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Italo Philip Ventura
Italo passed away peacefully at home in his sleep on the morning of February 4th, following yet another long day at his pizza shop. Italo loved to work and every day was a labor of love. He was looking forward to a busy day on Super Bowl Sunday. He worked decades of seven-day work weeks always with a smile on his face as he greeted his loyal customers by name and toppings! Born on May 26th, 1937 in Capitignano, Italy to Paolo and Assunta Ventura, he arrived in the United States in 1964 at 28 years of age trying to see the world. He stopped by Massillon to visit a distant relative, Armando Consolidani, who introduced him to family friends Ermanno and Cookie DeDominicis who then introduced Italo to Sophie. His journey took him back to Italy, but he soon returned and married Sophie, with whom he raised two, much adored sons James and Stephen.
In spite of working on an accounting degree, no one wanted to hire the immigrant with broken English. His father-in-law gave him a 8X20 corner of his fruit market on Middlebranch Avenue and Italo's Pizza was born in March of 1966. Along the way, he did manage to complete his education earning an associate's degree from Canton College. As business began to grow, he attended Malone College and in 1973, he earned a Bachelor of the Arts degree. In 1997, Malone College presented him with the "Alumnus of the Year Distinguished Service Award."
He was always appreciative of the Italo's franchise owners and was thankful for their hard work and dedication to the business. Grateful to the many employees that helped him succeed along the way. They will forever be a part of the Italo's family.
He was a dedicated family man. Italo and Sophie marked their 52nd wedding anniversary on January 9th. His pride and joy were his grandchildren and he enjoyed working with them in the shop and spending any free time he had with them.
Italo was preceded in death by his parents and son, Stephen. He was also preceded in death by his brothers Luigi, Teofilo, Mario, Luciano, and sister Berardina. He is survived by his wife Sophie, son James (Susan Quilter) Ventura, and grandchildren Daniel (Elizabeth), Andrew and Sarah Ventura. Also survived by sisters Giancarla and Isabella.
He gave all he had within him to his family and his business up to his final day. No words can express how much he will be missed.
Friends may call 5-8 pm on Monday, February 12th at the Waltner-SIMCHAK Funeral Home. A funeral service will be held at the funeral home Tuesday February 13th at 11 am with Reverend Ray Russ officiating. You may add your condolences on our website: www.waltner-simchak.com. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Plain Fire Local 2967 or Police K-9 Association (PK9A), P.O. Box 7232, Canton, Ohio 44705.
Waltner-SIMCHAK Funeral Home
Locally Owned Since 1917