Benito Colaiacovo, 81, of Dunkirk, New York, died peacefully at home on Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017, following an extended illness.
Mr. Colaiacovo was born on May 15, 1936, in New Castle to Gaetano and Lucia (Ferrara) Colaiacovo.
He was raised in Western Pennsylvania and graduated from New Castle High School in 1954.
He enlisted in the Navy. He served as Hospital Corpsman Petty Officer Second Class in Jacksonville, Florida, and North Island, California, and on the USS Hancock (CVA-19).
Following his honorable discharge, Mr. Colaiacovo attended Youngstown State University, where he was awarded a bachelor's degree with teaching certifications in social studies and biology. He later earned a master's degree in education at Buffalo State College.
He was a United States history teacher at the Dunkirk Middle School from 1964 until he retired in 1993. During his teaching career, Mr. Colaiacovo dedicated after school hours and Saturdays to teach remedial reading at the Boorady Reading Center from 1966 until its closing in the mid-1970s. He was selected by the board of education in 2000 to be the recipient of the Coleman Award, an honor from the Dunkirk School District and the Coleman Foundation.
Beyond his career, he was a devoted family man and contributor to several community organizations, including the American Red Cross Disaster Team, volunteer tax assistant to the elderly and Boy Scout leader.
He was an avid golfer and proud Pittsburgh Steelers fan.
He was a member of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church and served as an usher for many years.
Mr. Colaiacovo was a kind and gentle man, beloved by all who knew him.
Mr. Colaiacovo is survived by his wife of 58 years, Cecelia (Ross) Colaiacovo; and his four children, Benjamin (Michelle) Colaiacovo of Dunkirk, New York, Karen Colaiacovo of Fredonia, New York, Kristen (Michael) Ferro of Dunkirk, New York, and Kathy (Todd) Grady of Rochester, New York; three grandchildren, Phillip (Meghan) Colaiacovo of Tampa, Florida, Angelo Colaiacovo of Los Angeles, California, and Gianna Ferro of Dunkirk, New York; siblings, Marie Monico of Girard, Ohio, Christine Lutz of New Castle and Harry (Joyce) Colaiacovo of New Castle; brother-in-law, Anthony (Kathleen) Ross of New Castle; and many nieces and nephews.
Mr. Colaiacovo was predeceased by his parents; siblings, Philomena (Frank) Elisco, Clara (Richard) Staph and Helen Amodie; and brothers-in-law, Anthony Monico and Gaylord Lutz.
Published on December 30, 2017