Augustine A. “Gus” Fornataro, 92, of Ellwood City passed away peacefully on Tuesday April 11, 2023 at his home, surrounded by family.
Born on January 4, 1931 in New Castle, he was the son of the late Augustine V. and Lena Geramita Fornataro.
Gus’ humble intelligence, generosity and kindness were evident to all: at work, in the community, but especially with his family.
Gus was a graduate of New Castle High School, achieved a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from The University of Pittsburgh and did further graduate work at George Washington University. He was a registered professional engineer. Gus began his working career at Aetna Standard before moving to Voss Engineering as chief engineer. Voss became Herr-Voss where Gus was later named President and C.E.O., ultimately being promoted to President and C.E.O. of its international parent company, Salem Corporation. During his career he was awarded several patents for the Strand Extensioner for processing rolled flat steel. His knowledge and expertise afforded him travels across the globe to all continents save Antarctica, many times accompanied by his wife, Grace. Following his retirement in 1999, he served as an industry consultant. Gus was a distinguished and respected colleague and mentor throughout his life both professionally and personally.
A Veteran of the Army serving in White Sands, New Mexico in the Missile Department, Gus was active in the community as well as his church. He was a member of the Concerned Citizen’s of North Sewickley, the Riverside School Board, the Board of Directors at Ellwood City Hospital, and the North Sewickley Township Sewer Authority. He was instrumental in the designing and building of ramps for the Carpenters Project. He was an active member of Divine Grace Parish (Holy Redeemer) serving in various ways including the building and grounds committee, finance committee, choir, and the annual bazaar.
Gus enjoyed many passions throughout his life. His children recall how he patiently outfitted the entire family with ski equipment, and still had the energy to give instruction on the slopes. His grandchildren have fond memories of him teaching them how to fish on the waters of Lake Erie and Florida. His Floridian friends enjoyed countless rounds of golf and lasting friendships. Family and neighbors alike benefited from his bountiful garden harvests. He was a gentleman with an astute sense of humor. Perhaps he will be best remembered as a loving husband, a patient teacher and an endless source of wisdom.
Despite his professional and community involvements, Gus’ main love and priority was his family.
He will always be remembered and cherished by the love of his life, Grace (Gottuso) Fornataro. Their marriage of 65 years was a beautiful example to their four children: David and Sally Fornataro, Lisa and Fred Clerici, Gina and Jim McKenna, and Gregg and Suzanne Fornataro. He was beloved by his ten grandchildren: Chris (Abbie) Fornataro; Rachel (Brent) Courville; Jim (Taylor)McKenna; Maggie (Adhemar) Renuart; Cameron, Lena, and Maylee Clerici; Clint (Logan) Fornataro; and Jesse and Bo Fornataro.
Great grandchildren are Liam and Raegan, Luca and Liliana, McKenna and AJ, and Ellis and Blake. He was preceded in death by his siblings, Frank Fornataro and Mary Lou McGonigle, grandson, Jeremy Colt Fornataro and great-granddaughter, Marcella Grace Courville.
Visitation will be held on Friday April 14, 2023 from 4:00 to 7:00 pm at the Marshall Funeral Home, 200 Fountain Ave., Ellwood City.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday April 15 at 10:00 am at Holy Redeemer Church, Ellwood City. Father Mark Thomas will officiate. Interment will follow in Holy Redeemer Cemetery.
The family would like to give its sincere thanks to Alaina Pickell for her compassion and unwavering devotion and care to Gus and the family.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Divine Grace Food Bank, 300 Crescent Avenue, Ellwood City or to a charity of choice.
Online condolences may be sent to marshallsfh.com