Louis Mario DalSanto passed away on February 20, 2020 at Cleveland Clinic Akron General Hospital after a short illness. At his side was his wife of 70 years, Mary Amanda (Bulfer) DalSanto, as well as his three sons, their wives, and several grandchildren.
Louis was born in Rockford, Illinois in 1923 on his father’s birthday, July 15th. His parents, John Vernon DalSanto and Geraldine Bortoli DalSanto, had both emigrated from Italy as teenagers. Louis will be remembered by everyone who knew him as the “Music Man,” in recognition of a lifetime of playing the accordion, organ, and piano—from grade school through the last week of his life. His band, the Avons, was a fixture in the Rockford music scene, performing in area clubs every Saturday night for four decades—from the 1940s through the 1970s. The Avons headlined a Faust Hotel dinner and dance on June 9, 1948, where Prince Bertil of Sweden, representing King Gustav V, recognized 100 years of Swedish immigration into the Midwestern city of Rockford.
Rivalling Lou’s lifelong love of music was his lifelong love for the Chicago Cubs and their 108-year pursuit of a World Series Championship. The family spent many happy afternoons together watching baseball in Wrigley Field. When the Cubs finally won the World Series in 2016, Lou said his “bucket list was now complete.”
Louis graduated from St. Mary’s Catholic Grade School and West High School. He served as an airplane mechanic in the U.S. Army during World War II and was honorably discharged on Valentine’s Day 1946. He worked his entire career at Sundstrand Hydraulics, retiring there as Production Control Manager after 38 years. He was an active member of St. Peter’s Cathedral Parish and, later, Holy Family Parish, both in Rockford. Louis and Mary moved from Rockford to the Village of St. Edward in Fairlawn, Ohio in June 2014, where he made countless new friends who enjoyed his friendship, fellowship, and music.
Louis is survived by his loving wife, Mary, three sons and their wives, James (Kerry Fulkerson), Robert (Deborah Gordon), and Gary (Joanne Ruggeri), as well as seven grandchildren, Matthew (Ellen), Laura, Michael (Julia), Kaitlyn (fiancé Tomás), Elizabeth, Megan (Kurt), and Gregory (Kimberly), and two great-grandchildren, Wynn Charlotte and Elizabeth Kathleen. He is also survived by his beloved sister, Norma Fratello, who resides in Rockford, as well as many nieces and nephews.
The Visitation will be held in Rockford, Illinois at Fitzgerald Funeral Home from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday March 6th, with the Funeral Mass being held at Holy Family Parish at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 7th , with calling hours one hour prior to the Mass. Louis will be laid to rest in Calvary Cemetery.
The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Village of St. Edward Foundation, in honor of Louis DalSanto, 3131 Smith Road, Fairlawn, Ohio 44333.
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