Pasquale Fusillo

Obituary of Pasquale Fusillo

In Memoriam Pasquale “Pat” Fusillo 1923–2020 Pasquale “Pat” Fusillo, 97, passed away at his home in Oakland, California, from congestive heart failure, surrounded by family. He was the fifth of seven children and the last surviving of his generation. Born in Gary, Indiana, to parents from Noci, Puglia, Italy, he spent four years in Brooklyn during the depression. There he met the love of his life, Catherine Notarnicola. He graduated from Lew Wallace High School in Gary in 1941 and joined the army as a communications specialist. He served in Kunming, China, during World War Two. He loved to regale friends and family with the tale of the four-month journey from the United States to Kunming via Liberty ship to Casablanca, train to Algeria, ship to Bombay, train to Calcutta and then flying the “hump” over Burma to Kunming. He returned home to Gary on New Year’s Eve, 1945. Pat started Purdue University in January 1946 where he famously had 300+ roommates his first semester sleeping in the fieldhouse and became a lifelong Boilermaker fan. He graduated in 1950 with a degree in mechanical engineering, and joined RCA in Marion, Indiana. He transferred to RCA in New Jersey and received his master’s degree from Rutgers University. He spent his career with RCA and General Electric, worked on components for Apollo, Voyager and other satellite missions and became a leading expert on traveling wave tubes for satellites. He lived in Indiana, New Jersey, Southern California, Paris, suburban Philadelphia, Sun City and Oakland. Pat married Catherine in 1951. His family was his great joy—children, siblings, nieces and nephews, cousins—both in the United States and in Noci. He enjoyed being known as the “adopted grandfather” to children of family and friends. Catherine died in 1985 and he remained dedicated to her until the end of his life. A great listener and knowledgeable on many topics, Pat was the thoughtful answer man. He was always up for something new or travel to new destinations, and was a warm, easygoing travel companion. After retiring, he traveled frequently on extended visits with family to Japan, other Asian destinations, Central America and Europe. He loved to visit his cousins in Italy, and made his last trip to Noci at age 91. He enjoyed genealogy and with his cousin Donato traced the family tree back centuries. He is now winging his way past Voyager—now beyond our solar system—into eternity.    He is survived by his children Tom (Michele), Patrice (David Hytha), Beth Benson (Paul) and Chris (Adelaide), seven grandchildren and nine great grandchildren.  A funeral mass will be held at his home church, St.Theresa’s in Oakland, when the pandemic restrictions are lifted. There will be a memorial likely in late summer. In lieu of flowers we ask that donations in his memory be made to your local food bank.  
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