Genevieve Rosella Watson Hornung, 83, Altoona, was called home by her precious Jesus on Thursday. She peacefully slipped into the arms of her best friend and Savior Jesus after a lengthy illness.
She was born in Jeannette, the youngest child of two Italian immigrants, the late James and Rosella (Guida) De Augustine.
Genevieve was married to John R. "Bud" Watson Sr., the father of her three sons, from June 26, 1947, until his premature death on March 13, 1974. She then found love and true companionship with her second husband, Harold "Nick" Hornung, and they spent 18 amazing years together. Nick also preceded Genevieve in death with his release from this world into the freedom of his Savior Jesus on May 16, 2003.
Surviving are two sons: Jeffrey A. and wife, Mary L. Watson, of Butte, Mont., and Jay Paul Watson; a daughter-in-law, Debbie Colyer of Altoona; five grandchildren: John R. Watson III of Duncansville, Jeffrey Nathaniel Watson and Laura L. Watson of Missoula, Mont., and Matthew J. Watson and Steven M. Watson of Altoona; a great-granddaughter, Grace Marie Watson of Duncansville; an elder sister, Tressa Remic of Raleigh, N.C.; and a sister-in-law, Jean De Augustine of Jeannette.
Genevieve's oldest son, John R. Watson Jr., preceded her in death on Dec. 28, 1995, and she was also preceded in death by a grandson, Robert J. Watson, on Feb. 14, 1994.
Genevieve attended Jeannette area schools. Her employment history outside of the home only started after her youngest son was bused to school for a full day. Prior to that, her dedication to her children and her family had consumed her every minute with all of the tasks and responsibilities that a loving mother and wife could bestow. Her employment outside the home included Berman's Jewelers, selling women's plus-sized clothes for several retail stores and a variety of other employment in the Altoona area. She loved people, and any opportunity to be acquainted with new people and assist them was a thoroughly enchanting opportunity for her to convey her magnificent "people skills."
A legion of steadfast and loving nieces, nephews and friends will sorely miss this amazing woman whose sacrificial acts of love and compassion were based on her courageous, hopeful approach to life and, above all, her altruistic methodology for serving others. Genevieve's uncanny ability to empathically understand the life trials that individuals tackle made her an immediate acquaintance to everyone she encountered.
Her greatest worldly feature was her capacity to create mouth-watering cuisine. She was never limited in her ability to deliver fare that would stand toe-to-toe with even the top restaurant chefs. Some of her best-known greetings were food-related: "Would you like some?" "Taste this," "I just made. ..." "Would you like a recipe?" and "Mangiare!" She fed everyone who came within earshot without the slightest hint of inequity. The meter reader, the plumber, the priest, the trash collector, the mail carrier and the neighbors were all happy recipients of her culinary competence.
Genevieve loved animals, and there was almost always a pet dog in the house. The names of these dogs expressed her creativity, appreciation and love. Her many community activities and volunteerism included membership in the Blair County Democratic Committee, as well as functioning as an official polling representative during voting. She was also a founding member of the Blair County Singles Association and a member of the Cesare Battista Club, in addition to the memberships she shared with her spouses at the VFW and Bavarian Hall.
She was a member in good standing with Sacred Heart Church and a longstanding former member of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church. She also provided food to many church-related gatherings upon request.
Friends will be received from 9:30 until the 10 a.m. funeral Mass Wednesday, March 20, 2013, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Altoona. Interment will follow the Mass at Calvary Cemetery with a celebration of Genevieve's life after the interment at a location to be announced.
In memory of Genevieve, donations may be given to the Central Pennsylvania Humane Society.
Arrangements are by Santella Funeral Home.