Obituary: Liliana (Vena) Pizzichini, 95 (Updated with arrangements)

Liliana (Vena) Pizzichini passed peacefully on Saturday, January 8, 2022 in the home of her grandson, Christopher and his wife Michelle Haferman. She was just nine days shy of her 96TH birthday.

She was born in Kenosha, WI to Italian American immigrants, Luigi and Angelina (Turco) Vena. Lil, as known to her friends, was a 32-year resident of Kenosha, a 54-plus-year resident of Whitewater, and, most recently, a 9-year resident of Claremore, OK., where she lived with her daughter Patti.

Her entire adult life was a social one, serving and interacting with the public. Lil moved from Kenosha to Whitewater in 1958, with her husband, Pete, and their four children. There she and her husband went into business with her sister Mary and her husband, Tony Rutoski, opening The Main Café, bringing the first pizza and Italian cuisine to the City of Whitewater. After the sale of the restaurant, she managed the camera shop on Main Street for seven years. Then, while with the Commercial Bank for fifteen years, she helped those in the community with their banking needs. Her generous volunteer work was extensive–at the Madison VA Hospital, with Meals-on-Wheels, on the city’s flag committee, and occasionally at M.A.T.C. Fort Atkinson, where she taught Italian cuisine. Lil was a member of the American Legion Aux and the Whitewater Lionettes, serving terms as president for both organizations. She was a member of St. Patrick Catholic Church, where she served on the church council, visited with shut-in members, and belonged to the Christian Mother’s Society. 

Lil spent portions of many winters in Claremore, OK, with her daughter, Patti, prior to moving there in 2012. In Oklahoma, she was a member of St. Cecilia Catholic Church and the Claremore Senior Center. Her additional interests were traveling, dining with friends, furniture refinishing/restoration, writing Letters to the Editor to the Whitewater Register, and playing cards, especially bridge. Above all, she loved her family and spending time with them.

If desired, donations may be made in her name to the Claremore Senior Center, Claremore, OK. 

Lil is survived by her children, Judi Pizzichini, of Whitewater; Patti Converse, of Claremore, OK; Rose Ann Bishop (Bryan), of Whitewater; and Tony Pizzichini (Angie), of Englewood , CO. She is also survived by her sister Mary Rutoski, of Whitewater; 8 grandchildren; 9 great-grandchildren; sister-in-law of many years, Frances Iorio, of Kenosha; and several nieces and nephews.    

A visitation will be held at the Nitardy Funeral Home in Whitewater on Monday, April 25 at 11 a.m. with a graveside service to follow in Calvary Cemetery at noon.

Nitardy Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences can be made at

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