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Nicholas P. Fanelli

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Nicholas P. Fanelli Obituary
Nicolas P. Fanelli Age 85, of Ardsley, Pa., died unexpectedly February 16, 2009, at his home. He born on November 9, 1924, the son of Anthony and Lucia (Tronco) Fanelli, in the Italian American community of Edge Hill, Pa., where his grandparents had settled from the town of Riccia, Campobasso in the late 1800s, as did many of their neighbors. Nick is survived by his beloved wife of 62 years, Anna M. "Nancy" (Clark) Fanelli; his children, Robert N. (Doris) of Glenside, Pa., Gary M. of Ardsley, Pa., Nancy of Gwynedd, Pa., Michael (Renay) of San Anselmo, Ca., Mary (Robert) Lund of Berwyn, Pa., and John (Dorothy) of Erdenheim, Pa.; grandchildren Celeste, Laura and Gary Fanelli, Neal and Myles Lund, and Catherine and Anna Fanelli; and a great granddaughter, Una Quinn. He lived most of his life in the Glenside area, graduating from St. Luke's elementary school, and attending Cheltenham High School. A devout Roman Catholic, who attended mass several days a week, he was a member of the Queen of Peace parish since 1956 and a member of the Holy Name Society. Nick was a devoted husband and father, faithfully caring for his beloved wife and his daughter Nancy. He served his country during World War II as a coxswain in the U.S. Navy Construction Battalions, the Sea Bees. Sailing across the Pacific in an LST (Landing Ship Tank), he participated in the invasion of Okinawa on April 1, 1945, describing the bombardment and battle with kamikazes as the loudest and most terrible thing he ever witnessed. He received the Purple Heart on Okinawa and struggled for the rest of his life to remain fit despite the increasing severity and constant pain of his disability. He was discharged on Christmas Day, 1945, arriving at the North Philadelphia train station in a driving blizzard, where he was picked up by his fiancé and his cousin, professional golfer, Sam Penecale. An avid golfer himself, Nick played as often as he could with his friends and coworkers, and was still able to shoot in the eighties until very recently. Nick worked as a machinist and tool and dye maker for the Budd Company on Hunting Park Ave. in Philadelphia for 38 years, much of that time spent on the night shift. He was a member of the United Automobile Workers of America. An industrious and hard working individual, during economic downturns, he would often be laid off for months at a time, and would support his family by caddying at local golf courses or taking odd jobs till things improved. In his effort to stay fit, Nick regularly played volleyball with his coworkers. At the age of 45, he began running, and regularly competed in 10k races and half marathons. For many years, he served as a track coach for the Queen of Peace CYO team. He also became an enthusiastic bicyclist and led many long bike rides as a member of the Suburban Cyclists Unlimited. Nick was known around the neighborhood for his skill in fixing bikes, and many people came to him for tune-ups and repairs, which he did for a nominal charge or gratis. He continually scavenged for old bikes, fixed them up till they functioned like new, and either sold them to kids for next to nothing or donated them to charitable organizations. As he grew older, he also became fond of Italian style cooking, turning out a mean lasagna, and making waffle cookies called pizzelles, in the style of his mother and aunts, which he gave by the bagful to family, friends and acquaintances. Nick will be remembered for his generosity, wisdom, devotion and friendliness. A Funeral Mass for Nick was celebrated Saturday, February 20th, at Queen of Peace Roman Catholic Church. Interment was private. In lieu of flowers, donations to The Lynch Home Gwynedd, 604 DeKalb Pike, Gwynedd Valley PA 19437, would be appreciated by his family. Arrangements by William R May Funeral Home, Glenside www.mayfuneralhome.com

Published in Montgomery Newspapers from Feb. 24 to Feb. 25, 2010
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