Genazzi dies in crash


A young woman who grew up in Point Reyes Station died late Sunday night when her truck crashed into a tree near Sebastopol, according to California Highway Patrol.

Ellen Genazzi, 21, passed away at the scene of the collision on Bloomfield Road. 

Ms. Genazzi, whose family has local roots stretching back over a century, was attending Santa Rosa Junior College with aspirations of becoming a nurse. She was a graduate of Tomales High School. 

She is survived by her mother, Diane, and two siblings. Her father, Fred, died in a motorcycle accident when Ms. Genazzi was 5. 

A guest book on the Santa Rosa Press Democrat’s website this week filled with dozens of comments, mourning the loss of a bright young woman. Ellie, as she was called, was busy with school, work and spending time with her family, wrote Rhonda Cheavacci, who worked with Ellie in the bakery department at Sprouts, a natural and organic grocery in Petaluma.

Ms. Cheavacci said she was in shock over the loss of the girl with the infectious smile and cheerful demeanor, who was always ready to lend a hand to other departments. “When the deli was busy and her help was needed she was the one to jump on over and start making sandwiches,” she wrote.

“Not much time for herself yet giving so much time to others,” Ms. Cheavacci went on. “My heart is broken and filled with sadness for such a beautiful sweet young life gone in a flash. Many of us at work will miss her deeply.”

Fred Gilardi, Ms. Genazzi’s fourth grade teacher, recalled her zeal for learning. “She worked hard and I remember she was always proud of her accomplishments, whether it was a school project or something she had baked for 4-H and won a blue ribbon for. Believe me, she won a lot of blue ribbons!” he told the Light.

Eileen Castelli, a camp clerk at a 4-H summer camp in Marin, recalled meeting Ms. Genazzi about a decade ago and watching her mature over the summers she spent at camp. “I will always remember Ellie at Las Posadas 4-H Camp. Watching her grow from a camper into a staff. Laughing and dancing and helping and encouraging campers,” she said.


Ellie Genazzi is survived by her mother, Diane Genazzi of Sebastopol; sister, Riley Genazzi of Petaluma; brother, Freddie Genazzi of Sebastopol; grandmother, May Genazzi of Point Reyes Station; and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. She is pre-deceased by her father, Fred. A visitation will be held on Thursday, August 29 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., with a vigil service at 7 p.m., at the Parent-Sorenson Mortuary & Crematory, in Petaluma. A funeral mass takes place at 11 a.m. on Friday, August 30 at Sacred Heart Church, in Olema.