Paul Colecchi

Paul Colecchi, 68, a longtime Ravenna resident who was active in the Italian-American Society, died Monday at his home in Ravenna Township after a brief illness.

Born Aug. 23, 1929 in Ravenna, he was the son of Joseph and Gilda (DiCola) Colecchi. At age 2, he moved with his family to Roccaraso, Italy, where he lived until 1947, when he returned to the United States at age 18.

His son, Stephen Colecchi, president and chief executive officer of Robinson Memorial Hospital in Ravenna, said his father moved back to Portage County because he had family in the Ravenna area. He spoke little English when returned.

"He went to classes in Akron to learn English," Stephen Colecchi said.

Mr. Colecchi met his wife, Josephine (Ventura) at an Italian picnic in Erie, Pa. She was born in West Newton, Pa. and also has Italian heritage. Her family in Italy lived within 10 miles of Mr. Colecchi's relatives there, their son said. The couple married in 1951.

"He was very proud of his Italian heritage. He was real active at the Italian-American Society," Stephen Colecchi said. "He ran their bocci league, and he was one of the cooks for the spaghetti dinner."

Mr. Colecchi worked as a machinist and retired from Ferry Machine Co. in Kent in 1990. After he retired, he focused his attention on his 10 grandchildren and spent a lot of time at the Italian-American Society.

He was a member of Immaculate Conception Church in Ravenna, a member and past officer of the International Union Allied Industrial Workers of America, a past president and trustee of the Italian-American Society and a member of Ravenna Moose Lodge No. 1234.

Survivors include his wife; sons, Stephen (Diane) of Ravenna and Robert (Tracy) of Rootstown; daughters, Mrs. Arley (Linda) White Jr. of Brimfield, and Mrs. Charles (Carol) Schofield and Patricia Colecchi, both of Ravenna; 10 grandchildren; brothers, Vincent of Ravenna and Benny of Rootstown; and sister, Nancy Mascio of Ravenna.

Calling hours will be held from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday at Shorts Funeral Home, Ravenna Chapel. Services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at Immaculate Conception Church in Ravenna, with the Rev. Leo Wehrlin officiating. Burial will be in St. Mary's Cemetery in Ravenna.

Memorials may be made to Robinson Memorial Hospital Foundation, P.O. Box 1204, Ravenna.

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