1411 Vintage Lane, Rochester, New York 14626
Obituary of Placido Parrinelli
On Saturday, November 17th 2018, Placido (Cido) Parrinelli, loving husband, father, brother, and uncle, passed peacefully with his family by his side at the age of 78.
Placido was born in Valguarnera, Sicily on January 25, 1940 and is survived by his wife Lina (Trovato); his children Carolina (John) Desmone , Anna Thomas, and Patrizia Parrinelli (Travis Triplett); his grandchildren Jordan, Logan, Tyler, and Raegan Desmone, Trakarie and Annika Triplett; his sister Enza (John) Grasso, his brother Filippo (Nora) Parrinelli, and his sister Piera (Renzo) Papi, his brother-in-laws Paulo (Tonia) Trovato and Giovanni (Nunzia) Trovato. He is predeceased by his parents, Filippo Parrinelli & Carolina La Rosa Parrinelli, his brother Pierino; his father and mother in-laws, Luigi & Anna Trovato, his sister-in-law Francesca Trovato, and his brother-in-law John Grasso. He is remembered by many cousins, nieces, nephews, & friends across the globe.
Placido is remembered for his love of his family, the outdoors, learning and inventing. He worked as a machinist for 25 years at Xerox Corporation following his time as a welder and carpenter, rebuilding fallen structures in post-war France & Germany after WWII.
His life story will be shared during visitation on Friday, November 23rd 4-8 PM at the funeral home, 1411 Vintage Lane. Placido’s Funeral Mass will be Saturday, November 24th at 9:30 AM at Mother of Sorrows Church, Mt Read Boulevard. Interment at Riverside Cemetery following.
Placido Parrinelli had a Beautiful Life.
His Childhood, Teens, & Twenties…
At 3yrs old, he lost his father & older brother to a skirmish between US & German fliers, bombing the small town of Valguarnera, Siciliy during WWII. At 6yrs old, he learned how to become a shoe maker (cobbler) and after some time, couldn’t imagine himself sitting, bent over on a stool his whole life. He made his first life decision – he vowed to never be a cobbler & chose to learn the craft of carpentry instead.
At an early age, Placido demonstrated a talent that would serve him for the rest of his life – he could see the intricate details of mechanical & electrical things and how they all fit together to function as a whole. At 7 yrs old, he’d pilfer metal & gun powder, melt it down, and make firecrackers from scratch. At 8yrs old, he took apart his aunt’s broken clock and fixed it. At 10yrs old, he knew exactly where to place a wire to short all of the electricity to a building so that he and his friends could go to the movies, instead of work.
In Italy, you had to apply to transition from 5th to 6th grade (messione). Due to family squabbles, the professor claimed that Placido’s mathematics lesson was wrong. He knew it was right and walked away from formal education. He always said “That professor is the reason I’m not a doctor today” but he certainly was Dr. Parrinelli to his family – he cleaned up and fixed all of our scrapes, broken fingers & toes, & need for stitches.
As the eldest boy, Placido then went on to work various jobs to help sustain his family of 5. At 10 years old, he began his apprenticeship as a carpenter, building cabinets & furniture, at Giambra Company. He spent 7years mastering the skill of woodworking until he left for Germany to rebuild Frankfurt & Munich post-WWII. This is when he learned to be a welder and manipulate metal. Placido was a quick learner and perfectionist - upon observing his boss weld with his left hand, he taught himself how to do it and became an ambidextrous welder, capable of performing any weld from any angle.
In Germany, Placido made many friends and lived life to the fullest all while supporting his family in their new home. He traveled across Germany, Monaco, France, & Belgium. On vacation back to Sicily, he was spending time with his cousins and Placido fell in love with a beautiful 20 year old, Lina Trovato. Upon returning to Germany, he sent a letter to Lina’s father asking for her hand in marriage. He was denied because Luigi Trovato wanted to keep his daughter close and not send her to Germany. Placido never forgot Lina and continued to ask his cousins how she was. He then learned she was sent to America to work as a seamstress and began his 2yr search to find her.
