At 81, our beloved husband Father Grandpa Roberto joined The Lord on December 30, 2021. For us he was a living example of an American success story. Born in Florence, Italy, during World War II, he immigrated to the United States at the age of 17. He often said: “I was very lucky to be born in Italy and to become an American citizen, two of the most beautiful countries in the world”.
In addition, he liked living in Helotes. After his retirement, he and his wife Gloria attended a culinary school in Olivello, Italy, so they could open Pizzeria Venti in Helotes. He liked to be in restaurants chatting with old and new friends. With a big smile he exclaims, “For me I hit the jackpot. It’s like being at home. There are two things that I love, the food and the people and they are all. two there “.
Music was an integral part of his life. He played the harmonica, guitar and piano and loved to sing. As a young parent, he could sing along to his boys to sleep or entertain them with songs on long car trips to their soccer games. While working and being an active and loving parent, Roberto distinguished himself by obtaining “Cum Laude” with a double major in English and Spanish from Trinity University. As a graduate student, he worked at its Alma Maters, Trinity University, and San Antonio College in language departments teaching Italian and Spanish language and culture. He continued his education and graduated from Trinity University in 1976, earning a Master of Arts in Latin American Studies. He enjoyed meeting and communicating with people in his country and abroad so much that he learned five additional languages.
Roberto began his career in the United States Air Force as a trainee manager assigned to the procurement branch. His pursuit of excellence and his love for this country are best exemplified by his impressive career progression as he rose from intern to general manager during his years of civilian service. He has served in highly skilled, demanding and extremely diverse positions ranging from awarding contracts for the purchase and repair of aircraft engines to awarding contracts for the employment of Americans with disabilities, who ‘he performed flawlessly, which earned him his appointment as “Contracting Officer”, with unlimited purchases. warrant and a top secret security classification.
His dedication to duty and contributions to the Air Force mission have earned him many important nominations, performance awards and accolades such as the $ 500 million club; Federal Executive Association of San Antonio, EEO Award; The price of quality peers; Recipient of the Air Force Materiel Command President’s Award in recognition of outstanding contributions to the severely disabled community.
Roberto liked to get involved in many civic and professional organizations. As an avid soccer player and coach, he has devoted many hours of his personal time to training various age groups of all socio-economic levels. When training youth teams, children often could not afford crampons or did not have transportation to attend practices and games. Coach Ferruzzi would buy their cleats and drive them to / from the soccer fields. On the other side of the spectrum, he coached the River City Defenders football team of highly professional individuals including the mayor of San Antonio, the state representative, members of city council, doctors, restaurateurs and other businessmen.
So proud of his Italian heritage and love of people, he has assisted the Italian community in a variety of services on a voluntary basis. As an elected officer of Com.it.es (Committee for Italians Abroad), he has played a decisive role in contributing or spearheading school, humanitarian and religious projects in San Antonio. Among these :
* An Italian library loaned in perpetuity to the University of Notre-Dame du Lac by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs through the Italian Consul General. It was the first time that a higher education institution in the South West had been granted an Italian library.
* The Abruzzo Relief Fund to come to the aid of the victims of the 2009 earthquake. It was appointed by the Consul General of Italy to be the focal point for the collection of contributions and donations in the region of San Antonio , this earthquake was the deadliest in nearly three decades, killing hundreds of people.
* The first commemorative mass celebrated in the United States in honor of fallen police and firefighters in the line of duty in Venice and San Antonio. Known as the Progetto Memoria, this ceremony was celebrated in April 2009. The Venice Police Department has extended an Act of Christian Fraternity to our Police Department and an icon of Madonna della Sfida (Our Lady of the Challenge) was delivered to our church.
In October 2010, the President of Italy, Giorgio Napolitano, awarded our dear Roberto the highest distinction awarded by the Italian government with a “Cavalierato” (knight) with the title of Knight of the Order of the Star of Italian solidarity. This was to recognize expatriates who made an exceptional contribution to the reconstruction of Italy after World War II in the preservation and promotion of national prestige abroad.
Roberto is survived by Gloria, his beloved wife of 58 years; her devoted sons, Dr. Giancarlo (Kristina), Marco (Zaida) McKinney, TX; his grandchildren, Giancarlo Marco, Ysabella Ana, Diego Roberto, Gemma Carina, Gianna and Gabriella
SERVICES: Visits will begin on Monday January 10 at 5.30 p.m. with a rosary which will be recited at 6.30 p.m. at the Chapel of the Angelus. The funeral will be on Tuesday January 11 at noon at the San Francesco di Paola Catholic Church, 205 Piazza Italia. Interment will follow at the Resurrection Cemetery at Cordi Marian at 11624 Culebra Rd.
CONTRIBUTIONS: In lieu of flowers, donations in Robert’s name to his beloved church of San Francesco di Paola would be greatly appreciated.
Condolences can be sent to the Ferruzzi family at www.theangelusfuneralhome.com
Posted by Express-News on January 9, 2022.