Yvonne Fina Sangiacomo died peacefully in her home in San Francisco, her favorite place in the world. She is survived by her seven children and thirteen grandchildren: Anna and Barry Kane (Mary Nadine and Beau Lacey, Bobby and Jackie Kane), Sandro and Jeannie Sangiacomo (Giancarlo, Mica, Angelo), Jim and Gerry Sangiacomo (Christina, Natalie, Stefano, Isabella), Mark Sangiacomo, Maryanne Sangiacomo (Lorenzo, Leonardo), Mia and Marty Gaehwiler (Martina, Marco) and Susan Sangiacomo and Diana Pelliccione. Yvonne is predeceased by her husband, Angelo Sangiacomo, her parents, Emilia and Bimbo (Agostino) Giuntoli and her sisters, Diana Cerchiai and Nadine Giuntoli.
Born in San Francisco on the Feast Day of Our Lady of Lourdes, Yvonne grew up in the Castro on Hartford Street and Lakeside Village. She attended Most Holy Redeemer School and St. Emydius School. She then went on to boarding school at Notre Dame Belmont and completed high school at Convent of the Sacred Heart San Francisco.
After high school she went to acting school at Elizabeth Holloway School of Theatre on Gough Street. They would travel to different army camps and do various shows. They performed at Fort Smiley in Monterey, in the Presidio and at Fort Baker. She wanted to be a singer like Ethel Merman. She began singing lessons in the East Bay with a teacher of Barbra Streisand and she told Yvonne "I don't think you can be a singer."
When she was 18, she went on to work in the stock room at I. Magnin. She quit after six months because her parents took their family on a trip to Italy. When they returned home from their trip to Italy, she went to work in the office of her father's club, Bimbo's 365 Club. Sometimes she'd work in the kitchen, at the cash register or the coat check. She loved being out front with guests as she's a real people person.
In 1954 she met Angelo at a cocktail party. They dated for two years and married in 1956. Nine months (and three days later…as Angelo always liked to say), their first child Anna was born. Over the next nine years they had a total of seven kids. Angelo worked very hard building buildings and Yvonne was a stay-at-home mother caring for seven children. When the kids were young, Angelo and Yvonne took them all to Italy. Over the years summers were spent in Santa Cruz and Lake Tahoe and always with regular visits to Italy. Her husband Angelo was very successful and he would say that of all of Yvonne's wonderful qualities one of the most compelling was her consistent, never ending positive attitude, instilling in him the belief and confidence that he could accomplish anything that he set out to do.
Yvonne was "THE best Mom," as people often told her kids. She was a strong, generous, compassionate and unselfish person with the biggest heart, always thinking about others more than herself. It was fitting that she carried heart stickers and $2 bills. If she gave you a $2 bill she would say, "Now this is good luck. If someone needs it more than you, then you pass it along." No one ever left Yvonne without a box of See's candy or a box of Anthony's Cookies or both. She intuitively knew when someone needed a little extra love and she was there to provide whatever was needed. She cared deeply for the elderly, the hungry, the disabled, the education of our youth and those less fortunate. She was a great supporter of Little Sisters of the Poor, Meals on Wheels SF, St. Ignatius College Preparatory and Parish, Pomeroy Recreation & Rehabilitation Center and so many fabulous organizations that do so much for so many. Yvonne served on the board of the Museo Italo Americano and St. Ignatius College Preparatory Board of Regents. She was instrumental in establishing the St. Anne's Home Auxiliary where she was a Charter Member. In the 1980's she started the Red Tie Gala supporting Little Sisters of the Poor. It was a fabulous party at Neiman Marcus with music and great food and libations on every floor.
Yvonne lived life beyond its fullest. She loved a good party and most of all, she loved throwing a big party, and that she did quite often. As her husband Angelo would say "no one can throw a party like Yvonne". Yvonne was a wonderful cook, preparing fabulous dinners for her family every night. With her husband and family, she loved traveling, eating in fantastic restaurants and seeing her favorite entertainers, Frank Sinatra and Pavarotti in concert. In her travels she met Nobu Matsuhisa and an endearing friendship ensued. He lovingly referred to her as "Mama-san." Thanks to her good friends Lee and Tibor Rudas, she also traveled to Paris, China, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Italy to see Pavarotti and the Three Tenors in concert. Always the fun-loving Mother and Nonni, she enjoyed the company of her children and grandchildren and could often be spotted surrounded by them at Giants and Warriors games or holding court in her favorite corner booth at Original Joe's Westlake. She was always on the go and never slowed down.
While Yvonne didn't want to leave her family and friends, she so missed her husband Angelo and wanted to join him in the beautiful home he built for them in heaven. She will certainly be greeted with a big celebration.
The family would like to thank the wonderful caregivers and nurses who took great care of Yvonne, especially Jose, Flory, MD's Homecare Professionals and Ryan RN. Because of their love, kindness, compassion and support, Yvonne was able to live in dignity in her home. The comfort and support they provided over the years were remarkable and is truly appreciated.
She will be remembered most for being a loving Mother, Wife, Nonni, Mother-in Law, and Friend and a very generous and special person.
Services to celebrate Yvonne's life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations in her honor to Little Sisters of the Poor St. Anne's Home, 300 Lake Street, San Francisco, CA 94118.