His Thirties, Forties, & Fifties
At 31, Placido found his love, married her, and began an amazing 47yr partnership in Rochester NY. They raised 3 girls together and he used all of his talents to create the home they both wanted. Placido wasn’t selfish with his talents as he was the first to help his friends with many home improvement projects.
As a new immigrant to the US, he refused any help that came with a price. Instead, he entered into many small business ventures - Custom Drapery & Installation with Lina, Small Motor Repair & Small Appliance Repair. He received repeat business & many awards for quality work… he believed in not wasting time doing it twice, do it right the first time.
In 1974, he earned US Citizenship and began studying for his GED, in which he received in 1975. He drove the importance of an education with his girls, devoting his extra time between shifts to learn the alphabet, memorize multiplication tables, and help w/ homework. School was a non-negotiable and anything less than an “A” wasn’t good enough – as a role model to his children, he studied to excel as a Machinist @ Xerox Corporation and earned his Associates in Small Motor Repair & Small Appliance Repair.
His motto was ‘Nothing is impossible’ – Placido was self-taught in almost everything he did. He taught everyone that “where there is a will, there is a way”. From gardening, to planting fruit trees, to canning vegetables, to making sauce, to blending grapes for wine, to cooking cuisines from around the world… he took his learning seriously and shared his knowledge with all who wanted to learn too.
He studied car manuals in detail and became a skilled mechanic… never paying a penny to fix his vehicles and was always critical of the workmanship of others. He challenged his daughter Carolina on her ability, as a girl, to rebuild her bike, change her car oil or brakes, and replace the alternator in her car… each time, she took the challenge on, and with his guidance, accomplished every task. He was only a phone call away whenever his daughters needed help at any hour and from any location.
He loved television and music – Placido taught himself to build a TV and Stereo system from scratch, including the wooden boxes that housed them. He loved watching action movies and westerns… anything that had John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, Ronald Reagan, Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenager, Chuck Norris, etc. were his favorites. There wasn’t a day when music wasn’t in the air and a celebration where Placido wasn’t ballroom dancing. He would whisk Lina or any one of his daughters around the room… teaching them all how to follow his lead, with a nudge of his hand or pressure on the lower back.
Vacations were very important to Placido – he enjoyed picnics in the park along the lake and playing bocce with friends. He especially loved to gather the family into the car and drive to destinations like Washington DC, Orlando Florida, Birmingham Alabama, & Toronto Canada. Many memories were made on those road trips… like looking for license plates from different states, playing iSpy, and learning to swim in the ocean. He tried very hard to help Lina over her fear of water, unsuccessfully.
Placido shared his love of the outdoors with his girls… teaching them to fish, shoot a rifle, & pluck a bow. He spent countless hours fishing with his brother in law, John Grasso, and smelting with his family. He was proud of his hunting stand, designed & built from scratch, to spend hunting season in the trees, hunting the deer at Letchworth Park. He believed in respecting nature and only killing what was needed to feed his family. His butchering skills were second to none and many took advantage of his willingness to help.
Placido puffed up with pride every time he was witness to one of his daughters crossing the stage to accept their High School & University diplomas. He looked forward to talking about airplanes and torpedoes with Carolina when she returned home for the holidays and shared his pride with anybody that would listen when she began her career with the US Navy as a mechanical engineer.
Placido was always present for Patrizia when growing up as a single child… he loved her unconditionally through her darkest times. He used his personal stories and experiences to show her the clear path out of the darkness and was a true-believer that she could come out the other side. He recognized her talent for drawing and supported her studies in Art School. He also saw himself in her and supported her love for taking apart electronics and teaching her how to solder. Honesty was a value he held dear and leveraged it to provide tough love and guidance that taught Patrizia the value of life.
