Nello F. Bianchi, 83, of Put-in-Bay, died Monday, April 30, 2007, in St. Francis Healthcare Center, Green Springs, after an extended illness.
He was born on May 23, 1923, in Genoa, Italy, the son of Adam and Josephine (Poggiali) Bianchi, now deceased. He lived in the Republic of San Marino until he moved to Kelley's Island, at age 5. He began working to help support his family when he was 16. He later earned his High School diploma and graduated from Kelley's Island High School. He also attended the Devry Institute in Columbus, where he completed his certification in electronics repair.
He was a veteran of the U.S. Army, having served during World War II, in the 38th Armored Infantry Batallion, 7th Armored Division as a rifleman where he was awarded a marksmanship badge as a sharpshooter, Rifle M1. He fought in the Battle of the Bulge in Ardennes where his feet were frozen, and in spite of the doctors wishes, would not allow them to be amputated. He worked as a deckhand for Neuman Boat Line and later as a deckhand and captain for Miller Boat Line. He then became postmaster at Put-in-Bay Post Office in 1966, retiring in the 1980's after 25 years. He served more than 20 years on the Put-in-Bay Fire Department, served seven terms on the Put-in-Bay Board of Education, and three terms as a Put-in-Bay Twp. Trustee.
He was instrumental in building a Township hall and garage, building a new fire station and senior center, creating a Port Authority and securing funding to build and maintain the island airports. He was a member of Mother of Sorrows Catholic Church, Put-in-Bay, where he served on the parish council, and also a member of the Put-in-Bay American Legion Post 542.
Survivors include his beloved wife of 57 years, Justine Heineman Bianchi, whom he married Sept. 20, 1949, in Mother of Sorrows Catholic Church, Put-in-Bay; children, Michael Bianchi, Diane E. Bianchi and David W. (Deborah) Bianchi, all of Put-in-Bay, Charmaine Bianchi Smith of Sandusky, Brenda (John) Ferrell of Oregon, Ohio, and Barbara (Dennis) Kai of California; grandchildren, Adam C. Ferrell, Amanda L. Ferrell, Stephanie N. Bianchi, Adam J. Bianchi, Stephen P. Kai, and Shannon B. Kai; sister, Dena Gennari of Sandusky; brother, Dominic Bianchi of Kelley's Island; and many nieces, nephews, and other relatives.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Adam Bianchi in 1969 and Josephine Poggiali Bianchi in 1996; and his infant granddaughter, Laura Kai in 1995.
Visitation will be 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. Thursday in Neidecker, LeVeck & Crosser Funeral Home, 1124 Fulton St., Port Clinton. Additional visitation will be from 10:30-11:30 a.m. Friday in Mother of Sorrows Catholic Church, Put-in-Bay, where a Mass of Christian Burial will be at noon, with The Rev. Jeff Nordhaus and the Rev. Nicholas Cunningham officiating. Burial will follow in Mapleleaf Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to Mother of Sorrows Catholic Church or to the donor's choice.
Condolences may be expressed at neideckerleveckcrosser.com.