June 14, 2019
Small in stature but big in heart, spirit and mind, her mission was to make the world a better place one person, one meal, one encounter at a time. Nessia “Noussy” Pensa, (bn Nessia Abikzir) passed away on June 14, 2019. She is predeceased by her beloved husband of 60 years, Ildo Pensa, her parents, Elie and Marie Abikzir, and her siblings, Mino Abikzir and Rachel Rofe. She is survived by her devoted children, Laury Pensa (Lisa LaFronz) and Marianne Pensa Spangenberg (Marc Spangenberg), and grandchildren of Gaby (Ian Hazelhoff) and Jackie Spangenberg, Kyle and Logan Pensa. Born on January 24, 1931 in Alexandria, Egypt, Noussy grew up in a diverse and multi-cultural environment, attended French and English schools and spoke five languages. While attending the English Girls College, she met her future husband and life-long love, Ildo Pensa. In 1956, amid growing political turmoil, they left the country of their cherished childhood and travelled first to Italy then to France where they lived before immigrating to the US in 1959. In Brooklyn, NY, they re-united with family and friends, then moved to New Jersey where they raised their family. After their children had grown, Noussy and Ildo moved to Greensboro, NC and then Mexico as Ildo’s career as a chemical engineer in the textile industry advanced. Their ten years in Mexico were especially heartwarming and reminiscent of the relaxed lifestyle of their youth. Everywhere they lived, she adapted to local cultures and re-created a loving and fun atmosphere in their home. With her warm and welcoming ways, she entertained often and developed lifelong friendships. Cooking was her way of gathering friends and she found joy in watching her guests savor her culinary masterpieces. Her menus reflected her diverse background, but most often she improvised to create her own unique cuisine. Noussy was charismatic and feisty, had a wonderful sense humor and was known for her quick wit, clever banter and interesting conversation. Her incredible memory and sharp intellect never dulled with age, as she regaled family and friends with her interesting and funny stories, jokes, and discussions about history, literature and world events, while enjoying her trademark Johnnie Walker Black Label, served neat! She had a joie de vivre that transcended any dark days. Her love for meeting people was endless. She wanted everyone she met to find peace and happiness, and could be counted on for some words of wisdom, comfort and advice. Noussy was a prolific writer who shared her thoughts in essays, poetry, letters, journals, and long texts with friends and family, even embracing modern techniques like the cute bitmoji’s made to look like her. She also embroidered, knitted and sewed beautifully with the smallest stitches. Always chic and well-dressed, with her nails perfectly manicured, she never went out without looking just right. With decreasing mobility in her later years, she was very grateful to her dear friend and driver, Gabe Papadopoulous, for helping her maintain her independence which she so treasured and for always taking her on the scenic route. The funeral service at Volk Leber Funeral Home was private. In keeping with her compassion for the poor, the oppressed and exploited, she was an avid supporter of the Southern Poverty Law Center, https://www.splcenter.org, whose mission is to fight hate and bigotry and to seek justice for the most vulnerable in society.
Small in stature but big in heart, spirit and mind, her mission was to make the world a better place one person, one meal, one encounter at a time. Nessia “Noussy” Pensa, (bn Nessia Abikzir) passed away on June 14, 2019. She is predeceased... View Obituary & Service Information
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