Gabriella Santaniello died at home in Monarch Bay, May 31, 2009, in the loving company of her husband of 45 years, Dr. John D. Santaniello; her three children, Gabriella, John and Anthony; her sister, Suzanne Petrizzi and many members of her large and close extended family.
Gabriella was born in Hungary in 1942. Her family fled the Communist takeover in 1946 and after traveling to the Holy Land and to Italy, they settled in the United States in 1952. She attended St. Elizabeth’s College in New Jersey and then the School of Foreign Affairs, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. She graduated in 1964, an accomplished linguist proficient in six languages, Gabriella served as a translator at various White House functions and was a congressional aide.
The Santaniellos moved to Calfornia in 1973 and lived in Upland, where Dr. Santaniello practiced as an orthopaedic surgeon at San Antonio Hospital. The family then lived for many years in San Marino, where Gabriella was active in a great number of cultural and community programs, including fund raising for the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, the Junior Philharmonic, the LA County Museum and a number of children’s aide organizations. Gabriella and John moved to Laguna Beach in 1988 and then to Monarch Bay in 2005.
In addition to her husband, her three children and her sister, Gabriella is survived by three grandchildren, many close relatives in California, New York and New Jersey, as well as members of her family who continue to live in Hungary.
A funeral mass will be offered at Mission Basilica San Juan Capistrano, 31520 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, Friday, June 5, 2009, at 10:00 A. M.
In lieu of flowers, donation may be made in memory of Gabriella to the American Cancer Society.
O’Connor Mortuary, 949 581-4300