Italo (Pete) C. Massagli, 90, of Ridgefield CT passed away on November 16, 2015. He was born January 25, 1925 in Bronx, NY to the late Natale and Luisa (Simonetti) Massagli.
He was predeceased by his siblings Ida (Passanant), Louis, Margaret, Raymond, and Olga (Rex). As a boy, he enjoyed sandlot baseball and NY thin crust pizza. During WWII, Pete served as Petty Officer (Soundman) First Class on the destroyer escort USS Swearer.
His ship was stationed in the South Pacific and interspersed with their many harrowing experiences; they were privileged to witness the raising of the American flag on Iwo Jima. Pete worked at The Fairbanks Company for 41 years and became the Vice President of Sales in the Northeast. In 1953 he married Irene Bilasz and they enjoyed more than 62 years together.
They moved to Ridgefield in 1961 where they raised their four children. Pete loved living in the country so much that he spent many of his working years commuting to New Jersey. As he took on more management responsibilities at Fairbanks, he adopted the motto: “Do something: lead, follow, or get out of the way”.
Never one to sit around, his life was also filled with volunteerism: he helped to start Tax Counseling for the Elderly/Tax Aide program for which he was honored for 30 years of service by AARP, and worked with Boy Scouts of America, American Red Cross, Ridgefield VNA, RUOK and was an usher at St. Mary’s Church.
From his years as a traveling salesman, he had an extensive knowledge of the best places to visit in CT and NY and shared it with visitors at the CT tourist information booth at the Danbury rest stop. He belonged to the Ridgefield Men’s Club, OWLs, American Legion Post 78, Founders Hall, and with his wife Irene, founded the Ridgefield Chapter 4852 of AARP. On weekends, he treated himself to rooting for the Giants and the Mets. Pete was an accomplished punster and prided himself in creative fixes, ala Reuben Goldberg.
He and Irene loved traveling and explored England, Germany, the Panama Canal, Greece and Italy as well many places in the US. He is survived by his wife, Irene, his children, Michael (late Ann Kremers) of Cambridge MA, Teresa (Fred Drennan) of Woodinville WA, Nancy Freeda (Thomas) of New Fairfield CT, and Matthew of Manchester CT as well as nieces and nephews, and their progeny. Pete will always be remembered and appreciated for his patience, his eagerness to help others and his competence in organizing activities.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Friday, November 20, 2015 at 10:15 AM at St. Mary Church; 55 Catoonah Street, Ridgefield. Interment with US Military Honors will follow in St. Mary Cemetery, Ridgefield.
Friends will be received at Kane Funeral Home; 25 Catoonah Street, Ridgefield on Thursday, November 19, 2015 from 4 to 7 PM.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to a charity of one’s choice.
—by the family