Eleanor (Elana Iannelli) Iatesta passed away early Thursday morning, July 23, 2020 in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.
She was born on January 28, 1921 to Giustino and Emilia Iannelli in Brooklyn, New York. She would often entertain her family with stories of riding the EL with her older siblings to Coney Island...where she experienced her first custard style ice cream cone, cooling off with an Italian ice while playing near an open fire hydrant, visits to Sheepshead Bay, attending PS 120, and taking her sister Anna (Honey) to play in Prospect Park. As a young adult she commuted via subway to NYC and raved about the cream cheese raisin bread sandwiches at Choc Full o’ Nuts. Although Eleanor lost her mother at age 16, she particularly loved the visits and memories with her family.
On March 16, 1946, she married Michael Iatesta Sr., (a returning WWII veteran) in a double wedding with her sister Ida. The couple moved to Tulip Street in Philadelphia where their two sons Kenneth and Michael were born. Then in 1952, they moved to Hatboro, PA where Eleanor maintained their home, enjoyed her family and friends, and worked in small part-time jobs at a local bank, school and florist.
Eleanor was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Mike; and all her siblings: Nancy, Phil, Florence, Frank, Rose, Joe, Ida and Anna. She is survived by her sons: Kenneth (Jackie) and Michael (Nannette); five grandchildren: Amy Ruch, Adam Iatesta, Lydia Johnson, Brad Iatesta and Evan Iatesta; and five great-grandchildren: Ethan and Cole Ruch, and Micaiah, Jack and Alex Johnson.
In Eleanor’s final years she suffered from memory loss and dementia, often thinking that she was much younger and living at home with her parents, which is ironic since she was completely clear minded when it came to the foundations of her Christian faith, the details of her prayers, and the reality of her future in the presence of God. She knew, as C. S. Lewis said, “There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.”
The family offers its deepest gratitude to the compassionate caregivers at Christ's Home in Warminster, PA for stepping-up in place of family and friends during the past several months. Due to the restrictions of the COVID 19 pandemic, a private graveside service for her immediate family will be held in early August at Washington Crossing National Cemetery. Donations may be made in Eleanor’s honor to Gospel Hall For Missions, 23 West Moreland Avenue, Hatboro, PA 19040.