AFRO-AMERICAN MUSIC INSTITUTE CELEBRATES 36 YEARS
Pain Relief Beyond Belief
Obituary of James P. “Jimmy” Sapienza
Of Forest Hills, age 71, died on Saturday, February 6, 2021 after a long, courageous battle with kidney disease.
Beloved husband of Paula (Bruecken) Sapienza for 25 years.
Loving father of Mia and Keely Sapienza, Rachel (Chris) Mamakos, Joseph (Christie) Simon and DeNiro, “The Weiner Dog”.
Treasured grandfather of Sophia, Jackson, Camden, Noelle and Summer.
Dear brother of Rosette (Bill) Hillgrove, Thomas (Betsy) Sapienza and Frank (Shelia) Sapienza, Patrick (Karen) Donnelly and Kathleen (Tony Dixon) Donnelly.
Son of the late Salvatore Sapienza and late Alice Sapienza Donnelly.
Jimmy is also survived by nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
Jimmy served as a medic in the Air Force during the Vietnam War era. He was a man of many talents, including writing music, designing and making t-shirts, and singing, but mostly known as an entertainer extraordinaire. Jimmy formed his band, Jimmy Sapienza and the Five Guys Named Moe in the 1980’s. His group became the official band of KDKA Spaghetti Breakfast with John Cigna. Jimmy’s band played at multiple events and venues, including night clubs, weddings, theme-parks, Pittsburgh’s First Night, and church festivals. He was a regular performer in his hometown of Forest Hills at Community Day and for his town’s Centennial in 2019. In 2006, for the Bicentennial of Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette named Jimmy’s tribute song, “I Love Pittsburgh”, as the city’s Best ‘Burgh Song. He was most proud of that song which he wrote and performed at every show.
Jimmy performed ‘Just a Gigolo’ on Live With Studio A at WQED, which won an Emmy at the Mid-Atlantic Emmy Awards in 2007. A few of his fan favorite songs were ‘Caldonia’ (for Mia), ‘That Old Black Magic’ (for Keely), and ‘Honey Chile’ (for Paula).
Friends are welcome on Valentine’s Day, Sunday, February 14, from 2-8pm at Patrick T. Lanigan Funeral Home & Crematory, Inc., Turtle Creek / Monroeville Chapel, 1111 Monroeville Ave., Turtle Creek, 412-823-9350. At 6pm, there will be an “Open Mic” for folks to share stories, sing a song or play a tune in remembrance and in honor of Jimmy.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in St. Maurice Church of St. Joseph the Worker Parish in Forest Hills on Monday, February 15, 2021 at 11 a.m. followed by a Presentation of Military Honors.
Memorial donations may be made to the Little Sisters of the Poor, 1028 Benton Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15212.
The Funeral Mass will be live-streamed through www.laniganfuneralhome.com by clicking on this obituary and then on the live-stream option below where it indicates 'Access video".
I had the pleasure of working for Jimmy. He was a lot of fun and down to earth guy. He was definitely one of the great showmen of Pittsburgh who really wanted and did connect with his audience as other great Pittsburgh showmen. God bless you Jimmy and all of those who love him and will miss hi greatly.
Thank you Nelson.