Calling Andea Finzi a “people’s person” doesn’t do justice to the popular member of Milan’s Jewish community, who passed away on March 30 due to COVID-19.

Everywhere Finzi went—from the jewelry shop he ran until his 2016 retirement, to his classmates at a language-studies course for older students—he didn’t see strangers, just friends he hadn’t yet met.

His jovial attitude and natural curiosity drew people to him, with community message boards filled with fond memories and tributes to Finzi.

“He was a person that everyone knew they could count on in their time of need,” a cousin wrote in an online homage.

The man with boundless energy, who loved the outdoors and skiing, was struck with symptoms of the coronavirus as Italy became devastated by the pandemic. Nevertheless, he developed social-media groups with the aim of helping Italians keep up their spirits.

Just a day before his passing, Finzi used the group to bid farewell to all of his friends and family—those he had long expressed his hopes of enjoying long into retirement.

He is survived by his wife, Lucilla, and their three children.

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