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Lena Perna Finelli

01/11/1928
09/03/2022

Lena Perna Finelli, age 94, passed away peacefully Saturday, September 3rd, 2022.  Beloved mother, grandmother, and great grandmother, she was preceded in death by her devoted husband, Donald G. Finelli in 1994, and her parents, Joseph and Teresa Perna.  She is survived by her loving children, Joe (Cynthia) Finelli, Traci (Steve) VanAndel, Don (Laura) Finelli, Toni (Chuck) Helgesen, 11 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.  Her family and friends were everything to Lena.  Being an only child from an otherwise large Italian family, she was particularly close to all her cousins, her husband’s siblings, paisans, neighbors and members of the Grand Rapids Gourmet Group.  She was born in Pontiac, Michigan and raised working in her parents’ grocery store, making ice cream and keeping the penny-candy in stock.  Lena attained a degree at Cleary Business College before marrying her beloved Don and raising their four children.  With every move across the Midwest that Don’s career at GM took our family, deep lifelong friendships were made.  All who knew and loved Lena will remember her amazing cooking and ability to feed a huge crowd at the drop of a hat.  Our memories of growing up include enjoying wonderful Italian traditions such as big Sunday gatherings, family reunions, and wine/sausage making weekends.  Don and Lena also enjoyed traveling to Europe several times, especially to their Italian hometown of Colle Sannita.  Lena’s legacy of love, laughter, and giving lives on forever with our family phrase, “Is This Livin’ or Is This Livin’?!”

Visitation for Lena will be Thursday, September 8th, 4-7pm at O’Brien Gerst Funeral Home, 3980 Cascade Rd. SE, Grand Rapids, MI.  Funeral Mass for Lena will be Friday, September 9th at 12:00 Noon at St. Robert of Newminster Parish, 6477 Ada Drive SE, Ada MI with visitation at the church beginning at 11am.  Memorial contributions may be made to Faith Hospice of Grand Rapids, 2100 Raybrook SE Suite 300 Grand Rapids, MI 49546-5783.

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2100 Raybrook SE Suite 300

Grand Rapids, MI 49546-5783

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Memorial Contributions

Faith Hospice

2100 Raybrook SE Suite 300

Grand Rapids, MI 49546-5783