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Gianfranco Marcantonio - April 11, 2024

To all Dante members, it is with deep sadness that we must report that dear friend and founding member of the Denver Dante Alighieri Society Gianfranco Marcantonio passed away last night (April 11, 2024). Gian held many positions in the Dante, including President and Vice President. In recent years he served as Historian and kept us informed monthly as editor of the Notizario.

We will all miss him.
Veronica Goodrich

Services for Gianfranco Lio Marcantonio

  • Wednesday, May 1, 2024
  • 12801 W 44th Ave, Wheat Ridge, CO 80033 (MAP)


  • Archdiocese of Denver Mortuary Chapel
  • Time: 11 - 11:30am


  • Archdiocese of Denver Mortuary Chapel
  • Time: 11:30 - 12:30pm


  • Mount Olivet Catholic Cemetery
  • Time: 12:30 - 1:00

A reception will follow at The Club at Rolling Hills, 15707 West 26th Ave., Golden, CO 80401.

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With family by his side, Gianfranco Lio Marcantonio passed away peacefully on April 11, 2024.  The love and support of his family and countless friends throughout the world gave him peace in his last days.  He was born on March 9, 1942 to Domenico and Colomba Marcantonio in the small town of Cansano located in the Abruzzo region of Italy, a place that remained dear to his heart throughout his life.  He loved returning there, especially in the company of his children, his brothers, their families, and most recently his granddaughter.  From age two to sixteen,  Gianfranco lived with his family in the San Giovanni neighborhood of Rome.  He considered himself a Roman, and the friends with whom he shared his youth remained close throughout his life.

In 1958, at age sixteen, Gianfranco left the city he loved when his family immigrated to Denver, hoping for greater opportunity than what post-war Italy had to offer.  He enrolled as a junior at Mt. Carmel High School and formed friendships that have lasted a lifetime.  Following graduation, Gianfranco studied at Regis College for two years before enrolling at the University of Colorado at Boulder.   While at CU, he studied a year in Grenoble, France, and upon returning, met the love of his life, Pamela Peterson.  Gianfranco earned his BA in French and Spanish in 1965 and in 1968 completed his MA in Italian.  

In 1966, Gianfranco and Pamela were married.  From 1968 through 1972, he taught Italian at the University of Wyoming and later at the University of Connecticut.  He chose a new career path in 1972 and with his wife and young son relocated to Boulder where they lived, worked and raised their family for forty years before retiring to Broomfield.  

The Italian community of Colorado has certainly lost one of its most dedicated citizens.  Gianfranco’s passion for sharing the Italian language and culture led him, under the leadership of his brother Giulio, to establish the Denver Chapter of the Dante Alighieri Society in 1985.  He served as President, held other offices for nearly his entire life and was instrumental in bringing many musical groups from Italy to perform in Colorado.  His pride and joy was the monthly Notiziario; he handed off its publication only in the last month of his life.  Gianfranco was also active in the Order of Sons and Daughters of Italy in America, and he was honored to be named “Italian American of the Year” by the Italian American Business Association in 2021.

Gianfranco loved sports, none more than those played by his grandchildren.  But his passion was soccer, which he played, coached, refereed and watched religiously, a faithful fan of Lazio in Serie A and certainly of the Azzurri, the Italian National Team.  He never wavered in his support of all the Colorado teams, often following them out of state.  But for Gianfranco, the true joy of travel was visiting family and friends throughout the world.  His favorite destinations were Italy, Texas and Mexico, and he was blessed to have returned to all of them in 2023.

In retirement, he was able to fully enjoy golf and worked as a Ranger at the Broadlands Golf Course.  The Wednesday Ladies League will miss his humor, his smile and his positive energy.  Retirement also afforded him time to finally put in order his enormous stamp collection.  He met other local enthusiasts at meetings of local stamp clubs, and in his last weeks he guided his granddaughter through the process of adding a few recent purchases to his treasured Italian collection.

The most important thing to Gianfranco was his family, who surrounded him in his last days and in whose heart he will live forever.  He is deeply missed and lovingly remembered by his wife of 58 years, Pamela, his brother Romano, his sisters-in-law Camilla and Rosa, his sons and their wives Giandomenico and Jessica and Roberto and Jami.  He adored his four grandchildren Margot, Lorenzo, Arianna and Mia.   His nieces, nephews, goddaughters and their children were dear to him as were his many cousins and their families.

Gianfranco’s family and friends are invited to celebrate his life in a Mass of Christian Burial at Mt. Olivet Catholic Cemetery on Wednesday, May 1, 2024, at 11:30 am with a Rosary beginning at 11:00 am.  The service will be streamed live at:


A reception will follow at The Club at Rolling Hills, 15707 West 26th Ave., Golden, CO 80401.

In lieu of flowers,
please send donations to the Scholarship Fund of the Dante Alighieri Society of Denver.