Cover photo for Clelia M. "Cleo" Serventi's Obituary
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Clelia M. "Cleo" Serventi

April 20, 1920 — July 5, 2017

Clelia M. "Cleo" Serventi

Clelia M. Serventi, 97, of Perry, NY passed away on July 5, 2017. ‘Cleo’ was born on
April 20, 1920, a daughter of John Baptista Martinelli and Helen Fedor Martinelli. Cleo
was totally devoted to her family her entire life, starting with her immigrant parents. Cleo
took care of her childhood household while also exceling in school, including French and
literature.
While in high school in Rimersburg, PA, Cleo met the love of her life, the late Lew
Serventi. They dated for six years, traveling distances to dance to favorite big bands, as
she worked and attended cosmetology school in Pittsburgh. Lew and Cleo married then
lived in Boca Raton, FL before he shipped off for WWII. Serving from 1942-1946, Cleo
raised Michele ‘Mikey’ Rechberger (Wes Kline) of Perry, NY, for almost two years
before Lew safely returned from the war. Cleo and Lew had a second daughter, the late
Debra Jones Duncan (Mike, Charlottesville, VA). Cleo enjoyed active lifelong
involvement with her three grandchildren, David (Leslie Stinson, Boulder, CO), Kristin
(Enric Sala, Washington, DC) and Ed Rechberger IV (Karen), as well as her great-
grandchildren, Derek (Carmen), Lizabeth, and Gregory Rechberger. Cleo and Lew were
married for 73 years.
Cleo and Lew enjoyed their evenings by attending three generations of family music and
athletic events or nearby theatre. Her greatest happiness was seeing others enjoy
themselves, which meant endless nurturing and serious spoiling, including wonderfully
memorable holidays. She adored children and became one herself when around them;
their basement was a play haven. Cleo loved baking pies, and several varieties were a
fixture at every occasion. She also contributed cookie recipes to the five-decade family
business, Lew-Mark Baking Company (a franchise of Archway Cookies.) Cleo was a
consummate homemaker who knew not only how to get out every stain or wrinkle, but
also displayed her creativity through holiday decorating, sewing, ceramics and gardening,
including the Perry Garden Club. She also liked to golf with her lady friends. Cleo and
Lew were environmentalists before it was in vogue, using only what they needed and
repurposing everything else.
Cleo was always on the move and a force of nature. Regarding aging, she would advise,
‘keep moving even if it hurts!’ Those who knew her will miss trying to keep up with her
quick physical pace and even quicker wit. Her family and friends will miss her direct
conversations, funny zingers, wise insights, singing outbursts, and fiery personality.
To honor Cleo’s spirit, donations may be made to Perry Garden Club (c/o Mary Jane
Bryant, 81 Lake St, Perry NY 14530.)
A combined memorial celebration for Cleo and Lew will be held at a later date.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Clelia M. "Cleo" Serventi, please visit our flower store.

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