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'Feisty' Greensburg mom had 'Wonder Woman' qualities

Brian Bowling
| Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2017, 11:00 p.m.

Bette Iannuzzo spent her life helping others, pushing her children and grandchildren to meet high standards and showing up late at restaurants.

“She was fun, very witty, very intelligent and a little sarcastic,” said her daughter, Jennifer Skatell-Knopp.

Her mother “took care of everybody” when she was growing up, so their home was where neighborhood kids gathered, she said. She had her children involved in everything, took them to their lessons and sewed their Halloween costumes.

“She would do more in one day than what most people accomplished in a month,” her daughter said.

When the family gathered at a restaurant, however, “Ga” would always show up late and inevitably make them switch tables because she didn't like the one they picked, said Jessica Skatell of Las Vegas, her granddaughter.

“I told her, when it comes time for your funeral, I'm not going to show up on time because I know you're not going to be there,” she said.

Bette E. Iannuzzo, 73, of Greensburg died Friday, Aug. 4, 2017, in the William Penn Care Center. She was born Dec. 8, 1943, the daughter of Joseph and Margaret Ackerman Herrod of Latrobe.

Mrs. Iannuzzo put other people's needs before her own, but she could be stubborn, said granddaughter Angela Valesky of Greensburg.

“She was real funky, real feisty,” she said. “There were certain things she wanted her way.”

After graduating high school, she attended cosmetology school and worked as a hairdresser.

“She was Wonder Woman,” said her granddaughter Emilee Knopp of Greensburg. “She was the glue that kept us all together.”

In meeting adversities, including the death of her mother when she was 15, Mrs. Iannuzzo acquired a wisdom that had her family frequently seeking her advice, Valesky said.

“She handled everything with grace and elegance,” she said. “She didn't have to say much. She just had to live the way she did.”

When the Steelers lost a game, however, she had plenty to say about the coaches' shortcomings, Skatell said.

“She'd never get over the game,” she said. “Even a week later, she'd be talking about it.”

Mrs. Iannuzzo became CEO of Greensburg Beverage in 2013, when her husband of 28 years, G. Lewis “Sonny” Iannuzzo, died.

She is survived by her daughters, Jennifer Skatell-Knopp of White Oak and Lisa Skatell-Valesky of Greensburg; a stepson, David Iannuzzo of North Huntingdon; a daughter-in-law, Kelly Skatell of Greensburg and a step-daughter-in-law, Monica Iannuzzo of Greensburg; seven grandchildren and three step-grandchildren.

Prayers of transfer will be at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday at Kepple-Graft Funeral Home, 524 N. Main St., Greensburg. The funeral Mass will be held at 10 a.m. in Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church, 1011 Mt. Pleasant Road, Hempfield. Entombment will follow in Greensburg Catholic Cemetery.

Memorial donations may be made to a charity of one's choice.

Brian Bowling is a Tribune-Review staff writer.

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