo, son Vincent, and grandson Franklin. Virginia attended Mass at St. Agnes regularly and with great devotion. She participated in rosary groups, prayed frequently, and carried her rosary with her everywhere.
In her later years, Virginia attended a senior center in Phoenix and made many new friends. Her favorite pastimes were playing bingo, word-search puzzles, and watching old TV shows like “Lawrence Welk” and “Andy Griffith.”
Virginia will be remembered as a very kind, compassionate, and sweet person who was always glad to help family, friends, neighbors, and strangers. She said “God bless you” to everyone she encountered, and it was heartfelt every single time.
A visitation and rosary for Virginia will be held on Monday, July 11, 2022 at Whitney & Murphy Funeral Home, 4800 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix, AZ 85018. The visitation will begin at 5:15 p.m., and the rosary shall start at 6 p.m.
A funeral Mass will be celebrated on Tuesday, July 12, 2022 at 10 a.m. at St. Agnes Catholic Church, 1954 N. 24th Street AZ, Phoenix, AZ 85008. Immediately after the Mass, a graveside service will be held at St. Francis Catholic Cemetery, 2033 N. 48th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85008.
In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations to Hospice of the Valley, hov.org.