NEW MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – Michael C. Ferraro, Sr., 98, died peacefully Thursday, November 2, 2023 at Hospice House surrounded by his family.
Michael was born August 22, 1925, in Pittsburgh, the son of Camillo and Angeline Fera Ferraro.
He was a graduate of South Hills High School.
After graduating in 1943, Michael enlisted in the United States Navy and entered World War II, becoming a Naval Corpsman attached to the Marines. After receiving pharmacist mate training, he was sent to the South Pacific, where he served in the Philippines, Solomon Islands, Saipan Island, Peleliu and other strategic areas of the South Pacific. While he was being transported from Saipan to the Solomon Islands, his ship was torpedoed and sank. Michael was set adrift in a raft with six other shipmates for 21 days before being rescued by a destroyer escort.
After the war, Michael received his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Duquesne University and taught music in Bald Eagle High School, Mohawk School District, where he wrote the alma mater and retired from New Castle High School as Director of Bands.
As a professional musician, he played with the Pittsburgh Symphony, Wheeling Symphany and Youngstown Symphany as First Chair Flutist. He also directed the Youngstown Community Concert Band.
Michael served as mayor of Bessemer for eight years and councilman of Bessemer for 20 years. While serving, he was instrumental in the building of the Bessemer Park.
Michael was strong in his faith and was a member of St. Anthony (Holy Spirit Church), where he was choir director, helped build the gazebo and built the altar for the chapel in the church.
He was a member of the American Legion, VFW, 4th Degree Knights of Columbus and served as past president of the Rotary Club of Bessemer. He was also a member of the New Castle Honor Guard.
Michael is survived by his loving wife, who always stood by him and who he shared a lifetime of love and companionship, the former Angela Simone, whom he married July 23, 1955; daughter, Milissa (Jim) Ferraro-Gahagan of Boardman; sons, Michael, Jr. (Barby Jane) Ferraro of New Castle, Mark (Susie) Ferraro of Kennett Square, Pennsylvania and Mathew (Kathy) Ferraro of Bessemer and three grandchildren, Isabella and Olivia Ferraro and Sophia (Matt) Ferraro-Wilmes.
He was preceded in death by his parents and siblings, Dolores Slaven, Ann Wilhelm and Robert Ferraro.
Family and friends may call Tuesday, November 7, 2023, from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m., at the Higgins-Reardon Funeral Homes, Poland Chapel and Wednesday, November 8 from 10:00 – 10:45 a.m. at St. Paul the Apostle Church where a Mass of Christian burial will follow at 11:00 a.m.
Michael will be laid to rest at St. Anthony Cemetery in Bessemer.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial contributions be made to The Hospice House, 9803 Sharrott Road, Poland, OH 44514.
Visit higgins-reardon.com to send condolences to the family.
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A television tribute will air Monday, November 6 at the following approximate times: 5:17 a.m. on WKBN, 8:39 a.m. on FOX, 5:21 p.m. on WYTV and 6:35 p.m. on MyYTV. Video will be posted here the day of airing.