Giancarlo Cinelli

Obituary of Giancarlo C. Cinelli

Passed Peacefully March 12, 2019 at the age of 64. John is predeceased by his father Francesco Cinelli. He leaves behind his devoted wife of 38 years, Franca (Aquino) Cinelli, children, Tom (Carly) Cinelli, Eric (Marissa) Cinelli; grandchildren, Alexis & Luca Cinelli; mother Josie Cinelli; sister Adriana (Mariano Nepa) Cinelli; several nieces, nephews, cousins & dear friends, K-9 companion Oscar. For information about John visit

John graduated from the University of Rochester with a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering & a bachelor's degree in Astronomy. John worked for Excelis Geospatial Systems Division here in Rochester. After retiring John enjoyed assisting his son in the financial workings at Cinelli's Pizza Ristorante.

John was a loving and hard working family man. He was happiest surrounded by his children & grandchildren. He was highly regarded by both family & friends for his wit, brilliant mind and remarkable memory. Throughout his life he fostered long lasting friendships. He will be sorely missed by family and friends who loved him.

John's life story will be shared during his visitation Sunday, March 17th, 1-5 PM at the funeral home, 1411 Vintage Lane (Between 390 & Long Pond Rd.). His Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Monday, 9:30 AM at Holy Cross Church, 4492 Lake Ave., immediately followed by his entombment in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery. In lieu of flowers donations may be sent to Humane Society @ Lollypop Farm, 99 Victor Rd., Fairport, NY 14450 in his memory.

Childhood:  John was born in Ascoli Piceno, in the region of Le Marche  Italy on July 17, 1954 . He was named Giancarlo and later went by John.  At the age of 18 months in 1956, he came to the US from Italy with his parents Francesco and Giuseppina and his five year old sister Adriana.

They settled in the Charlotte area of Rochester where John’s father’s brother by the name of Alfredo, had lived and was established.  “Uncle Freddie” was the catalyst in getting this family to the US.  John and his family including uncle Freddie lived together at 74 Wilder Terrace in Charlotte.  This was the family home and they never  moved.  John only lived in two houses all his life, the one on Wilder Terrace and the second one at 50 Troutbeck Lane inGreece ..where he lived after getting married.

      John attended Holy Cross Catholic School and then Aquinas Institute for high school.

He had a knack for making and keeping friends.  He loved to play with the many kids on Wilder Terrace, especially playing baseball and street games.  He was Uncle Freddie’s favorite, getting plenty of attention from his mom Josephine as well.  She loved to cater to his eating preference, and this continued all his life.  She encouraged his wife to continue this tradition!

       Uncle Freddie was an avid vegetable and flower gardener.  Their  house was a neighborhood jewel in this respect, always meticulously kept up and decorated with blooming flower beds and of course an ample vegetable garden.  There was so  much surplus that John decided to start a money making enterprise of selling the extra tomatoes, cucumbers and zucchini to the the neighboring streets!  John went around with his little red wagon and found many happy and habitual customers.  They loved seeing this little 8 year old coming to their doors with big fresh luscious veggies…and so he continued to do this for several years until he was too busy with other endeavors.  But this little business grew every year and John was the type to put the funds in the bank and watch them grow….he would add his communion and birthday money, etc… and by the time he was getting married and ready to build a house on Troutbeck Lane , he had saved enough to buy the land lot with this accumulated cash.

     John loved to go to the annual St. Anthony’s Day festivals at Holy Cross Church and spending time with his friends near the beach.  They made frequent trips to the original Abbots for custard. Abbots was within walking distance from his house, and was a favorite family destination.   His favorite flavor was chocolate almond, and he continued to get this as often as he could especially in the summer months.  He passed this love onto his children grandchildren.

Later Years:  John developed many interests. One of his special ones was music.  He began a very eclectic record collection.  He loved the music of the bands of the 60’s and 70’s .  He loved classic rock, with the crying guitars, and the melodic sounds of the Moody Blues and the Doors., Electric Light Orchestra, the Zombies, etc.   But he also loved Bobby Darrin and Tony Bennet and Frank Sinatra etc.  John also had a love of classical music and Opera.  He loved to listen to Mario Lanza and Caruso and Luciano Pavarotti, Andrea Boccelli and Sarah Brightman.  He loved “Tosca” and “La Traviata” and one of his favorite arias was “ E Lucevan Le Stelle” (from Giacomo Puccini’s Tosca).

His first real job was working as a bus boy at Cinelli’s restaurant.  HIs mom worked here as a cook. He managed to get  his friends to be employed there as well.  Their cousin Jimmy Cinelli owned the business.

This was later sold and became Mr Dominic’s.  John’s mom continued to work there til she was 86 years old.

