BERTOIA, Reno It is with broken hearts that we announce the death of Reno Bertoia, born Pierino Bertoia in San Vito, Italy on January 8, 1935. Devoted husband and best friend for almost 30 years to Joan. Loving and supportive father to Carl (Deb Chapman), Ruth, and Gina; and to Beth Daly (Jeff Cohen), Jennifer (John Zamojcin), and Christopher (Ana). Much-loved Nonno to Dante, Eden, Lucas, and Mikayla. Cherished uncle to Eric and Mark Orlando. Predeceased by his parents, Libero and Rina, and sister Julie Bertoia-Orlando. Reno spent the last 6 years visiting family in Italy, where he will be dearly missed by his relatives in San Giovanni and San Lorenzo. Reno led a blessed life and touched everyone who knew him. At the age of 18, Reno signed his first Major League Baseball contract with the Detroit Tigers. For one week in 1957, he edged out Ted Williams and led the league with the highest batting average. While honing his distinguished baseball career from 3rd base, Reno walked each day across the Ambassador Bridge from baseball practice in Detroit to Assumption University in Windsor, preparing for his second career as a high school History teacher. After 10 magical years, Reno left the major leagues for his career as an educator. Reno changed countless lives, earning the admiration and respect of his students, colleagues, and friends. Retiring in 1992, he turned his attention to golf, friends, and family. Every Tuesday for decades, he enjoyed breakfast and conversation with his regular group of guys. He and Joan enjoyed several trips to Italy, where he re-established cherished family connections. The constancy of daily visits from Reno's dear friends, Jack Costello, Walter Nicodemo, and Eddie Chittaro, as well as many others, brought Reno great strength each day. Special thanks also to Libby and Marie for their love and support. Visitation at WINDSOR CHAPEL FUNERAL HOME (Main Chapel) 519-253-7234 1700 Tecumseh Rd. E. on Sunday, April 17, 2011, from 5:00-7:00 p.m. and Monday from 2:00-5:00 p.m. and 7:00-9:00 p.m. Parish prayers at 7:30 p.m. Family and friends will be received at Our Lady of Assumption Parish (350 Huron Church Rd.) on Tuesday, April 19, 2011, from 9:00 a.m. until time of Funeral Mass at 9:30 a.m. Burial of Reno's cremated remains will take place at a later date. Words cannot express our gratitude to the amazing Oncology team on the 4th floor at Met Hospital. Particular heartfelt thanks to Heidi, Jen B., Patti, Rita, and Sara for making his last hours peaceful and comfortable, and to Dr. Lawrence Aoun and Dr. Caroline Hamm for their compassion and support. A special thanks to Sandi and her beautiful smile, which he looked forward to every day. The loss of Reno leaves a void in our lives too deep to ever fill. He was loved, respected, and esteemed by everyone who knew him. Reno had a deep and abiding faith, and we know that he is now Safe at Home Plate. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Windsor Regional Hospital Metropolitan Campus 4th Floor Oncology. Cherished memories and condolences may be shared at www.windsorchapel.com .
Published in The The Windsor Star on Apr. 16, 2011