|Birth: ||Jan. 1, 1929|
St. Louis County
|Death: ||Dec. 24, 2007|
Martin "Reno" Garagiola, entered eternal life at the age of 78. He was a retired home builder, Army veteran, and active member of the Italian American Community, and many organizations that included past president of the Italian American Cultural Society.
Martin Reno Garagiola was born in St Louis Missouri, but was raised and educated in Inveruno, a suburb of Milan, Italy. He returned to the United States in 1949 at the age of 19. He served in the army and graduated from the Corps of Engineers in 1951. During that period, he learned all he could about building. When he returned to Detroit after the Service, he worked for Slavik Builders, Inc. and Brody & Sons as a construction superintendent. He and his associates planned, designed, and built custom houses in the Detroit Metropolitan area. While associated with Brody & Sons, they received the Gold Medal Award for housing innovation, outstanding design, and marketing from the National Home Builders Institute of Residential Marketing. In 1972, he opened his own company, Reno Building Company.
Reno Garagiola was extremely active in the Italian American Community. He served three terms as President of the Italian American Cultural Society. The IACS presented Reno with the Medaglia D'Onore in 1995. The Award is the highest honor bestowed only upon those who have surpassed the mere "call of duty" in the development and preservation of the Italian American culture.
Reno Garagiola was the chairman of the Italian Riverfront Festival in Downtown Detroit for many years. Later he was one of the chairpersons for the Italian Cultural Center's Italian Festival at Freedom Hill. He performed the duties as chairman of the Columbus Day Celebration Committee. As a member of the Italian Sons and Daughters of America, they entered a float in the 1972 Columbus Day Parade and were awarded Best Float for that year. He was a past president of the Americans of Italian Origin Society and served on the board as membership chairman of the Italian American Chamber of Commerce of Michigan.
In addition to his building career, Reno worked with the Italian Cultural Center on the construction of the 82-unit Tivoli Manor senior citizen apartment complex. He was president of the Italian American Housing Corporation (Tivoli Manor). He designed and built the Chapel of the Sacred Heart at the Italian American Cultural and Community Center in Warren, Michigan. Recently, he was Facilities Manager at the new Italian Cultural Center at Partridge Creek.
Reno was married to the former Lena Flaira Barbieri, and they had two sons, Mark (Linda) and Dr. David (Margaret); and grandchildren, Lindsay, Jordan, Kendall, Derek, Katrina, and Grant. He was the brother of Claudio "Dino", Anna Maria, & Adelmo; and the brother-in-law of Gloria Barbiere. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews.
Visitation: Wednesday, December 26, 2007, 3:00-9:00 p.m. and Thursday, December 27, 2007, 1:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Prayer service will be at 7:00 p.m. Thursday. Bagnasco Calcaterra Funeral Home, 13650 E. 15 Mile Rd. at Schoenherr, Sterling Heights, MI 48312.
Mass of Christian Burial: In state at San Francesco Catholic Church, 22870 S. Nunneley Rd, Clinton Twp, MI 48035 (off Metro Parkway, E. of Gratiot)at 9:30 a.m. Friday, December 28, 2007, until the Funeral Mass at 10:00 a.m.
Memorials may be sent to the Italian American Cultural Society, 43843 Romeo Plank Road, Clinton Township, MI 48038,
Mount Olivet Cemetery
Created by: Elizabeth & Ron
Record added: Mar 09, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 25157051