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Vito Nigrelli

Vito S. Nigrelli, 85, of Clearwater, FL, passed away from complications after a fall from a ladder on Saturday, January 21, 2023. Vito was born on September 19, 1937 in Gary, IN to Jack and Lena Nigrelli, who immigrated to the United States from Villarosa, Sicily. Vito graduated from Horace Mann High School where he played trumpet in the marching band and was an all-around excellent student. He was so well-liked that his principal wrote a letter on his behalf to the police department to get Vito out of a traffic ticket. Vito attended University of Notre Dame in South Bend, IN where he was in the marching band, worked on the yearbook, and was involved in other social and academic activities. Vito graduated in 1959 with a degree in chemical engineering. He didn’t know at the time but his future wife, Vera, was attending St. Mary’s College just a few miles away. After graduation he started a job with US Steel in Gary, IN, and was called up by the US Army Reserves for active duty shortly thereafter. After the Army, Vito went back to school and earned an MBA from the University of Chicago in 1964 and started a job with Standard Oil. Vito and Vera finally met in Chicago in 1965 and they were wed May 4, 1968. Their son Paul was born in 1972 and daughter Joanna in 1975. They moved the family to sunny Clearwater in 1981 where Vito worked for Eckerd Corporation. Vito also owned various businesses but found his favorite career later in life as a professor of business and marketing at Eckerd College and St. Petersburg College.

Vito had wide interests and loved to travel. He was the star player in any game of Trivial Pursuit, often chiming in with the answer after politely letting everyone else try to guess. He loved crossword and jigsaw puzzles and going to the movies. Vito was an avid reader of books, newspapers, and magazines and had a huge music collection, particularly jazz. A life-long Notre Dame fan, Vito and Vera attended a game every year they could. Vito loved spending time with his family and friends and will be missed very dearly by them. Vito was always a letter writer and has left behind several binders of his life stories for his grandchildren.

A memorial service will take place at a future date, but in remembrance of Vito, his family suggests donating to your favorite food bank or local library. You could also watch your favorite movie, dance to your favorite song, eat your favorite meal (maybe it’s also pasta with sausage) and definitely eat something chocolate for dessert or even breakfast.

Vito is survived by his wife of 54 years, Vera, and his sister Tina Muffoletto of Merrillville, IN, sister-in law Libby Victoria of Mission Viejo, CA, brother-in-law Richard Victoria of New Stanton, PA, his son Paul and his family (wife Astrid, children Julia, 21, and Marc 18 of Ramsey, NJ) and his daughter Joanna and her family (husband Greg and sons Samuel, 19 and James, 14 of Jacksonville, FL) plus his many nieces and nephews, family members, and friends.

Nigrelli Vito pic 2 225x300 Nigrelli Vito pic 3 169x300

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  • Kate Zakharov says:

    What a beautiful tribute to your Dad, Joanna. Our thoughts are with you and your family. Love you!

  • Frank Fama says:

    My thoughts and prayers have been with the family since the accident.

    Great guy,, great wife, great family.


  • Helen Muffoletto says:

    The planet has lost one of the best guys I know. Love you uncle Vito. You will be missed. Go Irish💚🍀
    Love to Vera, Paul, and Johanna and your families. Our thoughts and love and prayers are with you always. May his memory be eternal.

  • Jack says:

    A blessing to so many people and loved by all. A great laugh. A great smile. A great life. A great uncle.

  • Joseph P. Mulligan says:

    The Notre Dame Class of 1959 has lost one of its great members. Knowing, in the words of Fr. Paul Doyle, C.S.C., ND’65, during his funeral homilies in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart at Notre Dame, that Vito has now, “gone to the other side.”

    Joe Mulligan’
    President, ND Class of 1959

  • Joe McMann says:

    I was a fellow Chem Engineer with Vito, but never in his league as a student. He was committed, gracious, humorous and always had a smile for you.

    I have now lost two of my three Notre Dame roommates – Dave Kelsey and Hank Fenbert; only Pat Dittrich remains. I know that Vito and Hank were very close, and it saddens me to see so many of our classmates passing into the next life.

    I know that the world is all the better for having had the benefit of Vito and his good works. God bless his family.

  • Nancy Toombs says:

    Joanna and Family,
    I am so sad to hear about your father’s passing. Our prayers are with you all. My father passed away in 2004 and we miss him still, but feel that he is with us in spirit. May your sadness today be replaced by happy memories of time spent with your dad and grandfather, in time.
    Austin Public Library

  • Patty Mehelich Causey says:

    What a beautiful remembrance of a wonderful man. I was lucky enough to spend many days and night at the Nigrelli’s home growing up. Sending love and prayers to your entire family.

  • Jennifer Burns says:

    I have known Vito and family since they moved next door to us in Clearwater. Every now and then I would run into him when visiting mom and we would chat. He will always be remembered as a neighbor that carried a peaceful calmness, always with a warm smile and genuine care he had about us and his pride when talking about his family. My deepest condolences to Vera and family. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  • Susan Mankowski says:

    This is such a beautiful remembrance. Praying these memories will be a comfort for all who knew Vito. Peace be with you now and in the days to come.

  • Joy Helmick Ford says:

    I love this.

  • Susan Feulner says:

    Vito has been a delight to know ever since he and Vera were engaged (when I was in the hospital with my 2nd son, Matt, October 1967). He was so gracious in helping me after my husband died. Love them both.

  • Chris Sublette says:

    Mr. Nigrelli was a beautiful and kind soul who treated everyone he met with kindness and respect. He was patient and thoughtful to me my whole life and treated me with kindness and respect. I will miss him sorely.

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