Dominick P. Santavicca, lifelong Ohio Valley resident, passed away peacefully on Thursday, August 16, 2018 from natural causes. He was 95.
Mr. Santavicca was a great man from the Greatest Generation. Born September 24, 1922 in Bellaire, Ohio – a son of Giovanni Santavicca (Abruzzii, Italy) and Maria Ruggiero DeFranke Santavicca (Puglia, Italy).
Dominick was raised during The Great Depression – graduating from Bellaire High School and the Elliott School of Business. He served in the U.S. Third Army during World War II under General George Patton. Dominick stormed the beaches of Normandy on D-Day – and fought throughout France and Germany, including at the Battle of the Bulge.
Mr. Santavicca was a 30-year employee of the Wheeling Steel Corporation (at the Beech Bottom Works). He started on the assembly line, working the blast furnace – and he finished as the plant’s Superintendent of shipping, receiving, and warehousing. Dominick was the Vice-President of his steelworker’s union, and he received special recognition for the invention of an innovative piece of heavy machinery his men nicknamed “The Big Boom.”
Dominick next spent six years as an executive for Picoma Industries. He was especially pleased at the prospect of earning a second pension. Even after all that, the leisure of retirement did not suit him. Throughout his 70s Dominick worked as a certified tax preparer and as a real estate agent for Castle Realty.
Mr. Santavicca was a self-taught craftsman. He could build a house from the first shovel of foundation dirt to the last roof nail. And more than once he did. Over the course of six decades Dominick carefully acquired rental properties, taking great pride in impeccably maintaining them for his tenants.
He liked living in Shadyside. He loved living on Lincoln Ave. Dominick was an officer for the Sons of Italy 754, a member of American Legion Post 521, and a parishioner of St. Mary’s Church. He never wallowed in the past – though he would joyfully share memories of foxtrotting the night away with his teenage pals at the Bellaire dance halls.
Dominick was a adamant proponent of higher education for his children and grandchildren – and he was gratified that those aspirations were realized. Friends were touched by Dominick’s generosity of time and effort. His family’s lives were changed by his selfless giving.
Later in life Dominick worked out at the gym with passion and persistence – continuing well into his 90s. He was nothing less than a marvel, featured in the newspaper and local magazines for his level of fitness. Exercise not only invigorated Dominick physically, but also spiritually through the many meaningful friends he made at the Howard Long Wellness Center.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his beloved wife Vincenza (Vena) D’Alessandro Santavicca; five sisters: Jenny Pappano, Rosina Filigno, Lucile Hoeft, Mabel De Franke, and Esther Paulette; two brothers: Nicholas DeFranke and Angelo DeFranke.
Dominick is survived by one son: John (Judith) Santavicca of Florence, KY; one daughter: Tina (James) Busack of Shadyside; two grandsons: Randall (Mary) Busack of Las Vegas, NV and Nicholas Santavicca of New Bedford, MA; two granddaughters: Alecia Huston of Copley, OH and Julia (Nick) Love of Villa Hills, KY; three great grandchildren: Alianna, Elena, and Michael Huston of Copley, OH.
Dominick would often playfully sing this song to a lucky grandchild: “If you knew (name) , like I know (name) , Oh – Oh – Oh what a (guy/gal) . It was never clear if he knew that those words applied to him most of all.
Family and friends will be received from 2-4pm & 6-8 pm Sunday at the Bauknecht-Altmeyer Funeral Homes and Crematory, 3900 Central Avenue, Shadyside, OH. Funeral Liturgy with Mass will be held a 11am Monday at St Mary Catholic Church Shadyside with Fr. Mathew Gossett officiating.
Entombment will follow at Guardian Angel Mausoleum at Mt. Calvary Cemetery, Bellaire, OH.
Vigil service 7:30pm Sunday.
Belmont County Veterans Association will conduct graveside Military services.
Condolences may be expressed to the family at www.bauknechtaltmeyer.com