Michael Eugene Assalone
Michael Eugene Assalone, a retired businessman and Diocese of Miami (Florida) honoree died Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014.Born in 1913, the Pennsylvania native graduated from Ridgway High School and attended a Pittsburgh business college on scholarship. He later moved to Nashville, Tennessee where he worked in the insurance industry before joining Tennessee Electric Motor Co. He married Ina Kathleen McClanahan in 1938 and with their five children relocated to Miami’s Allapattah neighborhood in 1949. For the next 40 years, Michael worked tirelessly to establish Florida Electric Motor Co.A devout Roman Catholic, he became a member of Corpus Christi Parish, serving as an usher, Mass lector and fundraiser for years of annual Fish Fry Fridays, Casino Nights and Fall Festivals. He was a member of the Society of St. Vincent De Paul, the Serra Club and honored in 1965 by then Bishop (and later Archbishop) of Miami, His Excellency, Coleman F. Carroll with the Diocese of Miami Medal for Meritorious Service. Michael was one of 21 pillars of the community recognized for his “constant zeal” who aided the church and the city in facing the era’s critical challenges including supporting the struggle for civil rights and aiding Cuban refugees. He also served as a member and chapter officer in the Electrical Apparatus Service Association (EASA) and shared his business acumen at national conferences and in visits to area classrooms. His love of music, reading, traveling and his faith never left him. He enjoyed singing in his rich baritone voice, playing harmonica and mandolin, and travel to distant countries and on long road trips well into his 90s. Even as his hearing and eyesight diminished, he continued to enjoy visits and calls from friends, children, grandchildren and his church family. His long struggle with macular degeneration resulted in regular visits to Bascom Palmer Eye Institute until 2013, generating a rich case history capturing a 60-year span.Michael is preceded in death by his wife Ina Kathleen and daughters Dianne Marie and Angela Christi as well as brothers John and Patrick Assalone and sister Lena Russell. Survivors include daughters Ina (Joe) Humkey, Mary (Frank) Norris, Fran (Dary) Matera; son James (Barbara) Assalone; grandsons Christopher (Lee) DiMella, Timothy (Kathy) DiMella, Terence Pastirchak, Justin (Natalie) Gilmore, Ryan (Cynthia) Norris, Cody Matera; granddaughter Kate Norris; three great-grandsons, Nicholas DiMella, twins Michael and Mason Gilmore as well as sister Jenny (Bob) Gardner.Michael’s parents, Fred and Josephine Assalone, lived in Weedville then settled in Ridgway and were parishioners at St. Leo Catholic Church. His brother John (Eileen) Assalone and sister Lena (Gene) Russell lived and worked in the town throughout their lives. John’s daughter Linda and Lena’s daughter Joanne continue to live in the area. His sister Jenny and her husband (Bob) Gardner still live in the community along with their daughter Kathleen.A funeral mass for Michael Eugene Assalone will be held Monday, Jan. 20, 10 a.m., St. Brendan Catholic Church, 8725 SW 87th Ave., Miami, Fla. with entombment at Our Lady of Mercy Cemetery, 11411 NW 25th St., Miami, Fla.