Obituary: Geraldine Santina (Mama) Lanza |

Obituary: Geraldine Santina (Mama) Lanza

File photoThis file photo of Mama Lanza, seen here in 1996, graces the menu at Lanza's Restaurant in King Beach.

Geraldine Santina (Mama) Lanza, was born August 21, 1921, in New Britain, Connecticut. Peacefully she passed away on February 29, 2012, with her beloved children, daughter Margaret, and son Joe, by her side.

Geraldine and#8220;Jerryand#8221; married Sebastian Lanza on April 26, 1941. Sebastian was Mrs. Lanza’s one and only soul mate. Together they started a family and a very successful Italian restaurant in Connecticut. In 1959 the family moved to southern California, where they opened the first Lanza’s Italian Restaurant. In 1969 Sebastian passed away and soon after Lanza’s Restaurant was closed. In 1974 Lanza’s Italian Restaurant was reborn in Kings Beach California. Mama Lanza along with her son Joe had a vision and together they built Lanza’s as we know it today! Mama Lanza took enormous pride in sharing her family recipes with generations of locals and tourists alike. She loved being the host, working with the staff and making the patrons feel welcomed.

Mrs. Lanza’s greatest enjoyment in life was spending time with her family. Mama Lanza was a world traveler, taking 19 cruises. She enjoyed bowling, and playing and#8220;panand#8221; with her many friends. She truly enjoyed spending time at the Peppermill Casino in Reno with her daughter Margaret. Her last few years were spent living in Reno with her daughter , who became her angel, and fulfilled Mrs. Lanza’s every need with loving care. Mrs. Lanza, Mama Lanza, Jerry, Mom, Grandma, friend, boss, confidant, your legacy in North Lake Tahoe will live on. You will be greatly missed and we love you!

Mama Lanza is survived by her daughter Margaret Spano, son Joe Lanza, daughter-in-law Joyce Lanza, brother Frank Tranchida, sister-in-law Tina Tranchida, grandchildren, Richard Spano, (Joann), Robert, Ryan Spano, the Lanza grandchildren Justin and Jessica Garcia, Jason and Kristen Garcia, Ali, Jeanna, Julia, Jaycee, Jamie, Joseph, John, two great grandchildren, Hayden and Carly Garcia, and numerous nieces and nephews.

We would like to extend our gratitude to Dr. Steven Zell and Ole, his C.N.A., and to The Life Center for their kindness and understanding, and for taking exquisite care of Mama Lanza.

In honor of Mama Lanza, Lanza’s Resturant will be closed April 22, 2012. Please come join us in celebration of her life on April 22, 2012, at Lanza’s Resturant, 7739 North Lake Blvd., Kings Beach, California, from 1 to 5 p.m.

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In lieu of flowers, Mama Lanza’s favorite charities are St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and the Food Bank of Northern Nevada:

and#8226; Food Bank of Northern Nevada

550 Italy Drive

McCarren, NV 89434-5400

and#8226; St. Jude Children’s

501 St. Jude Place

Memphis, TN 38105-9959