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LOUIS D. PETRUCCI, BETHLEHEM SAFETY ENGINEER

Louis D. Petrucci, 83, a retired safety engineer for Bethlehem Steel Corp., died Wednesday (July 23, 1997) in his Lackawanna home.

Born in Rotello, Italy, he was raised in Clyde and moved to Lackawanna as a young man.

At Bethlehem Steel, he worked as a safety engineer in the industrial relations department, where he was responsible for instruction and implementation of programs and policies designed to reduce risk and accidents. He retired in 1976 after 40 years with the company.

He was active in a variety of cultural and civic groups in Lackawanna. As vice president of the Lackawanna Seniors, he was instrumental in the construction of the new Lackawanna Senior Center. He also was president of the Lackawanna Senior Citizens Advisory Board.

He was active in the Lake Erie Italian Club and the club's Choral Italiano, a chorus of singers who performed Italian songs at events throughout Western New York.

He was a member of Father Baker Council, Knights of Columbus, where he was a fourth-degree knight. He was a founding member of the Holy Name Society at St. Anthony's Catholic Church in Lackawanna. He was a past member of the Association of Iron and Steel Engineers.

He also served as a volunteer instructor for immigrants learning English as a second language.

An avid gardener, he had extensive flower and vegetable gardens at his home. He was most proud of the many non-native plants such as cactuses, figs and palms that thrived under his care.

He nearly won a listing in the Guinness Book of World records for a sunflower he grew, but a gust of wind toppled the giant flower before an official picture could be taken.

Surviving are his wife of 58 years, the former Loretta E. Barreca; a son, Louis M.; two daughters, Angela Basel of West Seneca and Marilyn Balon of Lackawanna; a brother, Anthony of New Port Richey, Fla.; three sisters, Mary Nosowicz, Viola Piotrowski and Mary Jane Pacillio, all of Lackawanna; seven grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 8 a.m. Saturday in St. Anthony's Church, 306 Ingham Ave., Lackawanna, after prayers at 7:15 in Lombardo Funeral Home, S-3060 Abbott Road, Town of Hamburg. Entombment will be in Holy Cross Cemetery, Lackawanna.

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