Grace Minervini passed away peacefully on January 11, 2016
at her home in Lehi, Utah. Ro was born December 24, 1951
in Niagara Falls, NY. She was the youngest child of Carl
and Grace (DeFranco) Minervini and was the best Christmas
present her sister, Lu, and brother, Frank, could have asked
Ro was a 1970 graduate of Niagara Falls High School and
went on to receive her Master’s Degree in Dental Hygiene
Administration, Education, and Research from the University
of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry. Her dental
hygiene career spanned over 30 years and included teaching
at Marquette University, clinical practice, office management,
research and publications in major dental and dental hygiene
journals, and managing her consulting firm, Dental Perspectives.
Ro also lobbied in more than 14 states to pass federal legislation
called the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA),
appearing on local and national television and radio programs,
and meeting with legislators.
In 1995 Ro was baptized a member of The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints in Overland Park, Kansas. A
year later, she made Utah her home, where her big heart,
quick wit, and love for puns quickly made her a favorite
of all who knew her. Ro was proud of her Italian heritage,
and was known to bestow the honor of that heritage by adding
“ini” to the last name of those whom she loved
who weren’t lucky enough to have been born Italian!
She was always on the go, and her love of God and country
kept her busy in her church and community. She was particularly
passionate about genealogy, and spent countless hours researching
and documenting family history for herself and others.
When Rosemary was recently diagnosed with the rarest and
most aggressive form of thyroid cancer, it confirmed to
her family what they already knew—she was one in a
million!“Go figure,” she said, with her typical
dry wit—her thyroid had been removed years ago! Like
her middle name, Ro exhibited “Grace” and faced
this final challenge with faith and optimism.
Ro will be dearly missed by her sister, Lucille Minervini,
of Cincinnati, Ohio; brother, Frank Minervini, and his husband,
David Morris, of Grand Rapids, Michigan; and niece, Kristina
(Christopher) Wyatt, of Cincinnati, Ohio; as well as by
her “Utah Family,” the Howard-ini’s, Harris-ini’s,
and Humphrey-ini’s, and all the other “ini’s”
that were blessed to know her.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, January 16,
2016 at 11:00 am at the Cedar Hollow 7th LDS Ward Chapel,
127 East 3200 North, Lehi, Utah. Family and friends may
call Friday evening from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at the Warenski
Funeral Home, 1776 North 900 East, American Fork, Utah,
and again on Saturday morning from 9:30 to 10:30 am prior
to services at the church. Interment will be at the Timpanogos
Memorial Gardens, 1000 North 400 East, Orem, Utah.
In lieu of flowers please donate to American Heritage School
for Keaton’s Light, a perpetual program benefiting
their library by purchasing children’s books. Send
c/o Dallas Harris, P.O. Box 246, American Fork, Utah 84003.