Elvira Francazio, 82, of New Wilmington, PA, formerly of New Castle, passed away the morning of December 18, 2019 at UPMC Jameson Hospital after she valiantly fought Systemic Lupus for seventeen years.
Elvira was born on November 1, 1937 in New Castle to Italian Immigrants, Orsolina Pezone Francazio and Eustachio Francazio. She was very proud of her Italian heritage.
She attended Pollock School, Ben Franklin Junior High School and graduated from New Castle High School in 1955. She was a lifetime member of St. Vitus Church.
Elvira was a loving daughter, sister, aunt and friend. She was committed to nursing always trying to make life better for all.
Following graduation from St. Francis School of Nursing in 1958, she worked as an RN in the Emergency and Surgery departments of St. Francis Hospital. Perioperative Nursing was the center of her career retiring as Charge Nurse of the Surgery, Post-Anesthesia Care and Short-Stay Outpatient Departments.
She was very proud to be involved in the pre-operative instruction and education of her patients which she felt contributed greatly to their post-operative progress. She was a teacher and mentor to so many.
Elvira was certified in Surgical Nursing. She was an active member of the Association of Operating Room Nurses, Youngstown Chapter holding various offices over the years.
She was instrumental in the opening of a boutique for mastectomy patients. She was certified in the fitting of breast prostheses, surgical bras and other accessories. She counseled many cancer survivors. Upon retirement, she had over 400 client’s in-state and out of state.
Elvira was an advocate for Lupus Awareness since the early 1980’s shortly after her sister, Mary, was diagnosed with Lupus. She was the Lawrence County Representative for the Lupus Foundation of Pa, Pittsburgh Branch, from the early 1980’s to 2016. She was the facilitator for the Lawrence County Lupus Support Group until 2002. She always provided caring, knowledgeable support to those impacted by Lupus.
She really enjoyed football and was a Pittsburgh Steeler fan, attending many games over the years as well as four of their Super Bowls. She was a fan of the Pittsburgh Penguins as well.
In her early days, she was an avid dancer, having been taught by her sister as a child, specializing in East Coast Swing. She always said she would rather dance than eat.
Her love of books began at an early age. Reading, learning and sharing knowledge continued throughout her life. She enjoyed volunteering as chairperson of the library at the Apartments on the Green.
Elvira was a “foodie”, always reading and trying new recipes for her family and friends. She learned from the best as well. She was well known for her annual Christmas parties.
Elvira is survived by her devoted family: nieces and nephews, Denise McBrayer of Jupiter, FL, Sam and wife Amanda of Lakewood, OH, Lisa and husband John Jopek of New Castle, Mark and wife Lynn of The Villages, FL and Vincent Fortuna and wife, Sherry of Cochranville, PA.
Her great nieces and great nephews: Mark of New Jersey, Matthew of Pittsburgh, PA, Nathan and Justin of Lakewood, OH, Alycia Fortuna Durig and husband, Lucas of New Castle, Vincent F. Fortuna, John Jopek of Grove City, PA, Richard Jopek and wife Ashley of New Castle, Jennifer Jopek Masterson and husband, Trevor of New Castle and Victoria McBrayer of Jupiter, FL. Also surviving are several great-great nieces and nephews. Many cousins from New Castle, New York, CT and Italy survive. In addition she is survived by many dear friends in this life but none so dear as Theresa and Edward Moses who were also her caregivers as well as Zeta and Sam Picirrillo. She always felt so blessed to have such wonderful friends.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her beloved family: brothers, Joseph and Samuel Francazio, sister, Mary Francazio Fortuna, sister-in-laws, Charlotte and Kathryn Francazio and the love of her life, Attorney Joseph M. Stanichak of Aliquippa, PA.
Visitation will be on Saturday 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. at the Ed & Don DeCarbo Funeral Home and Crematory, 3000 Wilmington Road.
A procession will leave the funeral home at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday for a Mass of Christian Burial at 10:00 a.m. at Holy Spirit Parish, St. Vitus Site. Father Anthony Sciarappa will officiate.
Burial will be St. Vitus Cemetery.