Florence Thelma Gianelli, office manager of her family’s beer distributorship and a longtime hospital volunteer, died in her Ventura home Tuesday.
Gianelli met her husband, Bert, while the two were college students in the 1940s. Florence was studying for her bachelor’s degree in business administration at San Jose State University, while Bert was studying the same subject at Santa Clara University.
“She always had a smile,” Bert said. “She had to be good; she put up with me.”
The couple met after a Santa Clara University vs. UCLA game in which Bert had played, and they married in 1943.
After Bert returned from a two-year stint in the Marine Corps in East Asia during World War II, the Gianellis settled in Los Banos in central California, Bert said.
Their partnership extended to their business, Gianelli Distributing. Florence kept the books, and Bert sold the beer.
The couple had two sons and settled in 1959 in Ventura, where they continued to distribute a then popular San Francisco brew, Burgermeister beer, Bert said.
For 14 years, Gianelli volunteered as a “pink lady” at Community Memorial Hospital in Ventura.
In addition to her husband, Gianelli is survived by her sons, Robert of Menifee, Calif., and Richard of Newport, Ore.; three grandchildren; and one great-grandson.
Services will be at noon Saturday at Sacred Heart Church in Ventura under the direction of Joseph P. Reardon Funeral Home.
Ventura County obituaries are published free of charge as a public service to readers. Obituaries are based on information provided by mortuaries.