Mario, 90, a life-long resident of Sacramento passed away March 11, 2014 with his family by his side. To all who knew him, Mario will be remembered for his warm, neighborly demeanor, his love for his family, and a champion for those less fortunate. Mario joins his family in heaven - his wife Floradelle, his father Giovanni, his mother Guilia, and his brother Louie. He will be missed dearly by his wife Shirley, sister Angela Haskins, daughters Diane Pennisi (Andy) and Linda Manuel (Paul, deceased), his grandchildren John Pennisi (Tiffané) and Jennifer Manuel, and his great-grandson Angelo Pennisi. Born at home on September 22, 1923 in Sacramento, Mario graduated from Sac High in June 1941, where he was quite the track star. In May 1942, he married his high-school sweetheart, Floradelle Hill, whom he loved devotedly for 44 years.
Mario served proudly in the U.S. Army, and after his discharge he returned to his native Sacramento where daughter Diane was born in 1945. Together with his father and friends, he built his current home in East Sacramento, where his daughter Linda was born in 1951. Mario worked at McClellan Field for over 25 years, starting as an Administrative Officer and eventually leading the branch he founded. Mario was a life member of BPOE #6 and Eagles #9, president of St. Mary's Social Club, member of the Dante Club Board of Directors, and 20 gallon donor at the Sacramento Blood Bank. Mario considered himself to be doubly-blessed in this life: through a mutual friend, Mario met Shirley Johnson Rose in 1991. Their love for one another was undeniable, and after dating for 18 months they wed in November 1994 and shared nearly 20 happy years together.
Memorial service to be held at St. Mary's Catholic Church, 1333 58th Street on Saturday, March 15 at 11am with private inurnment to follow. The family invites all to gather at Newman Center after the memorial, 5900 Newman Court. In addition, a celebration of Mario's life will be held at First Christian Church, 3901 Folsom Blvd on April 12 at 2pm. Mario would want us to continue his advocacy for those less fortunate; in lieu of flowers, donations are welcome to Loaves & Fishes or the charity of your choice .
Arrangements under the direction of Nicoletti, Culjis & Herberger Funeral Home, Sacramento, CA.