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Passed away peacefully at her Granada Hills home on November 1, 2012. She was 94 years old. Jennie was born in Chicago, Illinois on June 23, 1918 to Giovanni Zanetti and Raffaella Di Giuseppe. She lived on Polk Street on the South Side of Chicago with her sister Josie Zanetti, and brother Daniel Zanetti. She resided across the street from the man who would one day become her husband, Franco Donato, in the rough and tumble times of Al Capone's Chicago.
She graduated from McKinley High School in Chicago. She worked at the main offices of Sears Roebuck and Co. for many years, but left to pursue a career as a vaudeville singer with "The Paulettes," a quartet. On May 2, 1948 in Chicago she married Franco Donato who had served his country in World War II as a Sargent and member of the OSS.
Their first daughter, Clorinda, was born in Evanston, Illinois in 1952. That same year Jennie and Franco moved to Mission Hills, California, where a second daughter, Giovannina, was born in 1956. During her early years in California, Jennie worked as a hairdresser. She then ran a business with her husband. Her cheery smile and solid expertise made her the driving force on the sales floor of Donato Gym and Health Equipment Company, which grew to include every kind of professional exercise machine as well as a full line of boxing equipment, both for retail sale and rental in Hollywood studios. Jennie was known for her beautiful voice at St. Ferdinand's, where she sang in the choir and parish shows.
Franco predeceased Jennie by eight years. She is survived by daughters, Clorinda and Nina Donato, Clorinda's spouse, Sergio B. Guarro, and Nina's husband Leon Marzillier, as well as grandchildren, Marcello, Adriana and Gianluca Guarro and neice, Elena Conroy.
A rosary and visitation will be held at the Mission Hills Catholic Mortuary, 11160 Stranwood Ave., Mission Hills, CA 91345 at 7:00pm on Friday, November 9, 2012. Funeral Services will be held the following morning, Saturday, at 10:00am, at Saint John the Baptist De La Salle Church, at 16555 Chatsworth St. and 10738 Hayvenhurst Ave., Granada Hills, Ca 91344.
Published in Los Angeles Daily News from Nov. 7 to Nov. 9, 2012
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