Alberta "Bert" Gianni Ferderber-Stiles
Our beautiful mother, Alberta "Bert" Gianni Ferderber-Stiles, passed away on Friday, Sept. 18, 2020. Bert, the epitome of style and class, was born on June 12, 1927, in Melcher, Iowa, to Alberto and Aldegonda (Contri) Gianni, who emigrated from Northern Italy in the early 1900s. Mom was a devout Catholic and very proud of her Italian heritage.
After Bert graduated from Melcher High School, she moved to Des Moines and began a 13-year career with Northwestern Bell Telephone Co. Along the way she met our dad, Louie Ferderber of Madrid, Iowa. They were married on Aug. 17, 1957, and to this union three daughters were born: Ann, Susie and Bridgie.
Bert and Louie were proprietors of the Woodland Sundries, located at 17th and Woodland in the Sherman Hill neighborhood of Des Moines. Many would describe "The Store" like a small town soda fountain. Louie concocted amazing homemade soups in the "back room" while Bert charmed everyone with her beautiful smile and endless zest for life. The Store was often called "2nd Precinct" because Des Moines' finest could be found there at all hours of the day. The Store catered to an eclectic mix of people, whom Bert often described as "colorful!"
After Bert and Louie sold The Store, Bert found yet another career as a bridal consultant at Schaffers Bridal Shop then located at Eighth and Walnut in downtown Des Moines. Bert worked under the tutelage of Barney and Barbara Tabach, who to this day remain very close friends.
Louie passed away on May 4, 1997. Shortly after he died, Bert's high school friend Vi Radosevich-Stiles passed away. Bert had been a bridesmaid in Vi's wedding to Jim Stiles. In August 1997, Bert got together for lunch with Jim, who were both mourning the loss of their longtime spouses. Well ... fast forward to June 12, 1998, and we had a wedding! A match made in heaven!
Waiting for Bert in heaven is our dad, Louie Ferderber; her parents, Alberto and Aldegonda Gianni; brother, Fernando Gianni; sisters, Ann Ortale and Mary Gianni; along with extended family and assorted friends.
Left to continue her legacy of positivity, love and joy are her husband, Dr. Jim Stiles of Johnston; daughters, Ann Hockins and husband, Jim; Susie Guest and husband, Todd; and Bridget Brass and husband, Randy; her grandchildren are: Andrew Hockins, wife, Annie and daughters, Riley, Mia, Reggie and Ryan; Emily Hockins, husband, Nate Efkamp and son, Louie; Sam Guest; Maxwell Guest; Gabrielle Musselman, husband, Taylor and their daughter, joining us in November; and Brian Brass; her stepchildren are: Mike Stiles and wife, Cheryl, Bruce Stiles and wife, Chantal, Melissa Stiles and partner Kathleen Walsh, and Susan Stiles and husband, Marino Marcich; and step-grandchildren are: Justin Stiles and fiancee, Kristen Prentice, Drew Stiles, Taylor Kadel, Brendan Stiles, Pascale Stiles and partner Jerome Baron, Emilie Stiles, Matthew Stiles, Luka Marcich, Niko Marcich and Maja Marcich.
A Celebration of Life will be at 2 p.m. Friday, Sept. 25 at St. Mary of Nazareth Catholic Church, 4600 Meredith Dr., Des Moines. Visitation was held from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 24, at Iles-Dunn's Chapel, 2121 Grand Ave., Des Moines.
Bert's Funeral Mass will be livestreamed 2 p.m. Friday, Sept. 25, from St. Mary of Nazareth Catholic Church. A link will be shared shortly before 2 p.m., with her obituary on the Iles Funeral Homes website www.ilescares.com
COVID-19 reminder, let's keep each other safe. Masks required and don't forget about social distancing.
Memorial contributions may be made to Holy Family Catholic School, 1265 East Ninth St., Des Moines, IA 50316.
Our family would like to thank Jenn, Miranda, Sister Cigi, Denise and the entire staff at the Bishop Drumm Care Center. The Sisters Ferderber would like to thank Jim Stiles for all the love, fun adventures, and care he gave to Mom.
Raise a glass to Bert, she would prefer a Dirty Martini or glass of Cabernet.