Maxine Louise Rinella thumbnail

Maxine Louise Rinella

June 29, 1920 - July 9, 2017

Maxine Rinella was born in Portland, Oregon, on June 29,1920 to John Allara and Amelia Gallia Allara, after they immigrated from Tonco, Alessandria, Italy. The family resided at the 39th and Bybee in Portland, Oregon. Maxine attended and graduated from Our Lady of Sorrows Elementary School, and Girls Polytechnic High School, in 1937. Maxine had her first job at Fred Meyer’s first store in downtown Portland, where she met Tony Rinella, who operated produce stand there.



Maxine and Tony were married on July 5, 1942. Tony was a Sergeant in the US Army during World War II, and was stationed at West Point, teaching radio to cadets at the US Military Academy. On May 11, 1945, their first daughter was born in the Academy Hospital. Tony was discharged from the Army later that year, and the family of three returned home to Portland, and in June of 1946 settled in a home in the Mt Tabor Neighborhood. They had two more daughters and a son. They became very active in Ascension Parish, where all four of their children attended Ascension Elementary School.



Tony returned to the produce business, first with a produce stand on Yamhill Street, and then with Thriftway and United Grocers. Maxine was always with him and supported him, in all that he did, in every way possible, and together they raised a wonderful family.



Starting in 1953, Tony and Maxine, accepted the co-chairmanship of the Ascension Parish Spaghetti Dinner, which for many years, was one of the most successful spaghetti dinners in Portland. Maxine was always in charge of making the sauce, and making sure it was perfect. She was always proud of the quality of sauce, which received many accolades. Tony and Maxine served as chairmen together with the help of their friends Tom and Eileen Scafidi, until Tony’s death in 1982, about a month before the 1982 dinner. Maxine immediately took over as chairman, and co-chaired with four close family and friends. Together the five of them worked hard to lead a very successful dinner each year until, after the 2005 dinner, Maxine decided that would be her last year. All five decided to retire and hang up their ladles, passing on the tradition to others.



After Tony passed away, Maxine became involved in many other activities as well. She placed foreign exchange students with Portland families and in the various Portland high schools, through a program called EF. She also placed Japanese students with families. She would spend quality time with each of them, forming many wonderful friendships.



Maxine traveled often. She traveled in the US, and in Europe. In Europe, she visited her mother’s family in Tonco, Italy and Tony’s family in Milan. She also visited various other countries and many exchange students that she had placed here in Portland, and their families. Maxine was always very sociable, and loved to visit with people, and know about their lives, and what they were doing. Her constant interest in others, caused her to build a wide and vast number of friends, encompassing a wide range of generations and ages. While most of Maxine’s large number of friends, close to her in age, have passed on, she still has a very large number of friends and family, spanning younger generations, that love her dearly.



Maxine has been preceded in death by her Parents, John and Amelia, her Sister Dolly, and her brothers, Max and Geno. Maxine has also been preceded in death by her Husband, Tony, her Son, Jerry, and her Daughter, Jeannette. Maxine is survived by her daughters, Louise and Peggy, and grandchildren, Christina (Maury), Amy (Dan), Melissa (Andy), Beth (Jason), Tony (Molly), Rob (Keisha), Caroline (Scott), and Jenny, and great grandchildren, Jacob, Maggie, Olivia, David, Kate, Charlie, Danny, Robin, Annie, Maxine, Alex, Elle, Lindy and Will. She is also survived by three Son-in-laws, Jim, Bob, and George.



Maxine will be greatly missed by her large family, both immediate and extended, and her vast number of friends. They will always miss her being bright and cheerful and always taking an interest in what they have been doing and are going to do, and their lives in general, and her genuine love for others. Her family wants to ask all family and friends to join the family in celebration of Maxine’s life on Monday June 17th, at Holy Family Catholic Church, at SE Ceaser Chavez Blvd and SE Flavel in Portland, OR 97202. There be a Rosary at 11:30AM followed by a Memorial Mass.


In Lieu of flowers a donation may be made in Maxine’s honor to, St. Jude Children’s Hospital.

Service Information

Service Information

Date: Monday, July 17, 2017

Time: 12:00 pm

Holy Family Catholic Church


7525 SE Cesar Chavez Blvd
Portland, OR 97202

A rosary service will precede the Memorial Mass at 11:30am July 17, 2017.

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