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MARIO SCAFURO age 69. Beloved husband of Sandra (nee Julian). Father of Paul Angelo. Son of the late Francesco and Antonietta Scafuro. Brother of Carlo Scafuro (Linda) and the late Michele Scafuro.
Mario Scafuro entered the world on May 13, 1954, in the Italian village of Mercato San Severino, a stone’s throw from the Amalfi city Salerno. When Mario was two, he, his father Francesco, his mother Antonietta, and his brothers Carlo and Michele made a one-way journey by ship to the United States, eventually settling in Cleveland. His father fought with Mussolini during the Second World War and was held prisoner in North Africa for many years; his mother kept her promise and waited patiently for him to return from the war, finally marrying in 1947.
The family’s relocation to Ohio, where they had distant cousins, represented a fresh start, and Mario grew up in the Italian-American neighborhood of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish on Cleveland’s west side. Mario always recognized the importance of family. As a child, he enjoyed picnics at Lake Erie and in the Metroparks, and he fondly recalled tagging along with his older brothers while they sold Checker Bar ice cream on bike carts. When Mario was ten years old, his older brother Michele drowned at Lake Erie’s Perkins Beach on Christmas Eve, a horrific tragedy that marked young Mario’s life and made it difficult for the family to celebrate the holidays going forward.
Mario’s immigrant roots and the family’s entrepreneurial spirit instilled in him a determination to make life good for himself and the people he loved. When he was young, he accompanied his father in renovating their rental properties, acquiring the skills to later assist his own family and friends whenever a handyman was needed for house maintenance or renovation. Mario and his brother Carlo eventually learned the trade of cutter grinding, founding Quality Cutter Grinding, where they were partners for years. Later, Mario pursued a career with Ford Motor Company in Brook Park, from which he retired in 2018, before taking on a part-time job at Beckett Thermal Solutions in Strongsville.
Mario had a passion for motorcycles from an early age. At fourteen, he often snuck out of the house and “borrowed” his older brother’s motorcycle, practicing his riding and handling in a parking lot across the street from their home. By the 1980s, he was so proficient that he started racing his own Kawasaki Ninja locally and out of state with James Watts and his brothers, who were like family to Mario. Mario eventually gave up racing and his bike for a boat, the “Paisano,” to better enjoy beautiful Lake Erie.
But it was not long before motorcycles came back into Mario’s life. At Ford’s pattern shop, where Mario worked for more than two decades, his closest friends all had Harleys. And so began Mario’s love for the Road King Classic, purchasing his first one in 1994. Mario explored–on bike–much of the United States with his friends and colleagues from Ford, and he loved collecting Harley t-shirts from the places he visited.
In 1998, Mario met the love of his life, Sandra, at his dentist’s office. She was his hygienist for three years before she accepted an invitation to dinner, and by 2001, their admiration for one another had blossomed. Sandra became Mario’s “biker chick,” joining Mario’s riding friends for trips to places like Washington, DC, Myrtle Beach, South Dakota, and Niagara Falls. Sandra also indulged Mario’s other great passion, golf, and they were active in the Buckheads Couples’ Golf League for many years. Mario appreciated good food and cooking, exchanging with Sandra their family recipes and culinary traditions. His ribs, meatballs, and pasta sauce were family
favorites, and at Christmas, Mario always used his mother’s antique chestnut roaster.
Mario and Sandra were married for sixteen short but love-filled years and enjoyed their hobbies, spending quality time with family and friends, and traveling internationally with Sandra’s son Paul. In all, they visited more than fifteen countries. Colombia, Honduras, Guatemala, the United Kingdom, and Spain were favorites, but Mario’s easygoing nature and curiosity made a good time out of just about anywhere–even the side of a rural highway in Chile after the family’s rental car broke down on Christmas 2018.
Mario’s plucky demeanor and sense of humor brought smiles to everyone he knew. He loved life and always had a smile on his face, even during his final days. On October 27, Mario passed away after a challenging battle with lymphoma. He was comfortable and surrounded by the love of his family as he made his last ride on an open road into God’s heavenly embrace.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to the Ames Family Hospice, Westlake, Ohio. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Joseph Church, 12700 Pearl Road, Strongsville, Ohio on Saturday November 18, 2023 at 10:00 AM. (EVERYONE PLEASE MEET AT CHURCH) Interment will follow at Holy Cross Cemetery. The family will greet friends on Friday November 17, 2023 from 4 – 7 PM at THE A. RIPEPI AND SONS FUNERAL HOME, 18149 BAGLEY ROAD, MIDDLEBURG HEIGHTS, OHIO 44130. (WEST of I-71)
AMES FAMILY HOSPICE HOUSE
30080 Hospice Way, Westlake OH 44145