Antique Vintage 02


Margaret (Bentcliff) Fanella

October 18, 1942 ~ October 27, 2018 (age 76)

SUN CITY, AZ - Margaret “Marge” Fanella, 76, went to her eternal home on October 27, 2018 at Desert Winds Assisted Living in Peoria, AZ., surrounded by her loving family. Services were held at Desert Winds Assisted Living in Peoria, AZ on Oct 30, 2018 with her son, Rev. John Fanella, officiating. She will be interred in Beulah, ND in the near future next to her beloved husband Gerri.


Margaret was born on Oct 18, 1942 in Chicago, IL to Elmer and May Bell (Shepherd) Bentcliff. She met her sweetheart, Gerri Fanella, in 1958. Gerri and Marge were married on Aug. 27, 1960 in Grayslake, IL., and enjoyed 50 years of marriage before Gerri was taken to his eternal home on Dec 22, 2010.


Margaret worked in the law office of Dennis and Lois Ryan in Libertyville, IL for many years. Later, she ran her own housecleaning business in AZ for many years, and volunteered at thrift shops in ND and PA where the proceeds were given to charity. Her most important job was raising here two sons, Gerri and John, which she did with all her heart. Her son Gerri Dale was born on July 9, 1962; and John Jeffery was born on Oct 10, 1970. The family moved from Illinois to Phoenix, AZ in 1980.


Margaret accepted Jesus Christ as her Savior and Lord in 1982, and was baptized by Pastor Pat Shaughnessy at Northwest Community Church in Phoenix. Gerri and Marge moved to Raleigh, NC when Gerri was transferred with Revlon Cosmetics. After retirement, they moved to Beulah, ND where their son John was Pastor of Beulah Congregational Church. After Gerri’s death, Margaret moved to Harleysville, PA in 2013 when John was called to serve Old Goshenhoppen Reformed Church in Woxall, PA. In 2017, she moved back to AZ to help care for her son Gerri, who suffered a stroke.


Margaret was a member of Old Goshenhoppen Reformed Church in Woxall, PA and Beulah Congregational Church before that. In Beulah, she was a member of the Friendly Circle, sang in the choir, served as an usher, helped with Kids for Christ and Vacation Bible School, and volunteered as a receptionist. She was also a member of the Beulah Senior Citizens and Red Hats and enjoyed their friendship very much. In PA, Margaret attended Bible studies, Daytimers, and worked at the church’s famous “Oyster Picnic.” She was also involved in the Senior Citizens and Red Hats. In AZ, she attended Grace Bible Church, attended Bible study taught by Pat Shaughnessy, was involved in Red Hats, and enjoyed time at Desert Winds Assisted Living.  


Margaret enjoyed being active and was full of life, love, and kindness toward all. She dearly loved her family and always made home a special and beautiful place. Margaret was small in stature but large in love, faith, and inner strength. She will be missed and treasured by her family and all who knew her.


She is survived by her two sons, Gerri Fanella, Peoria, AZ, and Rev. John (Cheryl) Fanella, Parkston, SD; five grandchildren, Britani (Adis) Bosnic, Phoeniz, AZ., Tony (Brittany) Fanella, Monroe, NC., Jonathan Fanella, Ft. Irwin, CA.,  Faith (Josh) Baker, Clarksville, TN., and Gianna Fanella, Parkston, SD.; five great grandchildren, Kaison and Kenzie Bosnic, Phoenix, AZ., Kynli and Easton Fanella, Monroe, NC., and Ella Baker, Clarksville, TN.; two sisters, Barbara Thomson, Garden City, ID., and Nancy Milosevich, Sun City, AZ.; her Sister in Law and Brother in Law, Fred and Joan Johnson, Wittenberg, WI.; and numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents Elmer and May Bell Bentcliff, her brother William Bentcliff, her sister Betty Hill , and her husband Gerri Fanella.


Special thanks to the staff of Desert Winds Assisted Living and Hospice of the West for their loving care and comfort. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Hospice of the West (AZ).

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