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Lena Sinacola

November 17, 1925 December 26, 2021
Lena Sinacola
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Obituary for Lena Sinacola

Lena Sinacola, of Brighton, passed away peacefully on December 26, 2021, while surrounded by her family. She was 96 years old.

Lena is preceded in death by her beloved husband of 58 years, Joseph John Sinacola.
Daughter of the late Domenico and Lucia Mancini. She is survived by her children, Mary Ann (Mark) Rossman, Joanne (David) Durham, Dennis (Charlynn) Sinacola, and Brenda (Robert Williams) Sinacola; grandchildren, Ann, Nicholas, and Paul Rossman, Gina, Jennifer, and Michael Durham, Shawn, Alex, and Joseph Sinacola; great-grandchildren, Elena, Gia, Gabriella, Haley, Andrew, Miriam, Tyler, Francesca, Charlotte, Clayton, Cole, Shay, Shanelle, Kennedy, and Kollyns; also many extended family and dear friends.

Visitation will be held at Lynch & Sons Funeral Home, 600 E. Main St., Brighton, MI 48116 on Sunday, January 9, 2022 from 1 - 6 pm. Time of Sharing to begin at 4:30 PM with a Rosary to follow.


Funeral Service at St. Patrick Catholic Church, 711 Rickett Rd., Brighton, MI 48116, on Monday, January 10, 2022 at 10:30 AM with gathering beginning at 9:30 AM.

Lifelong Learner

Lena Sinacola was a social being. Whenever she entered a room, her radiating smile and twinkling eyes sent a clear message that said, “I am so happy to see you.”  Questioning usually ensued, as she was interested in everyone’s life. She had a down-to-earth attitude and was plainspoken. Lena was a devoted daughter, wife to Joseph Sinacola, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, and friend. She was a meticulous seamstress, and excelled in the culinary arts. She saw the beauty and art in nature and loved to travel. Lena loved learning. One of her famous quotes was, “The old lady didn’t want to die because she had more to learn.”

Lena was born into an Italian immigrant family in Detroit, Michigan on November 17, 1925. She had a special relationship with her mother Lucy who was also an advocate for learning, and she was forever grateful for her mom’s friendship and guidance. When little Lena walked into her kindergarten classroom for the first time, she discovered that the teacher and most of the other children spoke English. She struggled to communicate in this environment, but she soon became bilingual. The language barrier, however, somewhat stifled her ability to learn to read and write as quickly as the other students, but it did not stifle her love for learning. Lena spoke fondly of her eighth grade teacher who took the time to help her with the mechanics of the language. As time passed into adulthood, she continued to improve her reading and writing proficiency. 

Lena was a creative and fastidious seamstress. She learned the basics from her mother and attended a vocational school after eighth grade where she honed her skills. She made all of her own clothes and her children’s clothes including Easter coats; suit jackets; and prom, wedding and bridesmaid dresses. Her work was flawless. After her family was grown, she invested in computerized sewing and embroidery machines. She was not daunted by the idea of graduating to high-tech equipment. Her focus was to create functional works of art to give away to family and friends.

When computers came into vogue, Lena would often say, “I need to get a computer. Everything on TV is .com this or .com that. If I want to learn more about what they are talking about I need a computer.”  She was well into her seventies when she invested in her first computer. Her devoted friends Noreen and August Weitkamp visited her often, and August became her computer tutor and tech guy. She was soon looking up ‘Sewing with Nancy’ and new recipes; checking the weather; reading and sending emails; and even using Facebook. Of course, she also had to have an iphone, which allowed her to FaceTime with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Lena’s marriage to Joe was filled with adventures and learning. They were truly a match made in heaven. They gardened together, planted trees wherever they could, built several homes, and invested in property, mostly farmland. When Joe started his own construction company, Lena did all of the bookkeeping. They supported each other in every possible way. 

After Joe retired, they bought a motorhome and explored many of the southern states. They loved staying at campgrounds where they had activities, especially music for dancing. They loved to dance. They explored real estate, national parks, fairs, and flea markets. Lena and Joe eventually bought a lot in Lakeland, Florida where they wintered for multiple years. A trip to Italy with their daughter Brenda was one of their most memorable vacations. Their favorite retirement investment was their homey cottage, purchased in 1986, on Burt Lake in Indian River where they spent much of their time. They loved that place. Then came the boats. Yes, these people who had hardly ever spent any time in the water previously, became boaters. They even took swimming lessons at the local high school.

When Joe was in his early eighties he suffered from dementia. Lena lovingly cared for him at home for three years. When he died in 2006, she was devastated, but she lifted her spirits by getting even more involved in her quilting and embroidery. She played pinochle at the church where she made many friends, and at the age of eighty began going to yoga classes both in Brighton and in northern Michigan. She also went to Silver Sneaker classes twice a week. She was always up for traveling and explored  Italy, Croatia, Turkey and two Grecian Islands. She visited Banff, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, Chicago, and California on multiple occasions.  

Lena was inspired by her mother’s love of learning. When Joe died, she did not allow her depression to get her down. She pursued life, love, and learning with even more vigor. She continued to better herself in every possible way.  She was eager for information about family members and friends until the very end. The old lady who didn’t want to die finally learned enough and departed, leaving behind a beautiful legacy of lifelong learning. 

Memorial Contributions can be made to:

The Cross in the Woods National Shrine

WeShare: Donations Made Easy

7078 M-68 Indian River MI 49749



Livingston County Catholic Charities

Be Our Guest Adult Day Service

2020 E Grand River Rd #104

Howell, MI 48843


Previous Events





1:00 PM 1/9/2022 1:00:00 PM - 6:00 PM 1/9/2022 6:00:00 PM
Lynch & Sons Funeral Directors - Brighton

600 East Main Street
Brighton, MI 48116

Time of Sharing will begin at 4:30 PM with the Rosary to follow.

Lynch & Sons Funeral Directors - Brighton
600 East Main Street Brighton 48116 MI
United States





10:30 AM 1/10/2022 10:30:00 AM
St. Patrick Catholic Church

711 Rickett Road
Brighton, MI 48116

Gathering to begin at 9:30 AM.

St. Patrick Catholic Church
711 Rickett Road Brighton 48116 MI
United States

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