Irene ("Critch") De Sanctis
  • 75 years old
  • Date of birth: Jan 18, 1939
  • Date of passing: May 28, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

Our loving mother, Irene ("Critch") De Sanctis, passed away suddenly on May 28th from a heart attack.

She was at her home with her nephew Jeff and her friend Alcid when it happened, so we take comfort in knowing that she passed in a place that she loved and with people who loved her by her side. She had been battling colon cancer for some time, but she was responding well to her treatments and we were optimistic about her recovery... so this was such a tragic shock to us and we are heartbroken. We want to thank everyone for the outpouring of heartfelt love and support that we have received that is helping us get through such a difficult time. 

We have created this memorial website to share with our Mom's family and friends to honor the remarkable life of a great woman, mother and grandmother. Please feel free to post comments, stories or photos.  If Critch touched your life, we hope you will share that so that her grandaughter Elise will forever know the full measure of this amazing woman.

We have arranged a memorial celebration at the Descanso Gardens at noon on Tuesday, June 10th. It is located at 1418 Descanso Drive, La Canada Flintridge. This was a very special place for her that she enjoyed to visit. It will be open to all who knew our Mother, and while we know this will be a sad occasion to come together, we want to hear more of the laughter and joy she spread to so many people throughout her life. 

Our mother always loved and cared for animals and she generously donated to the ASPCA. If anyone would like to donate in memory of her, here is the link to their website:


With deepest thanks,

Barron and Gareth 


Memorial Tributes
This tribute was added by Jeff Lind on 28th May 2015

"" You are never forgotten and always remembered ""

This tribute was added by Gareth DeSanctis on 28th May 2015

"Not a day goes by without you in my mind. Forever and always."

This tribute was added by Jeff Lind on 18th January 2015

"Miss you and think of you always."

This tribute was added by alcid gosselin on 18th January 2015

"Great pics---thanks for sharing---great memories--will never forget your beautiful smile and the laughter we shared--miss you a bunch Critch--Abby sends her love           in love Sid"

This tribute was added by Jeff Lind on 17th June 2014

"I received several photos from Critch's nephew James that he had taken from the memorial service and during his stay. He captured moments of family and friends celebrating Critch's life."

This tribute was added by Jennifer Brady on 10th June 2014

"Critch was my dearest Aunt. I have always loved and admired her. Selfless and generous are an understatement- those who knew and loved her would agree.
She had a heart of gold and touched many lives including our grandmother Nancy who visited Los Feliz two months each year. Critch treated her as if she was her own mother. As a young child I remember Grandma's return to Connecticut and her glowing smile as she shared details and memories of her visit. My family and I are forever grateful.
I will remember visits with Critch in New York, Connecticut, Los Feliz, Palm Dessert, and Las Vegas. July 4th parties, first trip to Disneyland, tours of Los Angeles, Broadway shows with Barron, Gareth, and Grandma Ethel.....and yes a Tom Jones concert!!! A very cool aunt indeed!!!
Am grateful for our recent time spent together in April- especially that my children Philip and Sophia were able to meet and spend time with Critch. Philip will always remember the late night rummy games during his sleepover!
"AC" will forever hold a spot in my heart.
Special love to Barron, Gareth, Christine, Ellie and Jeff during this difficult time."

This tribute was added by Jeff (Jennifer) Lee on 9th June 2014

"Critch was like no one else we've ever met and we will miss her greatly. Her generosity was endless and she was always so welcoming. She was great fun to be with and we loved her infectious laugh. Critch was one of the most hospitable people we have known.
I first met Critch in 1979-80 when I was on a travelling scholarship from Edinburgh. Her TWA friend, Pat, said I should contact Critch and I was so lucky to stay with Critch and her family in Los Feliz for several weeks .. Those were the days of English nanny, Judy, and the Levi jeep. For me, coming from a farm in Scotland, it was like heaven!  Critch and I became friends and we kept in touch through letters. Years later my family and I returned and stayed with Critch on many unforgettable  visits.
We feel very lucky to have known and spent time with Critch both in her beautiful home in Los Feliz and in the desert.

My husband Jake, daughter Hannah and I will really miss Critch. She was a very special person.
With our fond love.
Jeff, Jake and Hannah. x"

This tribute was added by Judy Webb-Abernathy on 6th June 2014

"Critch a wonderful strong, high spirited woman !

My first trip to Califonia was when I was 21yrs old to stay with the De Sanctis family to be the nanny for Barron and Gareth. I was very serious about taking the best care of these beautiful boys as I had been to college in England to train as a nanny. I remember like it was yesterday, poor Barron developed impetigo shortly after I started, luckily I knew what it was and called the doctor. Critch was away at the time flying for TWA, she was so happy I took care of everything while she was gone. Crrich was a wonderful mother as when she returned from a 3-4 day trip she would drop her suitcase at the door and run to her boys. I also remember poor Gareth having to go to hospital to clear a blocked tear duct, Critch was very diligent in getting it fixed, poor baby was only 7mths old !  As the boys got older Critch made sure they had a good education starting at the pre-school The Country School and then on to Campbell Hall, both in Studio City. Critch was always a lot of fun as she loved to have a parties from winter to summer. All of her boys friends adored her !  At Gareth's wedding she made everyone so welcome, I do treasure the moment when my husband Paul made her laugh while they had a moment together!

Sorry, I am writing this late at night !

Critch's spirit lives on, she will be greatly missed, a lovely lady who loved the great things in life. Forever in our hearts x"

This tribute was added by Brad Mak on 5th June 2014

"Critch was like a mother to me growing up. As neighbors, Critch took me into her house as if I were one of her own sons. She was always loving, generous, selfless and kind in every way. A wonderful person who was a major presence and positive influence in my life. She will be missed greatly."

This tribute was added by kathryn mongelli on 4th June 2014

"My brother and I were incredibly fortunate to have Critch as our neighbor. There was no home more welcoming, filled with fun (treats, toys, animals of all types, fabulous Christmas decorations) than Critch's home. Her vivacity, style, and sense of humor were a significant presence during my childhood and her lessons of generosity and kindness to animals were lifelong.  A remarkable presence who will be missed."

This tribute was added by alcid gosselin on 4th June 2014

"...getting to know Critch over the last 20 years has been life altering for me. Critch always made me feel special and welcomed. She made me feel a part of her family. I have been Critch's hairdresser weekly for the past 15 years and it was truly an honor to be considered her friend. I attended many events with her--- too many to mention here--- and have been a guest in her home on many occasions for her elaborate parties where she spared no expense or kindness for her guests (her friends). I have shared many a humorous story with her and we both have laughed so hard we cried...as you can imagine it will be a very hard void in my life to fill...i and Abby will never forget you Critch and will miss you terribly. Thank you for being a part of our lives. We love you forever--and celebrate your awesomeness. Sending Love to Gareth and Barron and to Christine and Elise and to Jeff and all her extended family   in love Alcid Gosselin"

This tribute was added by Richard Garratt on 4th June 2014

"Auntie Irene was always a source of fun and love on her visits to England when I was growing up. The house always became a brighter place in her presence and nothing was ever too much for her.
On our visits to the US she always welcomed us with open arms and spoilt us for the duration of our stay.
A truly rare and wonderful lady who will always have a special place in our hearts."

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This memorial is administered by:

Christine DeSanctis
gareth desanctis


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