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Executive secretary liked to write, cook

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Helen Marie Santini of Monroeville died in her sleep in the Arden Courts memory care facility on Monday, Aug. 18, 2014. She was 95.

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Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014, 10:42 p.m.

Helen Santini was a caregiver of her baby sister, who later in life returned the favor.

“She was a wonderful sister. She was 12 years older than me,” said Mary Mignogna of Monroeville.

Helen Marie Santini of Monroe-ville died in her sleep in the Arden Courts memory care facility on Monday, Aug. 18, 2014. She was 95.

Mrs. Santini was a former executive secretary for PPG Industries who enjoyed writing, cooking, photography and gardening, her family said.

Born July 4, 1919, to John and Rose Pugliano, Mrs. Santini grew up in Penn Hills with seven siblings. She graduated from Turtle Creek High School in the late 1930s, said her son, Theodore “Ted” Rossetti of Plum.

She was affectionately nicknamed “Lana,” Mignogna said.

“My mother and dad came over from Italy; they wanted her to be called Elana. But for some reason, when she went to school, the teachers wrote down Helen,” she said.

In 1939, Mrs. Santini married Sisto Rossetti, with whom she had two sons. They divorced in 1965 and, three years later, she married Bernard Santini. He died in 2000.

For many years, Mrs. Santini was a homemaker. In the mid-1950s, she began working at a women's clothing store in Miracle Mile shopping center in Monroeville, Theodore Rossetti said. She worked as an executive secretary at PPG for about 25 years, until she retired in 1987, he said.

Mrs. Santini had served as president of the Frank DiNinno Council of the Sons of Columbus and was a longtime editor of the Sons of Columbus newspaper.

“She was very good at writing, very good with words,” her son said.

He characterized her as an outgoing person, with many friends.

“She was very sociable ... very friendly and very engaging with people. Also, (she was) very compassionate with people,” he said.

In addition to her son Theodore and sister Mary, Mrs. Santini is survived by son Richard “Rick” Rossetti of Murrysville, seven grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband Bernard Santini, ex-husband Sisto Rossetti and siblings Frank, Albert and Alfred Pugliano, Sarah DiTommaso, Josephine Rossetti and Mary Pugliano.

Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday in Jobe Funeral Home & Crematory Inc., 445 Beatty Road, Monroeville.

A blessing service will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday in the funeral home. Interment will follow in Good Shepherd Cemetery.

Tory N. Parrish is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach her at 412-380-5662 or

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