Elena Ventresca

Elena Ventresca - Rochester, NY - Rochester cremation

Elena Ventresca, 82, passed away on June 25, 2020 at Highland Hospital in Rochester, New York. She passed away peacefully surrounded by her family after a short battle with lung cancer. She is survived by her children, Carla (Henry Beckett), Lynn (Steve) Rienzi, John (Cara), and grandchildren Enzo, Alani, Alex, Lily and Katie. Elena was born on September 24, 1937 in Worcester, Massachusetts to Crocefissa (Lostracco) and Croce Ventresca.  Elena was the youngest of four and is predeceased by Katie (Gartsu) and Louie and survived by Emma.

Elena grew up on Merrifield Street in Worcester, in a “triple decker” house where her cousins lived below. Her life was filled with family and she spent most of her time with her siblings and friends in the neighborhood. She attended High School of Commerce and participated in the Italian Club, U.S. History Club, and the Press Club. Dancing and music were her passions. She and her girlfriends regularly went out to clubs in Worcester to see live music and dance. Mom often used the saying ‘they didn’t need a gym back then – they walked and danced!’

Elena married John Ventresca and moved to Warrington, Pennsylvania where she began raising her three kids. After her marriage ended she moved back to Worcester to live close to her sister, Katie, and her children. The families were very close.

Elena made friends wherever she went. She loved meeting people and learning about their lives. She always found common interests and things to laugh about. She was fascinated with different cultures and loved to travel. She was not afraid of new and unfamiliar places. From Atlantic City and New York City and Cuba in her teens, to Quebec, Italy, the Greek Islands, the Grand Canyon, and countless California trips visiting her daughter. Cape Cod was a constant through the years. She loved the smell of the ocean, the pace of life, and summers spent at the home of her best friend, Dee.

Behind her easy-going demeanor was an unending supply of strength, faith, and positivity that got her through difficult times. When Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) caused her kidneys to fail, she underwent multiple painful forms of dialysis until she was given the gift of life by a deceased donor. The kidney she was given lasted until her passing, nearly 20 years.

When she lived in Boston Elena was a member of Boston’s historic Old North Church. After she moved to Rochester she joined Henrietta United Church of Christ where she was an active and beloved member.

Above everything, Elena was happiest when she was with her family. She was close with all of her nieces and nephews, all three of her kids, and adored her grandchildren.

Donations in Elena’s memory can be made to the PKD Foundation by visiting https://pkdcure.org/ and selecting Tribute Donation. PKD is a life-threatening genetic disease from which Elena suffered, as do other family members. Elena was a volunteer and a passionate advocate of finding a cure for the disease.

3 Condolences

  1. Barbara Lucci on July 4, 2020 at 10:10 pm

    I remember her fondly.
    She was a beautiful lady, inside and out.
    My heart goes out to all of you.
    Barbara Lucci

  2. Sharon Knight on July 5, 2020 at 12:51 pm

    So sorry to learn of Elena’s passing. She was simply a delight.

  3. elizabeth wilson on July 25, 2020 at 3:07 pm

    I knew Elena when we we teenagers together and used to go to the clubs dancing. She was a delight to be with and a very nice person. I had heard how her marriage ended. I am so sorry for that. God bless your soul my old friend.

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