Byron, IL – Pia Leombruni, age 97, shared an extraordinary amount of love, kindness, and comfort with all who knew her. She will be remembered by her friends and family for her joy and generosity, for gathering everyone around her kitchen table countless times, and for her easy smile and warmth. Pia died March 26, 2022, in Rockford surrounded by her loving family. Pia was a devoted mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, and she cherished all of these roles. Each and every one of her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren was special to her — and she made sure to tell them often with her sweet smile and a warm hug, adding “bella” or “bello” as always. Pia was a tremendous cook who nurtured everyone around her with delicious food, and a terrific gardener who happily shared the bounty. As a devout Roman Catholic, her faith in God guided and supported her in every moment. Pia was born September 24, 1924, in Ferrentino, Italy, the daughter of Domenico and Antonia (Villani) Picchi. She married Alberto Leombruni on May 18, 1946, in Rome, Italy. Pia immigrated to the United States in 1954 with their 7-year-old son, joining her husband in Rockford, IL. Pia treasured her family and lifelong friendships both near and far. For those back in Italy, she would catch up with carefully-timed international phone calls, and reunite with them on trips back to Ferrentino and Rome. Meanwhile, in Rockford, her door was always open, and a hot pot of coffee and homemade cookies would be waiting. Pia absolutely shined in her kitchen. She was a talented and loving cook, and whether she was preparing a full Italian spread or making rice krispie treats with her grandkids, she knew just how to bring people together in her kitchen and make anyone who sat around her table feel like family. Pia was a proud co-owner of her family’s restaurant, Leombruni’s Italian Village, in Byron for over two decades, where she shared that same warmth and care with guests. She was predeceased by her parents, her husband Alberto, her grandson Marco Leombruni, and her seven siblings. She is survived by her children: Ernest (Mimi) Leombruni of Byron, IL; Piera (Norman) Sagon of Granger, IN; and Annette (Steve) Jones of Byron, IL. Pia had 8 grandchildren: Tony (Lyn) Leombruni, Rob Leombruni, Lisa (Scott) Collins, Erica (Jeff) Wuslich, Nathan (Emily) Sagon; Sarah (Scott) Gibson; Bekki (Mark) Presson; and Emily (Kevin) Rollins. Pia had 17 great grandchildren: Marco, Dominic, and Gabe Leombruni; Alexandra, Samantha, and AnnaMaria Leombruni; Ben and Henry Wuslich; Gianna and Vincent Sagon; Cooper and Haven Gibson; Kennedy, Ireland, and Johnna Heaslip, Amiah Presson, and Hendrix Rollins. Funeral mass will be held at 11:00 am, Friday, April 1, 2022, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 220 E. 2nd Street, Byron, IL. Visitation precedes the service from 10:00 am to 11:00 am. Burial will be in the Calvary Cemetery, 8616 W. State Street, Winnebago. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Pia’s name to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.
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