Lillian Tambellini

December 11, 1936 ~ January 16, 2024 (age 87) 87 Years Old

Lillian Tambellini Obituary


Of Brookline, passed away peacefully, surrounded by her loving family and went home to Jesus on January 16, 2024.  The memory of Lillian’s life has been passed down to her children, Gary Tambellini and Renee Tambellini-Goetz.  Lillian was a beloved grandmother to Justin and Vanessa Goetz, Alexandra Tambellini-Kumar, Juliana Tambellini and Domenic Tambellini.  She was a great-grandmother to Julian and Vincent Kumar.  She was preceded by her parents, beloved husband Eugene, and brothers Lido and Pete Tambellini. 

Lillian was born in Pittsburgh’s Mount Oliver neighborhood to Mario and Fortunata Tambellini from Sant’Alessio, Lucca.  Her loving parents immigrated to the United States in 1926 and established the Tambellini restaurant on Pittsburgh’s south side.  She grew up in a time of self-reliance.  Lillian was influenced by her mother and father’s entrepreneurial spirit.  She respected the life of serving the family restaurant patrons with a smile and delightful mannerisms. 

For decades, Tambellini’s Restaurant in the South Side was a cornerstone of the local community. You would find Lillian serving breakfast, large omelets, buttered toast and Nickolas coffee.  As a member of her community, she would attend mass at Saint Casimir, and was involved in the school’s dance ensemble competitions.  She graduated High School in 1953. 

In the summer of 1955, she met her husband Eugene Tambellini (Yes, same last name! It’s a very common name in Lucca).  He spotted her on stage as a contestant for a local Miss Lucca contest at the Casina Rossa (Red House), and it was love at first sight.  After being married in the local church of Sant’Alessio and a brief honeymoon to Venice they arrived in the United States in December of 1955.  They took up residence above the family restaurant on East Carson Street, and after her father’s death Lillian’s husband became the cook while she managed the front of the business with her brother Lido.  The restaurant would see the next generation, where their son and daughter would be involved in the business’s 65-year span. 

When Lillian wasn’t working, she developed countless hobbies.  She ran a wedding favor business with her daughter, introducing beautifully crafted keepsakes with imported Italian netting, silk flowers and crystals for roughly a decade.  She enjoyed renovating, had a great flair for style, and was always adding personal touches to her properties on the South Side.  She was a fierce advocate for the family.  She enjoyed her grandchildren – taking them to get ice cream, teaching them Italian and how to ride their bikes and trips of culinary delight on Penn Avenue.  Lillian was always fully present and her grandchildren admired the celebratory nature of her 46 years of marriage. 

Over the years, friends and family found wonderful ways of describing her – a gift, a beautiful light, easy to get along with, always sincere and thoughtful, someone who loved to sing, attentive to people, and could connect with anyone in a matter of minutes.  She was a 25-year member of Lucchesi Nel Mondo, Pittsburgh Chapter, always serving her famous Torta Di Erba (Spinach Cake) at the yearly summer picnic. 

The family would like to thank the staff at Paramount resident home on Knoedler Road for the loving care she received.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Catholic Charities, Diocese of Pittsburgh (Allegheny County).  Join us in saying goodbye to a wonderful woman and a beautiful mother.  There will be a service for those who want to say goodbye to Lillian. 

Family and friends will be received at Frank F. DeBor Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Inc., 1065 Brookline Blvd., 412-561-0380, on Saturday, at 9 a.m. until time of the Mass of Christian Burial in the Church of the Resurrection (St. Teresa of Kolkata Parish), at 11:30 a.m. 




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January 20, 2024

9:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Frank F. DeBor Funeral Home
1065 Brookline Boulevard
Pittsburgh, PA 15226

Mass of Christian Burial
January 20, 2024

11:30 AM
Resurrection Church/St. Teresa of Kolkata Parish
1100 Creedmoor Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15226


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