Deacon Giacomo Panessa, a retired deacon from Most Precious Blood parish, Astoria, died June 24. He was 77.
Born in Italy, much of his life was spent in Brooklyn as a member of Most Precious Blood parish.
He was ordained to the diaconate on May 16, 1998.
He operated his own Italian goods and food store for many years providing for the community and being a part of the lives for the people of his neighborhood. He sold the business and worked as a bookkeeper before retiring.
In the Church, he was encouraged to become a deacon because of his connection to the Italian people. He became involved in the Italian Apostolate and Pastoral Council and he celebrated many weddings and baptisms.
Father William Krlis, pastor of Most Precious Blood, preached the homily at the funeral. He has been friends with Deacon Giacomo for almost 10 years and he remembered “what great energy he had and how pleasant he was to everyone.
“When I first came here, his health was starting to decline so he was not involved as much as he once was but that never stopped the stories coming in about all the people who worked with him and loved him,” he said
“Today, the neighborhood might not be as Italian as it used to be but Giacomo still loved it. I was at the house praying with his family when a Muslim family that live in the neighborhood told me that they loved Giacomo because he would always give them treats or a lollipop when he saw them. Many stories like this have been told because that is the kind of life he lived,” Father Krlis added.
Deacon Giacomo is survived by his wife Rosa. Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated June 28 at Most Precious Blood Church.
Burial followed at St. Michael Cemetery, Astoria.