Ellio L. Bertig, 87, beloved and devoted husband, father, and grandfather, formerly of Graceton, passed away peacefully at home on Thursday, August 12, 2021.
The son of August and Angelina Blasutig Bertig, natives of Udine, Italy, Ellio was born on August 25, 1933, in McIntyre. Ellio honorably served in the United States Army from July of 1953 until May of 1955. On February 21, 1960, Ellio married Jean Greczek and moved to Graceton. They celebrated their fifty-ninth wedding anniversary together in 2019 before Jean passed away. Ellio deeply loved his family. He had four children and three grandchildren: Candace, deceased; Darrick of Graceton, Jeannine and husband, Sean McCaffrey, their daughter; Caroline, and son, Joseph, of Southpointe; and Brook and husband, Fred Coll, their daughter; Emily, of Canonsburg.
Ellio was a member of St. Francis Roman Catholic Church, now Our Lady of the Assumption, in Coral. He was actively involved in the church. Ellio served as an usher for decades and devoted a lot of time volunteering at the church, including organizing and chairing the annual church festival. He also was an officer of the Holy Name Society. In his later years, Ellio attended Mass at Holy Rosary in Muse with his children and grandchildren. His faith was an important part of his life. He never ate a slice of bread or took a drink of water without saying a blessing.
In addition to serving his church, Ellio also served his community. For many years he served on the Central Indiana County Water Authority Board. He was an active member of the Homer City Athletic Boosters and enjoyed coaching his son’s little league baseball teams. He also was an active member of the Graceton-Coral Sportsmen Club and was President of the Graceton-Coral Sportsmen’s Fish Club. Ellio always enjoyed organizing and stocking the Club pond for fishing in the spring. He also loved polka music and organizing polka dances in various venues in Indiana County.
Ellio retired from Torrance State Hospital after spending a long and dedicated career there. In his younger years, Ellio worked the midnight shift at Torrance and spent his mornings and afternoons as a school bus driver. He always welcomed chatting with former Homer-Center students that he used to take to and from school.
Ellio enjoyed hunting and fishing. He always looked forward to the first day of deer season and the first day of trout fishing. He also liked tinkering with automobiles and had a passion for Model T Fords. He spent his Saturday mornings having coffee with his friends at Roy’s and always looked forward to his Sunday coffee visits with his brother Gus. He was an avid Pittsburgh sports fan. He especially cheered on the Penguins as a partial season ticket holder for many years. Ellio also was a huge Notre Dame fan and was so excited this year when his oldest granddaughter announced that she was going to college there this fall.
Ellio most enjoyed spending time with his children and grandchildren. In 2003, he and Jean moved to Southpointe to be closer to their grandchildren. Ellio never missed cheering on his grandchildren – on the field, on the court, or in the auditorium. Ellio loved to travel with his family and Cape Cod was an annual favorite summer trip. He also wanted to make certain that his children visited other parts of the country, especially the cities. He never hesitated to take a road trip to New York, Philadelphia, or Boston. As a grandfather, Ellio spent every afternoon picking up his granddaughter from St. Patrick’s preschool and kindergarten and then stopping at Sarris Candies & Ice Cream Parlour for ice cream and a stuffed animal. He and Jean treasured taking the grandchildren to museums, parks, and lunches. More recently, Ellio enjoyed playing cards with his children and grandchildren. He also had fun spending time with some of his favorite pets, Gizmo, Sugar, and Bailey. His four-footed friends loved napping with him in the afternoon.
Ellio was known for his sense of humor and quick wit. He assigned everyone a nickname. Ellio made everyone that he met feel that they were part of his family or a friend that he had known for years. No one was a stranger to Ellio. He instilled in his children and grandchildren the value of hard work, a strong work ethic, and service to church and community.
In addition to his children and grandchildren, Ellio is survived by his brother-in-law, Stanley Greczek of Coral, his sister-in-law Elaine Bertig of Demotte, Indiana, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Ellio was preceded in death by his loving wife, Jean, his beloved daughter, Candace Lynn; his parents; brothers Gino and Gus, sisters Irma, Olivia, and Pia, his niece and Goddaughter, Candace Henry, and nephews, Gino Bertig, Jr. and Tim Daldoss, as well as several brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law that he held near and dear to his heart.
Ellio will be deeply missed by all who loved him. The flames in our lives have been made dimmer, but we know that his flame is shining brightly in eternal life.
The family would like to thank Ellio’s wonderful and compassionate caregivers, Donna Getz and Ron Hice, who made it possible for them to care for their father at home.
Family and friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 PM Monday at the Bowser Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Inc., in Homer City. A Blessing Service will be held Tuesday at 10:30 AM at the funeral home followed by a Funeral Mass at 11:00 AM at Our Lady of the Assumption Parish in Coral. Interment will be in the church cemetery.
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