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Victor Giardinelli


1925 - 2015 Obituary Condolences
Victor Giardinelli Obituary
VICTOR GIARDINELLI Victor Giardinelli, born June 3, 1925 in Brooklyn N.Y, died September 6, 2015 in Menifee, CA. Victor was passionate about education and devoted a majority of his life to sharing that passion with others, especially children. He graduated from Utrecht High School in Brooklyn, N.Y at age 16 and began working in a factory making telephones for military ships. Victor enlisted in the Navy in 1943 and immediately attended P.T. Boat School. Victor was assigned to PT Boat Squadron 32 and saw action in the south Pacific during WWII. He was honorably discharged after the war and utilized the G.I. bill to further his education at Brockport College in New York where he majored in biology and physical education. After graduation, Victor moved to California to join his parents. Following a one-year stint as a high school teacher in Los Angeles, Victor got a call from the Perris superintendent, asking if he wanted to join his district. "I said, 'where is Perris?'" Victor recalled. Not having a car, he jumped on a Greyhound bus and traveled southeast to Perris. He accepted a job in 1951 and never left. Victor taught 5th - 8th grade students, although 5th grade was his favorite because he enjoyed teaching U.S. History. In addition, Victor had a great love for the arts and was pivotal in starting the music and marching band programs in the Perris schools. Victor continued his own education by graduating with a Masters degree from USC. He was soon selected as the principal for the new elementary school in Good Hope, CA. where he focused on developing strong community ties with the new school. In the mid 1970s Victor became the principal of Perris Elementary School where he continued sharing his passion for education and the arts until his retirement in 1986. Victor's passion never waned in retirement and soon he ran, and was elected, to the Menifee School Board in 1987 where he served for 21 years. As a school board member, while other districts were cutting their music and arts program, Victor continued to persuade the Menifee board members of the value music plays in the total education of children. Victor's love for the children was evidenced by his desire to spend many days visiting district schools, talking with students and teachers alike. "He was a student advocate, parent advocate and teacher advocate for our district and he proved it every day on the school board," said Bob O'Donnell, a current trustee who served with Victor for many years. Outside of the education arena, Victor loved community service. He was a board member of the Sun City Civic Association, and worked for the Sun City Friends of the Library. Victor loved to golf and with his wife Cindy would attend dances whenever possible. They especially loved to square dance. Victor is survived by his wife of 40 years, Cindy (Anderson) Giardinelli of Murrieta, CA; sister Laura Cavaliere of Brooklyn, NY; daughters Marilyn Chadbourne of Alfred, ME, and Christine Mills of Menifee, CA; grandchildren, Gene and Linda Nickerson of Portland, ME, Eric and Jaclyn Chadbourne of New Gloucester, ME, David and Amy Mills of Seattle, WA, Ben Mills of Anaheim, CA plus 6 great grandchildren and 4 nieces and nephews. In honor of Victor's service to our country he will be interred at the Riverside National Cemetery in a private ceremony. Anyone wishing to honor Victor's life and identify with his passion may call 951-672-1851 to make donate to the music program at the Menifee Valley Middle School in the name of Victor Giardinelli.
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Published in Press-Enterprise on Sept. 12, 2015
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