Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Obituary: Joseph Justiliano - Class of 1935

MADISON - Joseph Justiliano, age 97, passed away on Sunday, March 10, 2013, surrounded by his loving family. Joe was born on Aug. 29, 1915, in Madison, to Maria and Jacob Justiliano. He grew up in the Bush neighborhood in Madison and was always proud of his Sicilian heritage. He was active in sports, playing football, basketball, and ran the mile in track. Joe graduated from Madison Central High in 1935. After graduation, he started his career as a women’s shoe salesman. Joe later enjoyed retirement by traveling to Florida. Joe was a member of St. Peter Parish in Madison. Also, a member of the Elks Club, The East Side Club, Moose Club, and the Italian Workman’s Club. He was united in marriage to the love of his life, Irene (Poloni) on June 22, 1940, who gave him three beautiful children, Veronica, Jo Ann, and Joe. He is survived by his children, Jo Ann Suchomel (Ron) of Sun Prairie, and Joe Justiliano (Pat) of Oconomowoc. His grandchildren, Brian Suchomel, Eric (Lisa) Suchomel, Brenda (Rick) Hansen, Mike Justiliano, and Julie Justiliano. And great-grandchildren, Dylan, Tyler, Zack, Caden, Maddie, and Halle. He was preceded in death by his wife, Irene, in 1984; infant daughter, Veronica; mother and father, Maria and Jacob Justiliano; and siblings, Mary, Vito, Nick and Ann. Also, his Poloni family, who meant so much to him. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 16, 2013, at ST. PETER CATHOLIC CHURCH, 5001 North Sherman Ave., with Msgr. Charles Schluter presiding. Burial will follow at Resurrection Catholic Cemetery. A visitation will be held from 9:30 a.m. until the time of Mass at the church on Saturday. Even into his 90s, Joe remained active, always finding time to take his hikes. We know he is at peace and is finally reunited with his love, Irene, after hiking the last 29 years without her. A special thanks to Roxy, Cheryl and the staff at Harmony Living Center in Sun Prairie for all their love and support, and to Agrace Hospice for making his last weeks so comfortable.

Originally published in the Wisconsin State Journal on March 13, 2013. Submitted by Sandra Sabroff Weber.

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Obituary: Nicholas "Pops" Gandolph (Gandolpho) - Class of 1942

MADISON - Nicholas "Pops" Gandolph (Gandolfo), age 89. On Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, Nick decided it was time to move on to a better place. Nick was going to do it his way. He was born on Aug. 16, 1923, to Sicilian immigrants Guiseppe and Giacoma (Greco) Gandolfo. Nick was one of eight siblings. After his mother died when he was three, he was raised and cared for by his devoted sisters who were dedicated to keeping the "famiglia" together and out of the orphanage. Nick grew up in the Greenbush, and as a young boy, he learned to collect coal along the railroad tracks that was used to warm the family's stove. Nick loved the "Bush." Brittingham Park was his favorite place, and he attended Doty School. A graduate of Central High School in 1942, Nick was a superior athlete. He lettered in football, basketball, and track. Right after high school, he answered the call of duty to serve his country. Being too young to enlist, his sister had to sign off for him. Nick fought in World War II in the Pacific Theatre. On Jan. 31, 1951 (the coldest day ever recorded in Madison), he married his sweetheart Dorothy Donna Klein. As a military wife, Dorothy enjoyed traveling from base to base with their young children. Nick went on to have a long, distinguished military and reserve career, retiring with the rank of Chief Master Sergeant. Nick was proud to serve his country. Following his service, he worked many years as a social worker for Dane County. Immediately after his retirement in 1989, Nick was off to the Peace Corps to volunteer in Jamaica. Nick was a life-long member of the Italian Workman's Club, where he devoted many years to bettering the Italian Community. Nick was also a member of the VFW, the DAV, and the American Legion. In the military, Nick was a paratroop diver. In real life, he was a passionate "Dumpster Diver" and curb hunter. He enjoyed spending time with his family and attending many social "appointments." Nick also enjoyed riding his bicycle all over the city. That man loved his bike! He is survived by his loving wife, Dorothy of 62 years; children, Nick Greco, Tony Gandolfo (Jacalyn nee Piazza), his precious daughter Karen Lee Myers, Steve Leonardo, and Vince Vito; grandchildren, Jovita Gandolfo (David Brody), Gina Gandolfo, Joseph and Lucas Myers; great-grandchildren, Ayla and Eja Gandolfo-Brody; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by Ma and Pa; his sisters, Elizabeth, Rose, Jeannine, and Victoria; his brothers, Joseph, Leonardo, and Phillip. At Nick's request, there will be no memorials or visitations; he wished for no cards or flowers. Over the years, people can become forgetful. Not Nick. He never forgot where he came from, or how he got there. And, he knows right where he's going. So, Nicolo-Sugar-Pops-Nono-Grandpa: "Arrivederci." Don't look back.

Originally published in the Wisconsin State Journal on March 3, 2013. Submitted by Michael Vahldieck (Class of 1968)