Gina Simera Pestian, age 64, of Toronto, died Monday, June 3, 2019, after a three-year battle with ovarian cancer. Born June 8, 1954, to Michael J. Simera and Helen McLaughlin Simera Barach, Gina grew up in Steubenville, OH. She graduated from Catholic Central High School in 1972 and was a member of St. Francis Parish.
Gina is survived by her husband of 46 years and the love of her life, Timothy C. Pestian; a son, Timothy Michael (Kathryn) Pestian, of Akron; a grandson, Timothy Mitchell (Tre) Pestian, age 3; a sister, Michele (Bryan) Santin, of Toronto; two brothers, Michael (Miriam) Simera of Pembroke Pines, FL and Tony Simera of Atlanta, GA. and his daughter, Isabella Simera, age 15; a niece, Merissa (Bruce) McKinstry, of Newark, OH; a nephew, Bryan Santin, of Irvine, CA; and two great-nieces, Mia, age 13, and Ella McKinstry, age 10.
Known as “Gee” to her nieces and “Games” to her grandson, Gina’s passions were food and family, always preparing and serving the beloved foods of her Italian heritage, like her famous homemade sauce, ravioli, gnocchi, and wedding soup. She and her husband, “Big Tim,” enjoyed cooking, gardening and vacationing at their condo in Hallandale, FL, including renewing their wedding vows on Hollywood Beach as a part of their 40th wedding anniversary celebration. She was also co-owner of the family’s second-generation, Steubenville-based Vapor Jet Cleaning and Restoration, as well as the company’s Vice President of Marketing.
Gina appreciated both education and the arts and was instrumental in bringing the Missoula Children’s theater to Toronto, and she also headed Market Day for Toronto’s St. Francis Central School.
After her diagnosis, Gina began volunteering with the Look Good Feel Better program through the American Cancer Society. This program is dedicated to improving the quality of life and self-esteem of people undergoing cancer treatment.
Calling hours will be Thursday, June 6, from 3-7 p.m. at Mosti Funeral Home Sunset Chapel, 4435 Sunset Blvd., in Steubenville. A Funeral Liturgy with Mass will be celebrated on Friday, June 7, at 1:00 p.m. at St. Francis Church, 601 Loretta Ave., in Toronto.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Valley Hospice, 10686 State Route 150, Rayland, OH 43943 or to The James Cancer Research Center on a fundraising page dedicated to Gina’s memory, www.bit.ly/GinaPestian.