Placido always stressed the importance of family. When Anna left to visit his mother in California he knew the purpose of her trip. He knew that Anna would do anything to make him happy and that she understood how much he longed for the reconnection with his mother. After several days of talks and tears, peace grew and amends were made - reigniting the next chapter of the Parrinelli family story.
His Sixties & Seventies…
In 2000, Xerox offered Placido an early retirement and he was free to pursue his dream of driving across the country in an RV… unfortunately, this trip would not come to pass. He had found a new purpose - he became a bus driver for kids with disability in the Greece School Systems. He always shared how his patience & caring won over each and every one of them, especially those that disliked him at first.
That same year, Anna was the first of his daughters to get married and the look they shared before walking her down the aisle was that of love and joy. Two years later, he traveled the West Indies Seas to witness his daughter Carolina’s wedding on the island of St. Lucia. Who knew his sea legs were strong enough to dance with her on the catamaran?!
As ‘empty nesters’, Placido & Lina traveled to Italy to reunite with the many uncles, aunts, cousins, & old friends from Torino to Florence to Rome to Valguarnera. In Rochester NY, Placido’s home was always full of friends for “Serrate con Amici”- eating, laughing, playing “Bestia”, and talking politics. He did his best to help keep the peace amongst them and helped those with advice on how to keep a marriage together.
In 2006, Placido was so happy to become a grandfather for the first time when his eldest daughter Carolina welcomed Jordan into the world. His eyes sparkled with joy every time she walked through the door and he loved taking walks with her in the yard to show her the fruit trees. His last woodworking project was to make a beautiful trunk for little Jordan as a Christmas gift, filled with stuffed animals & toys. She would be the only one to have a keepsake “Made by Nonno”.
Over the next 5years, he welcomed 5 additional grandchildren – he would say that each was as wonderful as the next. He made memories with each of them – from enjoying Hibachi every summer w/ Logan, to walking to the pond with Jordan & feeding the fish old bread, to teaching Tyler how to make Cavatelli & Trakarie how to crush olives for canning, to showing unconditional love with lots of hugs & kisses to Raegan & Annika, and to making his special German Goulash for everyone.
In 2010, Placido kicked off his seventies with a grand party attended by all of his friends and family. Two years later, his pride for his daughter Patrizia was overflowing as she purchased her first home. He was happy to share his knowledge of home remodeling with her and Travis as they refurnished the basement, the main floor, and the yard. Placido advised Patrizia in cooking techniques & work projects while Patrizia opened his mind to Computers & Tablets. Oh the fun he had “Skype-ing” family and friends across the globe!
In 2016, Placido took his final trip to Italy with Lina and Anna. While there, he enjoyed the salty, Sicilian air and it appeared to heal all his ailments as he never looked better. He enjoyed witnessing his niece’s wedding and the time with family. A special memory was his insistence on bringing back 12 canisters for making ricotta cheese. Due to limited space in existing suitcases, he cut a deal with Anna - if she bought another suitcase, he would make her all the ricotta she would want. Lacking the time to make the purchase, his brother-in-law, Giovanni lent him one of theirs. Fresh ricotta was enjoyed by many!
In his final years, Parkinson’s and Heart disease stripped him of the many qualities that defined him. His girls, all 4, never allowed him to give up and constantly searched for a solution to his current ailment… “where there is a will, there is a way”. He shed tears when he could no longer dance, he expressed disbelief when he could no longer drive, he yelled in frustration when he could no longer fix things, and he knew the end was near when he could no longer walk. As his worst fears became reality, his will and strength of mind allowed him to make the final decision of his life. On November 13, 2018, Placido refused his medication, requested “Comfort Care” & Hospice, and asked the love of his life to let him go. His last wish was to end the suffering, for himself and for those he loved so much. At the moment of his passing, a bell rang… Placido instantly received his Angel Wings and will remain with us, guiding us, and watching over us forever.