Education, studying  and learning were very much encouraged and expected in his family, and John enjoyed challenging himself to acquire and retain knowledge.  He attended Aquinas Institute and excelled in math and science, but also enjoyed studying and speaking French.  He had a good ear for languages and could understand and speak Italian very well.  He always had many funny stories about his time at Aquinas with his special friends:

Fred Tantalo, Charlie Carson and John Corbelli.

John attended the University of Rochester where he continued to be very studious and therefore successful.  He had developed a strong work ethic demonstrated by his parents and his uncle Freddie.  While at the university in the summer of 1975 he met his future wife, then  Franca Aquino.  She was a Nazareth College girl…introduced to him by his sister Adriana.  Adriana was a  French teacher in East Rochester school and she was attending a summer college class that Franca was also enrolled in as an undergraduate.  John and Franca continued to date for 5 years and married in 1980.  They had two sons: Thomas and Eric.

Tom was born in 1984 and Eric was born in 1987.

John earned two bachelor degrees and was quickly employed right out of college at Kodak’s Government Systems which later became Exelis Geospacial Systems.  He was a mechanical engineer that worked on secret government projects which included spy satellites and space telescopes, etc.  In his college years he made some long lasting friendships as well. One special friend was John Carlevatti.  When John and his friends got together the laughter and witty banter was overflowing.  John loved watching football, and discussing the evident flaws, talking politics, remembering antics, sharing meals and generally just hanging  out with pals.

He had many work buddies and would socialize with them often.  He continued to go to weekly lunches with them even after retiring (after working over 30 years in same place).

            During college John was found to have the beginnings of renal disease, and was followed closely by a nephrologist.  By the age of 28 John had to begin dialysis.  It was a devastating diagnosis and John did everything to keep this from happening, but to no avail.  His dad gave John a kidney hoping to keep John from needing dialysis, but unfortunately the transplant was not successful and failed within six months.  John  continued to do dialysis for 32 years!  This is highly remarkable as the average life span of dialysis patient last 5-10 years only.  But John did not let that happen, he took the reins and decidedly strove always to lead a normal life, not letting the disease lead him.

He never reduced his work load, never went on disability, would do his dialysis treatments after work and attended all his sons’ sports and school activities and any other family functions.  He never let his physical ailments be a burden on others if he could help it.  He travelled to Italy, Hawaii, California, Florida and Arizona always having to schedule dialysis and having many moments of feeling poorly, yet he continuously strove to do all that he could do to lead a full life.  After 32 years of having 6 hours tied up in treatments three days out of every week John received a living donor kidney transplant thanks to a very special co worker Andy Kalish who donated his kidney.  This gave John almost 5 full years of living without dialysis.  During this time he was able to see both his sons get married and have two beautiful grandchildren Alexis and Luca, in his life. 

    He was very close to both his sons and he tried to be supportive and helpful in any way he could. Franca was a high school teacher at Gates Chili high school.  She and John put education as a priority in their family and they continued to hold high expectations for learning.  Tom graduated from McQuaid Jesuit High School and attended SUNY Fredonia and later Johnson and Wales University. Tom opened a restaurant in Greece named “Cinelli’s Pizza Ristorante” and John helped out in the financial operations. Eric attended the University of Rochester and then received his MBA from the Simon School of Business.  Eric moved to New York City and has a job in the financial sector; first for Pearl Myer & partners  and lately with Goldman Sachs Group.  John was very proud of both his sons’ accomplishments and he saw in them the continuation of his ideals: love of family, integrity, tenacity and a love for animals.

     John’s sense of humor was unique: a blend of sarcasm with a dash of dry, peppered with biting wit. Example : “Tango Foxtrot Bravo  baby”  As a response to a whine.   He was very well informed on currant events, an avid reader of the daily newspaper and news on line as well.  He liked to watch movies.  Some of his favorites were  “A Bronx Tale”  “2001 Space Odyssey” which he saw seven times! and “The Godfather”  Some of his  favorite TV shows were “Taxi”

“Fraiser”  “Seinfeld”  “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and many series like “Game of Thrones” and “Bloodline”.

      John loved animals and his constant canine companion Oscar an 11 year oldJack Russel terrier who the family raised as a puppy. Oscar was a great love in John’s life. Oscar gave him daily tender love and affection that John  joyfully reciprocated.  Oscar continues to sleep with John’s pajamas in his doggie bed.

       John and his wife of 38 years, Franca who retired after 38 years of teaching Italian at Gates Chili High School, enjoyed many beautiful friend and family memories and

special times. They both shared an appreciation for the Italian language and culture, passing on the Italian traditions and values.

       John was given a heavy load but he carried this physical infirmity with classic old world

stoic strength and courage.  His life exemplified a  herculean feat, and all who were lucky to have known him will remember just how special he was.

Brilliant   Stubborn    Particular   Passionate   Generous

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