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Giovanna Rena "Gigi" Verdugo


1973 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Giovanna Rena "Gigi" Verdugo Obituary
Verdugo, Giovanna "Gigi" Rena
On April 1, 2016 heaven chose another angel at the young age of 42. Born Giovanna Rena Verdugo on July 11, 1973, Gigi graduated from Grand Canyon University in 1998, and went on to become an Elementary School Teacher. Her teaching career ended after seven months due to a sudden diagnosis of Hodgkin's Lymphoma Cancer. She conquered two challenging battles of Hodgkin's Stage 3 and Stage 4, and was in remission for 15 years. Her love of children and passion for helping others, along with her spirit of giving was perpetuated with her ministry "Project Christmas." She developed this program to assist those less fortunate year round. This was something that her grandfather, Deacon Bob Chavez previously started, and she wanted to continue his work. She was an Executive Board Member of Valle Del Sol, and a Quality Care Network Representative. She was heavily involved in the community, and she fought for mental health issues. She volunteered with the Creighton School District; managed the food bank program for Valley Christian Center; and assisted with the Friendly House food bank program. Her resourcefulness was invaluable for all the agencies that she worked with. Her legacy of giving to others, as well as her selfless and loving nature will remain and continue on through each of us. Gigi is survived by her only child, Makayla (Kayla) C Verdugo, her beloved dog Chica, mother Becky Castro (Fiancé Konstantine), father George Verdugo, sister Glory Verdugo, brother Brian Verdugo, Step-Father Ray Castro, niece Delicia Wood, nephew Damon Wood III, as well as many aunts, uncles, cousins, extended family, and friends. The celebration of her life will be on Saturday, April 16, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. Mass at St. Francis Catholic Church 4715 N. Central Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85012, internment at St. Francis Cemetery 2033 N. 48th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85008. A Re-Birth day celebration follows at St. Francis Church hall. In lieu of flowers, donations to St. Joseph Apache Mission, 626 Mission Road, Mescalero NM 88340.
Published in The Arizona Republic on Apr. 13, 2016
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