In Memory

Patrick Joseph Ferraro - Class Of 1949 VIEW PROFILE

Patrick Joseph Ferraro



Patrick Joseph Ferraro

August 7, 1930 - April 29, 2019

SOUTH BEND, IN - Patrick Joseph Ferraro, 88, passed away Monday morning, April 29, 2019, in his residence with his wife and five children near his side after a relatively brief illness. Pat, or “Pasquale”, as he was often called by his kids who enjoyed his given Italian name, was born on August 7, 1930, in South Bend. He was the first child of Italian immigrants from Calabria, Maria Angelina Barbaro and Giuseppe Stefano Ferraro. Pat lived his entire life in South Bend, graduating from John Adams High School, marrying Barbara Lee Bailey of Detroit, and raising two sons and three daughters.

After serving in the Korean War, he started his working life as a butcher, but later switched to sales, first at Beech Nut where he sold baby food and later at Motorola selling color television sets to retailers. However, Pat spent most of his career in radio and television, selling air time at WNDU-TV when color television debuted in the 1960s and later in radio as an account executive at WSBT-AM/WNSN-FM. Later, he rose to sales manager at WYEZ-FM. Pat returned to WSBT as the radio sales manager, and in the final year before his retirement became the general manager.

Pat took up jogging in the 1970s when the nation's fitness rage started. Regular exercise became a significant piece of his daily life for decades, helping to control Type I diabetes which Pat managed with the relentless help of his wife Barbara, for 67 years. He also read regularly about nutrition and health and incorporated whole foods of vegetables doused in olive oil as well as fresh fruit and daily supplements to his life, long before it was fashionable.

During his retirement years, Pat enjoyed cooking. He tried to match his mother's superb spaghetti sauce, never quite getting there, in his eyes, but pleasing his family with a regular supply of sauce. In the summer, Pat grew huge plants of basil and tomatoes in the backyard for one of his favorite side dishes, Italian tomato salad.

Without question, Pat was a “homebody,” preferring a simple life taking care of the house and lawn, and visiting his parents, one brother, two sisters, their spouses, nieces and nephews who also lived in South Bend. He especially liked Christmas morning when he, Barbara and the five kids opened holiday packages one at a time with humorous commentary about each gift along the way. Pat enjoyed nature shows on television as well as documentaries on World War II or films from that era. When Pat was in his 40s, he discovered classical music. He periodically voiced a dream that it would be great to be a violinist, playing the music of so many gifted Italian composers, Vivaldi, Rossini, Puccini, Albinoni and more.

Over the course of their lives, Pat and his wife Barbara generously opened their home to people in need from a few days to a couple years at a time, believing that it was their ethical duty, when possible, to respond to others less fortunate.

Pat is survived by Barbara, 86, whom he first met at a South Bend community dance in 1949. They married at St. Matthews Church in 1952. Pat's mother, father, brother Rocco Ferraro, sister Theresa Pilarksi, sister-in-law Rosetta Ferraro, brothers-in-law Edward Sullivan and Edward Pilarski, and son-in-law Jerry Whiteford, all preceded him in death. Pat's five children are still living: John (Plano, TX), Cathleen (Sacramento, CA), Jill (South Bend), Francine (South Bend), and Daniel (Indianapolis). He is also survived by sister, Rose Sullivan; daughters-in-law, Wanda Ferraro and Annie Bavaro-Ferraro; son-in-law, Keith Weidner; four grandchildren, Michael Ferraro, Nicole Ferraro, Sydney Whiteford, and Sophie Whiteford, as well numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins on the East and West Coasts and Italy.

The family will receive friends at St. Joseph Chapel on the campus of Holy Cross College in Notre Dame, IN, on Thursday, May 2, at 3:30 pm. A Catholic Mass of Resurrection will begin at the same location at 5:00 pm.

05/01/2019 JFC

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