Idyllwild lost a beautiful lady the morning of Saturday, June 20, 2015. Dawn Michelle Giordani’s loving family was at her bedside as she was released from her battle with pneumonia. She was 47 when she went home to be with her Lord and Savior.
Michelle was born in Newport Beach December 14, 1967. Her childhood was spent in Hawthorne, California, where she was the oldest of three children. As she was growing up, she learned construction skills and the use of power tools from her stepdad.
Michelle loved to make beautiful things and had a special gift for creating original knitted and crocheted hats, gloves and scarves. She was very skilled with a paintbrush and crafted exquisite floral wreathes, scented sachet candles and other unique items. She was as adept with a pressure washer as a hot glue gun and was a perfectionist in all she did.
After Michelle graduated from high school in Culver City, she worked in Los Angeles Unified School District with special education students. Her compassion for others led to a 7-year career of in-home health nursing. Michelle’s caring for others was demonstrated in the types of jobs she held and the pride she took in raising her daughter, Danielle, as a single mother and, later, serving as her mother’s caregiver while Momma underwent cancer treatment.
“Dani,” who has her mother’s red hair and freckles, was the love of her life. Michelle worked hard to provide a warm and loving home for her in Idyllwild, sometimes holding down three jobs at once. She baked strawberry shortcake for Dani’s birthday every year and loved to spoil her with hand-made clothes and accessories.
Michelle’s second love of her life was Snax, her Chihuahua. They were inseparable. He was her best friend and allowed her to dress him up to keep warm. She bought a stroller so she could take him out if it was too cold or wet to walk with her.
Michelle was known for her very generous heart, her love of animals, the color blue, dark chocolate honeycombs, reading, gardening, crafts, and computer games. Friends admired her sharp wit, willingness to help anyone and loyalty to family. Michelle had a strong work ethic and reputation as a hard worker at Jo’An’s, The Christmas Store, Swiss Fondue and Idyllwild Ice Cream and Jerky. She was very proud of her position as manager of the ice cream store and cared for it like it was her own. The ice cream cone flag at the store was her last Mother’s Day gift, which she requested and proudly hung out front.
Michelle joined the Community Presbyterian Church after attending a sunrise service at Inspiration Point in 2013. She was very proud on her baptism day to sign the church attendance as a “MEMBER.” She selected a Bible as a Christmas gift that year, had her name embossed on the purple cover, and took it with her to the hospital the last week of her life. She truly loved the Lord and her church family. Her favorite hymn was “May You Take This Song With You.” Her church community and family will carry treasured memories in their hearts always and receive comfort and peace knowing she rests in the arms of her Heavenly Father.
Michelle’s survivors include her beloved Snax; fiancé Mark De Antonio, whom she adored as her partner in life and at the ice cream shop. The three of them shared a home in Pine Cove. Other survivors are daughter Danielle Giordani; mother Patricia Wilson; stepfather John Wilson; sister Sandra (Jeremy) French; brother Ed (Joy) Sanders; niece Angela Sanders and nephew Austin French. Michelle was loved as a daughter-in–law by Mark’s mother, Susan De Antonio, who was also her deacon.
Family held a picnic at Lake Hemet where they memorialized Michelle by planting an oak tree nearby with her ashes. Michelle loved her mountain home of Pine Cove and Idyllwild and will be missed and remembered. A memorial service will be at the Idyllwild Community Presbyterian Church Saturday, October 17th at 11 a.m. A reception immediately follows at the church. All are invited to attend.