Eldo E. DiVirgilio
Eldo E. DiVirgilio, 97 of Perryopolis, PA passed peacefully April 11, 2021 surrounded by loving family. Eldo was born November 1, 1923 in Dunnington, PA to Dominick and Jessie DiVirgilio. He is survived by wife of 39 years, Shirley Swaney Kmetz DiVirgilio, one daughter Margaret DiVirgilio, step-daughter Diane Beattie (Ben) and step-son Thomas Kmetz Jr.(Laurie), grandchildren are Kevin Lake, Jamie (Nathaniel) Beall, April (Andrew) Burnell, Devin (Adam) Billingsley, Kalie (Garrett) Kurutz, Thomas Kmetz, and one great grandson and five great granddaughters; two brothers John and Dante (Adeline), and two sisters Joann (Robert) Toruiso and Patty (Patsy) Zello one brother-in law Joseph Giocondi, numerous nieces and nephews and friend Linda Earnest. In addition to his parents, he was predeceased in death by his wife Mary Gavin DiVirgilio, daughter Mary DiVirgilio Lake, step daughter Joy Lynn Sabolek, sister Elvera Giocondi, brother Fred (Joy) DiVirgilio, sisters in law Wanda and Stella DiVirgilio.
Eldo was a graduate of Perry Township High School Class of 1942, a pioneer of the football program as the first quarterback and captain. He began working at US Steel, Clairton Works completing 40 years of service, retiring in 1982 as a supervisor of the Tar Plant. He served in the US Army during World War II, completing basic training at Camp Shelby, Mississippi from where he began an indirect voyage across the Atlantic that took 13-days to evade German U-boats. Landing in France after the Normandy invasion he took part in the Battle of the Bulge meeting up with General George Patton’s 20th Tank Division near the Siegfried Line. DiVirgilio served as the sergeant of a 60mm mortar section of the Fighting 69th Infantry Division fighting through France, Belgium and Germany. He was part of the liberation of the Dachau Concentration Camp and a guard at the Nuremburg war trial. Being discharged from the Army in 1946 he returned to Perryopolis. He earned a Bronze Star for valor in combat and was bestowed the Chevalier De La Legion D’Honneur (French Legion of Honor) the highest award granted by the French Government on October 17, 2018. While he hoped to go to college using GI benefits, to become a teacher, his mother told him that wasn’t possible as she needed him to return to work to help support his six siblings. Eldo was pleased to honor his mother’s request, and while he did not receive a college teaching degree he became a lifetime teacher and mentor to his family, friends and the community.
Throughout his lifetime, he was an active member and leader of religious, civic, ethic, and community associations including the Knights of Columbus, Holy Name Society, Member of the St. John the Baptist Choir, Frazier School Board, Perryopolis Volunteer Fire Company (joined in 1946), VFW, Perryopolis Heritage Society, and Son’s of Italy (joined in 1940). Under Eldo’s leadership the Perryopolis Historical Society was reorganized in 1988 and he served as Vice President & President for the next 13 years; restored numerous historical sites in and around Perryopolis; and helped raise over $1M for restoration projects. In conjunction with Mr. Harry Sampey, Eldo was instrumental in getting a pavilion and park built that are community assets. Fondly called the “godfather” Eldo was committed to the Son’s of Italy working tirelessly to keep the club profitable and making everyone feel welcome.
Memorial contributions can be made to St. John the Baptist Church, Perryopolis, or the Perry Township Volunteer Fire Department.
Eldo’s family will receive friends from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, April 13, 2021 at the Blair-Lowther Funeral Home & Crematory, 305 Rear Independence Street, Perryopolis, PA where Prayers of Transfer will be prayed at 3 p.m. followed by a Funeral Mass at St John the Baptist R. C. Church, Perryopolis, PA at 3:30 p.m. with Msgr. Larry R. Kiniry as celebrant. Interment will follow in St John the Baptist Church Cemetery with full military rites and honors will be accorded by the Goldstar V. F. W. Post 7023 and American Legion Post 752.
PA Covid-19 restrictions will be enforced with masks being required and social distancing.
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