Nov. 23, 2016 – West Bend, WI – Giannina L. Radcliffe, 75, of West Bend, passed away on Wednesday, November 16, 2016, at Kathy Hospice in the town of Polk, with her family at her side.
Giannina was born on December 2, 1940, the daughter of the late James A. and Eda (Perantoni) Burnett. In 1963 she was united in marriage to John E. Radcliffe at St. Andrews Church in Scotia, New York.
A naturally curious and intelligent person, Nina was fluent in English and Italian and had studied German, Russian and Old English. She majored in Chemistry at the University of Vermont and had a BA plus two Master’s Degrees from the State University of New York. She and her husband, John, prioritized education and passed this on, with both of their children going on to complete post-graduate degrees.
She had over 30 years of teaching experience and helped found two private schools, acting as first principal of one. She was active intellectually and physically, with a rich breadth of personal experience; she had climbed in the Adirondacks, the Serra Nevadas and the Alps, had bicycled, walked and motored through Scotland and the Scottish Isles, had traveled Europe, explored the Caribbean, and driven from coast to coast throughout the United States.
A major cornerstone of Nina’s life was her strong faith. She served on the vestry and as Senior Warden of St James Episcopal Church in West Bend and worked on numerous committees including the Executive Committee in the Diocese of Milwaukee. Combining her dedication to faith and her love of music, Nina was a long-time member of the Saint James choir.
Nina was an ardent genealogist, collecting digital and paper records and photographs, as well as conducting interviews to identify and develop the stories of family members, both Scottish and Italian. She corresponded with fellow enthusiasts throughout the world and was active in Burnett family gatherings in Scotland with her Chief, James Burnett of Leys.
Through her communications, Nina developed a strong connection to family at home and in Scotland, a gift she passes on to her children and grandchildren. Nina was fully engaged in the lives of her family and friends and thoroughly enjoyed spending time with people. Everywhere she went, this love of interaction led others to her and developed life-long relationships nearby and abroad; she genuinely cared for people and became involved in their lives, and this interest in others in turn drew them to her.
Finally, but not least, Nina drew great strength and security from her family and her husband, John, to whom she was married for 53 years, with their recent 50th anniversary capped by a family trip to Scotland, during which she shared her knowledge of the land and the family with her grandchildren, a gift of identity and belonging.
Those Giannina leaves behind to cherish her memory include her husband, John; two children, Elizabeth (David Kramlich) Radcliffe and their two children, Madison and Campbell, of Brooklyn, New York and Kristofer (Andrea) Radcliffe of Gig Harbor, Washington and their two children, Hayden and Charlotte; a brother, Scott (Claire) Burnett of Falmouth, Maine; a sister, Ann (Michael) Dahlin of Prescott, Arizona; other relatives and friends here and in Scotland.
Funeral rites for Giannina will be held at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, December 3, 2016, at St. James Episcopal Church, 148 S. 8th Avenue, in West Bend. The Rt. Rev. Steven Andrew Miller, DD, also assisted by Rev. Martha Branson Berger, Rev. Melinda Valintine Davis, and Rev. Deacon Cathleen McCurry Milliken will officiate and committal will follow in the church columbarium.
Giannina’s family will join with the gathering at the church immediately following the service to celebrate her life.