NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Francis John Vitro, 87, of 121 Jerome Drive, Cambridge, N.Y., died Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013, at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center in Bennington.
Born in North Adams on Aug. 2, 1925, son of Victor and Josephine Aveta Vitro, he attended local schools and graduated from Drury High School. He grew up like many children of Italian immigrants, of strong work ethic and close-knit, family values.
An Army veteran of World War II, he enlisted at 18 and served with Battery C, 309th Field Artillery Battalion, 78th Infantry Division, fighting in the Rhineland, Ardennes and Central Europe campaigns. Though he spoke little about his experience, historic records of the 78th tell the story of the integral role they played during the war.
From an very early age, Mr. Vitro had a healthy dose of entrepreneurial spirit, said family. Whether it was as a street corner newspaper boy, the young veteran who launched a trucking business, or the craftsman-minded printer who purchased the historic Washington County Printers in Cambridge, he had a never-ending work ethic.
In 1978, Mr. Vitro joined with other Cambridge businessmen to form Varak Business Park, home to many local businesses helping to revitalize the former Rice Seed Co.
And yet, with all that he accomplished and the many stories he could tell, it will be his humble, gentle ways that he will remembered for most, said family.
He had been a communicant of the former St. Anthony of Padua Church.
His wife, the former Augusta Restino, died on April 27, 1971.
He leaves two sons, John F. Vitro and his wife, Wendy, of San Diego, Calif., and Robert P. Vitro and his wife, Bonnie, of Hoosick Falls, N.Y.; three grandchildren, whom he thought the world of, Max Vitro, Daniel Vitro and Amanda Vitro, and many nieces and nephews.
The youngest of five children, Mr. Vitro was predeceased by one brother and five sisters: Joseph Vitro, Esther Rivest, Teresa Thomas, Josephine Messina, Angelina Morris, and a sister Jenny, who died in infancy.
FUNERAL NOTICE — A Liturgy of Christian Burial for Mr. Vitro will be celebrated Saturday, Jan. 12, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Elizabeth of Hungary Church in North Adams. Burial will follow in Southview Cemetery.
A calling hour will be held Saturday morning from 9 to 10 at Flynn & Dagnoli-Montagna Home for Funerals, Central Chapels. Memorial contributions are suggested to the Cambridge Valley Rescue Squad in care of the funeral home, 74 Marshall St., North Adams, MA 01247.