John Daniel Piacitelli

May 17, 1927 ~ July 8, 2019 (age 92)


Obituary John Daniel Piacitelli, beloved husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather and brother passed away on July 8, 2019. The youngest of eight children, he was born to John and Helen Piacitelli in Price, Utah on May 17, 1927. He attended Notre Dame Catholic Elementary School in Price, Judge Memorial Catholic High School in Salt Lake City, and left Utah at age 14 to attend St. Patrick's Seminary in Mountain View, Ca. After attending 6 years, his desire to start a family surpassed that of becoming a priest. He then went to the University of San Francisco, Saint Louis University and the University of Pittsburgh, earning his master's degrees in social work and public health. Drafted into the U.S. Army in 1952, he was later stationed in Germany. There, in 1956, he met the love of his life, Liane Foltz, while attending mass in Heidelberg. His 21-year Army career also included assignments in Denver, Co., San Antonio, Tx., Pittsburgh, Pa., and a tour of duty in Vietnam in 1966, but he mostly served at Madigan Army Medical Center, WA as a psychiatric social worker, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel. Still having a passion to help patients with mental health issues, he worked for the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) for 30 years as Chief of the Office of Aging and Administrator of the Mental Health Program for Elderly Services. He worked tirelessly to improve mental health services for older adults in Washington, establishing numerous statewide programs still in existence. He loved researching genealogy and traveling to explore where his parents grew up in Italy and Slovakia, as well as Luxembourg, where Liane was raised. He enjoyed fine dining, solving crossword puzzles, exercising and socializing at the YMCA, hanging out on his deck, and nurturing the rhododendrons and columnar apple trees at his home in Lakewood. His life was marked deeply by family, faith, and service. He relished family togetherness, especially his annual family Christmas gatherings and the numerous extended family reunions he organized. As a devoted Catholic, he often served as a Eucharistic minister and lector. He also enjoyed tutoring children in reading at local schools. A dry wit belied his deep compassion for the vulnerable, as well as his selfless, nurturing, giving, and loyal nature. He was available for anyone in need of assistance, at any time. He taught and demonstrated to his family many Christian values, chief among them the power of forgiveness and the principle of looking beyond people's faults. He is survived by his wife Liane ‘Lela'; sons Gregory (Laurie), Mark (Laura), Paul (Leslie), Chris, John, Michael (Jill), Stephen (Dawn); daughter Denise (Aaron) VanAlstine; grandchildren Alainna, Karlene, Lisa, Andrew, Benjamin, Daniel, Enzo, Samuel, Alexis, step-grandchildren Amanda and Andrew, 3 great-grandchildren; 4 step-great-grandchildren, his sister, Nora Dalpiaz, and numerous beloved nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents; sisters Mildred Kasparec, Florence Piacitelli, Adeline LeBar, Helen Jean Smith; brothers Edward, Reverend Henry; and daughter-in-law Sandy. His life was a blessing and inspiration to those who knew him, and he will be greatly missed. Memorial donations in honor of John can be made to the American Heart, American Lung, or Alzheimer Society of Washington. Arrangements by Gaffney Funeral Home

Service Date: 07/17/2019 at 12:00 PM
Location:St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church
Cemetery:Calvary Cemetery
Service Details
A rosary will be held at the Saint Francis Cabrini chapel on Wednesday, July 17 at 11:30, with a funeral mass at 12:00 noon. Burial will follow at Calvary Cemetery.

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