Giuliana (Buonsante) Lavins
Giuliana (Buonsante) Lavins was born (a twin to her brother, Aldo) on May 29, 1933, in the beautiful city of Trieste, Italy. Giuliana always said that her brother was a true gentleman and said, “ladies first” — she was the first to be born. She had three other siblings, Bruno (killed in World War II), Bianca (deceased in 2005) and a younger brother who died as a toddler.
When Giuliana was a teenager her parents passed away and she was raised by Bianca. She often spoke of hiding in a tunnel near the Castle of San Giusto in Trieste during the bombings of World War II. Life was challenging but happy, and she had many wonderful memories of her beautiful Trieste.
After World War II many Italians moved to Australia for work, including Aldo and Bianca. Giuliana stayed and took a job at the Aviano Air Base in Northern Italy. She met a United States Air Force GI, Walter Lavins. He was smitten with the lovely Giuliana and they were married after a brief courtship. Giuliana was the love of Walter’s life and he adored her. Giuliana had a cousin in Trieste, Paolo Maria Buonsante (wife Marina), and after the death of Paolo’s parents they cared for and loved him as their own child.
Giuliana was a wonderful homemaker and a fabulous cook (always Italian food). She loved to knit and crochet and her handiwork was beautiful. She loved her husband and was a dedicated and doting wife. At one point, Walter and Giuliana had a poodle named Prince and that is exactly how they treated him — as royalty.
Walter’s Air Force assignments were in Japan, New York, North Carolina, Texas and Maryland, and he served in the Korean and Vietnam Wars. Giuliana made friends everywhere. She loved to sing and they loved to dance. They traveled extensively including Australia, Europe and the United States, but mostly Trieste. The last time she visited her home city was in September of 2008 with her beloved niece (later her caregiver/guardian/conservator), Cathyanne Nonini, or as she called her, “Catuska.”
After Walter retired with an honorable discharge from 25 years in the Air Force he became a detective with the Capitol Police, and they settled in College Park, Md. They remained part of a large group of friends from Trieste — the Triestinas. There were lively annual reunions and Walter and Giuliana participated in every one!
Walter passed away in September of 2007 and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. Giuliana moved to Idaho to be with her niece, Cathyanne. Aunt Giuli was adored by Cathyanne and Giuliana loved Catuska like a daughter; they shared a unique relationship as only an aunt and niece can. She lived with Cathyanne and Bob and spent her final years at the Renaissance Home in Coeur d’Alene (special thanks to Ron, Mindy, MaryAnn, Annie and Dana). Cathyanne became fluent in Italian and they had many years of love and laughter and conversations in Italian. Cathyanne moved her to the Hospice of North Idaho Schneidmiller House on Sunday, July 8, where she passed with Cathyanne at her side on Monday, July 9.
She was loved by everyone who met her. Special thanks to all who loved and helped her in her 11 years in Idaho, especially Bob Nonini, Jacquelene Enci (Walter’s sister), Mary Ann Babin, Maggi (Brainard) Billings and Christina Perez. Her final moments at the Schneidmiller House were peaceful and Cathyanne is grateful for the gentle and loving care she received.
A Rosary will be held at 1:40 p.m. and Giuliana’s Funeral Mass will be celebrated by Fr. Mariusz Majewski, at 2 p.m. on Friday, July 13, 2018, at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church. She will be interred at the St. Thomas Cemetery immediately afterward. Cathyanne requests no flowers or cards — please make a small donation to the Hospice House of North Idaho.
“Rest in Peace dearest Aunt Giuli. I will miss you. You made the world a better place to live and love. Ti voglio tanto bene. Your loving Catuska.”
Arrangements by English Funeral Chapel in Coeur d’Alene. Visit Giuliana’s memorial and sign her online guest book at www.englishfuneralchapel.com