Mario A. DeGiosafatto, 77, of Glenolden, a retired General Electric inspector who entertained patrons at Genuardi's Family Market, died of heart failure Wednesday, May 25, at home.
Mr. DeGiosafatto joined General Electric's aerospace division in Philadelphia in 1959 and was later involved with NASA space projects at GE's Valley Forge facility.
After retiring in 1991, he worked at Macy's. Then, for 15 years until August, he worked part-time at Genuardi's Family Market in Springfield, Delaware County. He had a variety of jobs at the store, including making minor repairs, giving "healthy eating" tours to schoolchildren, and bagging groceries while singing Frank Sinatra songs to customers. "He brought smiles to everyone's face," his grandson James Page said.
A native of South Philadelphia, Mr. DeGiosafatto was raised by two older sisters after his mother died when he was 2 and his father returned to Italy. He graduated from South Philadelphia High School, where he played on the baseball team.
During the Korean War, he served in the Army in Korea.
After his discharge, Mr. DeGiosafatto played several seasons for the Washington Senators' farm teams. Though he was an outstanding pitcher, he didn't pursue a baseball career because he didn't like the travel, his grandson said. In 1957, Mr. DeGiosafatto married Beatrice Duca and called her his "bride" for the next 54 years, their grandson said.
Mr. DeGiosafatto did his own home repairs and improvements. A self-trained mason, he transformed his backyard into a Roman villa, complete with columns, where he hosted barbecues and enjoyed summer evenings reminiscing about the past, his grandson said.
In addition to his wife and grandson, Mr. DeGiosafatto is survived by a daughter, Maria Whitty, and a son, Joseph; and three grandchildren.
A Funeral Mass will be said at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, May 28, at Our Lady of Fatima Roman Catholic Church, 1 Fatima Dr., Secane, Pa. 19018. Friends may call from 9 a.m. Burial will be in SS. Peter and Paul Cemetery, Marple Township.
Donations may be made to Our Lady of Fatima Church, where Mr. DeGiosafatto attended daily Mass.