Dorothy Giovanelli

Dorothy C. Giovanelli (Rostek)

November 8, 1932 - December 23, 2019
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“Roll out the barrel, we’ll have a barrel of fun!” Let the polka party begin! The last of eight Rostek siblings is now in heaven and the family is complete.

My mom, Dorothy “Dottie” Giovanelli, died peacefully Monday evening, December 23, 2019, while doing her favorite thing: watching old movies on TV with my dad. She was the daughter of the late Valenty and Paulina (Zielinski) Rostek.

For 66 wonderful years, she was the beloved wife of Nicholas Giovanelli. She could drive him a bit crazy sometimes; she was a force of nature, but there was deep love and mutual respect between them. She was my mom for 65 years, and I loved her dearly; well, maybe except for those teenage years!

Dottie was a track star during the 1950 Olympics, and won a gold medal; a high-kicking Rockette at Radio City Music Hall; and a tough, roller derby girl, who ended up on that TV show about gals roller derby in the ‘70s. Well, she really didn’t do any of those things, but while we were talking about end-of-life, she told me to ramp-up her obituary. She loved reading about other people’s exciting lives! “Do you think those stories are really true?” she would ask.

Dottie did indeed run on the track team while in school. She was also one of the girls who went by bus to Indiantown Gap to dance with our soldiers stationed there. And, she did love to roller skate.

Dottie worked at many of the local clothing factories in Reading, including Vanity Fair. After retiring, she was a volunteer in the cafeteria at St. John Baptist de la Salle school, and volunteered for 15 years at the Mifflin Center, saying the rosary with the residents. She loved the Blessed Mother, and kept her close.

Dottie spoke her mind, was loud and brash, kind and loving, and one of the funniest people I knew. She would keep everyone in stitches with her stories. I wish I could list them all so you could laugh along with me, but I know these obituaries can get expensive, and the money she left me in my Christmas card won’t cover the cost! Her life was exciting to us, and that’s all that mattered.

My dad is a quiet and humble man, and the exact opposite of my mom. They met while dad was playing in a band; she sat on the bus next to him, and that was it! She always said “she chased him until he caught her.” Her five sisters were her best friends, and she missed them terribly when they passed. Their husbands, my cousins and I would be in awe of these six women; chatting loudly and on top of one another with difference conversations going on. But they somehow managed to still understand what each were saying!

Dottie is survived by my dad, Nick; me, their daughter, Dee Bernardo; and her son-in-law Fred Bernardo, who would tease her all the time - she would just love it! She is also survived by her step-grandchildren: Justin Bernardo and his wife Heidi; and Cori Bernardo, and her husband Nick.

She was “GiGi” to her great grandchildren Benny and Aiden, who she loved dearly, and she is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews. Dottie was predeceased by her seven siblings: Stella LePage, Teddy Rostek, Lottie DeWald, Ceil Moyer, Genevieve Daniels Redd, Walter Rostek, and Margie Davis.

My dad and I would like to thank the kind and caring residents and staff at the Heritage of Green Hills, where she and dad lived, and Tower Health’s caring nurses, especially Sylvia on N2, who really made my mom laugh.

My mom was 87 years old, going on 50. Meticulous about her hair, makeup and wardrobe. Until a few weeks ago, she lived her life with gusto and laughter. It’s a little hard getting used to the quiet…she will be greatly missed.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated for Dottie on Tuesday, December 31, 2019, at 10:00am at St. John Baptist de la Salle RC Church, 42 Kerrick Road, Shillington, PA 19607, followed by entombment at Gethsemane Cemetery. A public viewing will be held Tuesday from 8:30-10:00am in the Church.

Edward J. Kuhn Funeral Home, Inc., West Reading, is in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be expressed at
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    December 31, 2019 | 8:30am - 10:00am
    December 31, 2019 8:30am - 10:00am
    St. John Baptist de la Salle R.C. Church
    42 Kerrick Road
    Shillington, PA 19607
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    December 31, 2019 | 10:00am
    December 31, 2019 10:00am
    St. John Baptist de la Salle R.C. Church
    42 Kerrick Road
    Shillington, PA 19607
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Rev. Rich Clement
  • Interment

    December 31, 2019 | 11:30am
    December 31, 2019 11:30am
    Gethsemane Cemetery Mausoleum
    3139 Kutztown Road
    READING, PA 19605
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Jeanie Cieniewicz

Posted at 06:50pm
Dorothy & Nick were our wonderful long time neighbors. I will always remember Dorothy's kindness & thoughtfulness when my mother passed away. It meant so much to me at that very difficult time. My thoughts and prayers are with Nick & Diane. Her obituary made me laugh & smile & I think that's how Dorothy would want us to remember her.


Joey Trumpio

Posted at 05:54pm
With loving memories of my Aunt Dorothy and Godmother.
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Joey Trumpio purchased the Dreams from the Heart Bouquet for the family of Dorothy Giovanelli.


Heather Dewald McCue

Posted at 10:56am
I will never forget going up to Aunt Dorothy in the kitchen at one of our (loud, always loud and full of love) family gatherings. She was prepping the pierogies and I said, "one day you'll have to teach me the secret." She said, "if you want the real quick secret, just get Mrs Ts and butter and onion them up." Haha, always keeping it real and making me feel like I could do anything! I will miss her but can't imagine the reunion happening in heaven. Sending love to Uncle Nick, Cousin Dee and the full family. I hope this memory that I hold dear, puts a small smile on your faces. Love, Heather (Dewald) McCue

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