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Virginia L. Gianelis-McDonough

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Published in December 2023

Virginia Lee (Marathas) Gianelis-McDonough, resident of Hanover, MA, was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend. She passed away peacefully in her home Sunday Morning December 10, 2023 at the age of 76 surrounded by family, after a two and a half year courageous battle with ALS.

She was born to Nicholas and Stella Marathas on July 3,1947. Ginny dedicated her life to the care and well-being of others, starting with her career as a registered nurse with a passion for pediatrics after graduating from Boston City Nursing School with the highest pediatric marks ever given in 30 years at the time of her graduation. Her devotion to serving others was evident in her personal life as well, caring for her family and friends who benefited from her endless love, kindness and compassion. She would give the shirt off her back to help anyone in need.

Ginny’s faith was central to the way in which she lived her life, feeding family and friends at a moments notice, sitting at a loved one’s or friend’s bedside to offer comfort, and sharing her passion and joy for Christ whenever the moment presented itself.

She was an unstoppable force, ever young at heart. She loved Greek cooking, her Greek heritage, travel, music, dancing, and playing card games well into the night. Her family was her greatest pride and joy. Most of all, being a Yiayia (grandmother) was her greatest gift; she began taking care of her grandchildren from the moment they were born. She never hesitated to get on their level and was always right in the middle of all the action, jumping on a rollercoaster, bouncing in bouncy houses, swinging on tire swings, sledding down a hill, and on and on. Her boundless energy and love for life enriched all those who were blessed to be loved by her.

Ginny is survived by her husband of 30 years, James McDonough and predeceased by her husband George Gianelis. She is also survived by her children, Nicole Malagodi and her husband Peter, Renee Mendoza and her ex-husband Alejandro, Nicholas Gianelis, Gregory Gianelis and his significant other Jennie, James McDonough and his wife Stephanie McDonough, and Stephen McDonough. She is also survived by her grandchildren Jaden, Olivia, Sophia, Oliver, Alexandra, Savannah, Emily, Siena Rae and James and her siblings William Marathas and his wife Pamela, and Lisa Searle and her husband Dennis, and in-laws including her husbands ten brothers and sisters, as well as numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Visitation will be held at Sullivan Funeral Homes at 551 Washington St, Rte 53, Hanover, MA on Monday December 18th, from 4-8 PM. A celebration of life will be held on Tuesday December 19th, at 11 am at North River Community Church, 334 Old Oak St., Pembroke, MA. Burial will follow at the Hanover Cemetery. In lieu of flowers donations can be sent to Compassionate Cares ALS at