Ernestino "Ernest" - "Ernie" Piantanida

June 17, 1932 ~ December 10, 2018 (age 86) 86 Years Old


Ernest (Ernie) Piantanida peacefully passed away at his home in Rohnert Park, CA on Monday, December 10, 2018. He was born June 17, 1932 in Milan, Italy to Pietro and Ida Piantanida.  

He is survived by his wife JoAnn Ferrera-Piantanida of 4 years of marriage; children Sandra Piantanida of Rohnert Park, CA and Vivian Humphreys of Petaluma CA; grandchildren Michelle Garcia of Santa Rosa, CA; Nicole Wall of Fair Oaks, CA; Brandon Wall of San Jose, CA; Danielle Wall of Yucca Valley, CA; Brian Wall of San Jose, CA; Sarah Humphreys of Petaluma, CA and Katie Humphreys of Petaluma, CA. Ernie was extremely proud of and excited to the anticipated birth of his first great-grandchild this coming June, 2019.

He is preceded in death by his late first wife of 49 years, Vita Piantanida, and his sister Bambina (Bambi) Nominni.

In 1946, at the age of 14, Ernie and his family endured a long voyage across the Atlantic from Ferno, Italy to New York and subsequently to San Francisco, California in search of a better life. He graduated from Mission High in San Francisco in 1951.  He met his first wife, Vita Piantanida at a dance at the Starlight Room at the top of the Sir Francis Drake Hotel In San Francisco.  They fell in love and were married at St. Peter and Paul’s Cathedral in North Beach.  After they were married, they had two daughters, Sandra and Vivian and raised them in Marin County.  He worked for over 40 years in the grocery management business and retired at 62.  After traveling around the world together, he lovingly cared for his wife Vita until she passed away in 2004.

After moving to Sonoma County to be closer to his daughters and grandchildren, he met JoAnn Ferrera. They were married for four and half wonderful years.  They went on lovely cruises to Hawaii, Canada and Alaska. The most memorable trip they took was to his homeland of Italy. Everyone always loved his warm greeting of, “Well hello there!” as he truly enjoyed being around his friends and family. He and JoAnn loved attending concerts, trying local restaurants and going to Italian Club functions.  He was a talented gardener and took pride in his beautiful backyard. He also loved trapshooting with his kids and grandkids. In his earlier years he was an avid hunter of pheasant and deer.

The family wishes to extend their gratitude to his wonderful and loving caregiver, Tukai Seru, his nurse Jennifer Ruiz, and Hospice by the Bay.

There will be private services at the Italian Cemetery in Colma where he will be laid to rest on Thursday, December 20, 2018.  A public "Celebration of Life" will be announced at a future date.

For those who care to, in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Sonoma County Humane Society or Hospice by the Bay.


Private Service

Italian Cemetery

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Ernestino "Ernest" - "Ernie" Piantanida, please visit our floral store.


You can still show your support by sending flowers directly to the family, or by planting a memorial tree in the memory of Ernestino "Ernest" - "Ernie" Piantanida

© 2023 Lafferty & Smith Colonial Chapel. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Accessibility