Giovanni Gironda, 69, of Southern Pines, passed away peacefully on April 18, 2017 at FirstHealth Hospice House in Pinehurst, surrounded by his loving family.
Born on December 19, 1947 in San Vito, Italy to the late Anselmo and Rosalina Gironda, Giovanni was the eldest of the four brothers, followed by Raffaele, Vito, and Franco. The patriarch of the Gironda family, Giovanni moved to Southern Pines 36 years ago, with his brothers Vito and Frank, followed by Raffaele. He and his brothers opened Vito’s Pizzeria in Southern Pines, in 1980, and it is still owned and run by Vito and Frank. Raffaele’s restaurant served fine Italian food, from 1980-2013. Giovanni ran a second branch of Vito’s Pizzeria in Pinehurst, with his son Mino who now owns the business with his uncle Vito. The Girondas have been proudly serving the best Italian food and pizza in town for the last 36 years.
Nicknamed “Zingaro” or “Gypsy” by his mother, Giovanni loved to travel and in his early years explored countries all around Europe. He spoke 5 languages and had a true love for life and learning, family and food. After settling in NC, he looked forward to traveling back to Italy every summer to visit family and friends, and enjoy the beaches and gelato of his Southern Italian home. Anyone who had the pleasure of knowing Giovanni would speak of his generosity, passion for life, and appreciation of its many pleasures. He had a special talent in the garden and the kitchen, bringing food from seed to table at his Southern Pines home. He will be remembered by many for his homegrown arugula, peas and hot peppers, his abundant fig trees he shared with the community, and his special recipe of Limoncello. He was truly a giver in life and will be missed deeply by his family and friends.
He is survived by his partner and love, Adriana; four children: Mino and his wife, Caitlin, Caterina and her husband, Jonathan Meyer, Gabriella and Giovanni; one grandson, Augusto, three brothers: Raffaele and his children, John Thomas and Maria, Frank and his wife, Sandra and children, Daniel and Michael, and Vito and his wife, Jan and their children, Marco and Alessandra; cousins, John DiCioccio, Mario and Marisa Fulciniti; and many other family and dear friends.
A funeral mass will be held on Saturday, April 22, 2017 at 1 pm at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church. A reception will be held at 5 pm Saturday evening at Vito’s Restaurant in downtown Southern Pines, close friends and family are welcome to come celebrate Giovanni’s life.
Flowers can be sent to Boles Funeral Home in Southern Pines, or donations to a charity can be made in Giovanni’s name.
Online condolences may be left at: www.bolesfuneralhome.com
Boles Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc.in Southern Pines will be assisting the family.