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It is with profound sadness that the family of Gennarino (Gen) Gelsi announce his sudden and unexpected passing on Tuesday, January 17, 2023, at the age of 58 after a brief illness. Gen was born on May 17, 1964, to Michele and Rosina Gelsi in Cosenza, Italy. Gen moved to Calgary along with his sister Carmela and his parents when he was three years old.
Through his school years, Gen met many of his dearest friends that were a very important part of his life. While attending St. Mary’s High School, Gen excelled in many sports including junior high basketball and high school football (where he played both offensive line and punter), and in Bantam football Gen received an award for the best Tight End. Probably the most famous (or should we say, what Gen loved to talk about the most) was their high school ball hockey team known as the “Stew Cats”. His love of ball hockey continued as Gen and his friends went on to play competitive ball hockey for many years and he was a key player in the 1991 Provincial Ball Hockey Championship. Gen not only played hockey but loved the Boston Bruins. For his 50th Birthday, Gen and his wife Katie went to Boston and were so excited to watch his Bruins beat the New York Rangers 4-2. He also loved football and was an avid Calgary Stampeder fan with season tickets that gave both him and Katie so much pleasure.
Gen’s career was in construction and industrial equipment sales and rentals. Whether it was the first or the 25th phone call of the day, he always had the same energy, humour, and devotion to all his customers. This carried over into the connections he made with his customers which were immediate and long-lasting, often leading to friendships he had outside of work. Not only did his career in industrial equipment sales allow him to make many new friends, but it also gave him the very exciting opportunity to visit his home country Italy.
Gen’s true passion was cooking. From Sunday sauce to the Italian family-style dinner parties that his daughter Quinn and Gen created with their cooking business “An Italian In Your Kitchen.” One of the things he loved most was watching people enjoy his amazing cooking, at all times entertaining them with his wit and charm. Many will say that the August Long Weekend Parties that Gen hosted for all his family and friends were epic, from the full-on hockey games to the massive bowl of pasta carbonara that Gen would serve to keep the energy going at 9:30pm.
Gen is survived by his wife, Kathryn (Katie) Gelsi; his daughter Quinn Gelsi; sister Carmela Gelsi; step-daughter Devin McGraw-Pautler; son-in-law Jeremy Pautler; step-son Tyler McGraw; and daughter-in-law Nikki McGraw, as well as numerous aunts, uncles and cousins in both Calgary and Italy. He was a very Proud Nonno to Talan, Drake, Eva, and Webster. Gen was predeceased by his parents, Michele and Rosina Gelsi; his niece Nancy Casella; and nephew Michael Casella.
Funeral Service will be held at Evan J. Strong Funeral Services North (3625 12 St. NE) on Saturday, February 18, 2023, at 11:00am. Family and friends are invited to wear a Boston Bruins jersey in memory of Gen.
Following the Funeral Service, relatives and friends are invited to join the family at the Calgary Italian Cultural Centre (416 1 Ave NE) at 1:00pm for a Celebration of Gen's Life. An opportunity will be made available for those who wish to share a tribute or memory of Gen.
In lieu of flowers, if you are so moved, any monetary donations would be greatly appreciated towards an eternal resting place for Gen.
“Try to put a smile on the face of everyone you meet, to have a conversation and find connection with people.”- Gen Gelsi