A private commemorative service for Rosella Sapienza Vazquez, 95, will be held at a later date. The Entombment will take place at the Queen of Heaven Cemetery, Christ the King Mausoleum, Hillside, Illinois.
She died Saturday, April 4, 2020 in DeKalb, Il, from complications of pneumonia. She was born in Chicago, April 2, 1925 and married Dr. Hector Vazquez February 12, 1944 in Chicago. He preceded her in death, December 21, 2001 In Arlington Heights, Il.
She was also preceded by her parents: Carmello Sapienza (1887-1974) who was born in Sicily and died in Elmwood Park, Il. and Catherine Verdi (1898-1987) who was born in White Castle, Louisiana, and died in Villa Park, Il. A beloved brother, Dr. Anthony Rosario Sapienza (1917-2001) also predeceased her.
Among the many who mourn her passing are her three children: Dr. Richard Vazquez and his partner Susan Wawrzynowicz, Laura Vazquez and her husband Jeffrey Chown, and Catherine Bellini and her husband Eugene Bellini. Rosella had five grandchildren: Todd Vazquez (wife Sue Kim), Brian Vazquez, Julie Vazquez (husband Aaron), Justin Barrett (wife Jennifer Bezark), and Liana Vazquez-Gits. Her four great grandchildren are: Kellan Barrett, Gavin Barrett, and Shane Barrett, who live in Ridgefield, CT, and Alia Kim Vazquez of Libertyville, IL. Also surviving her are numerous nieces and nephews.
Rosella grew up in the Wentworth neighborhood of Chicago. As a top student at Providence High School, she won a scholarship to study Italian in Italy. Unfortunately, the advent of World War II prevented that aspiration. She also received a scholarship to DePaul University to pursue a degree in Chemistry. The war ended her college days and complicated the beginnings of her family when her new husband was scheduled to be in the invasion force going into Japan. These experiences fostered a lifelong fascination with watching historical films, reading history books, particularly presidential biographies and World War II stories. Rosella also loved opera and was a fervent devotee of WTTW presentations of Italian opera, ballet and classic Broadway musicals. She was particularly elated when her granddaughter Liana sang her favorites songs with family gathered around.
Services will be postponed until the conclusion of the pandemic.