Ernest V. Salvi, 83, Altoona, died Sunday at home surrounded by his family after an extended illness.
He was born in McKeesport, son of the late Michael and Marie (Verno) Salvi, immigrants from Abruzzo, Italy. He married Marcella Bator on Oct. 30, 1954.
The couple has five children: Vincent (Anita) of Sykesville, Md., Damian (Diane) of York and Christine (Mark) Myers, Joan (Randy) Donnelly and Pamela (Steve) Brumbaugh, all of Altoona. In addition, he leaves behind 13 grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, seven brothers and two sisters.
In 1987, after 32 years of service, Ernie retired from the Baltimore Life Insurance Co., where he was employed as a district manager in Altoona. During his tenure with the company, he was honored with various awards and was actively involved in Altoona's Life Underwriters Association, including serving as president and a member of various committees. After his retirement, he was self-employed as a general contractor and started his own business called Ernie's Bingo Supplies.
Ernie led a life full of diversified service and commitment to his country, community, church and family. A veteran of the Korean Conflict, he served four years with the U.S. Marine Corps and was an active member of the Catholic War Veterans. He worked for 10 years as a volunteer for the Miss Pennsylvania Pageant. He was a parishioner at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church, where he served as an usher and was president of the Parish Council, Holy Name Society, Finance Council and Athletic Association, which he was instrumental in organizing. He was a 4th-degree Knight of Columbus.
In addition, Ernie contributed a wealth of time on the maintenance committee volunteering his talents for numerous construction projects, including school renovations and the Walk of Faith, a memorial to the members of St. Rose and their families. Together, he and his wife, Marcella, managed the St. Rose Bingo for over 45 years, raising millions of dollars for the parish school and making a Catholic education possible for generations of students.
In 2005, he was awarded "Man of the Year" by Gov. Ed Rendell, recognizing him for his unselfish contributions to the local community. In 2005, he was awarded the Prince Gallitzin Cross Award by the bishop of the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese for his contribution to the growth of St. Rose of Lima school and church.
Other interests of Ernie's included bowling, playing cards, cooking, entertaining friends and spending time with his family, especially during their annual family vacations. His family, as well as anyone who entered into his life, was gifted with his love, generosity, support and selfless service that he so willingly made a part of his life.
Friends will be received from 2 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 26, 2013, at The Stevens Mortuary Inc., 1421 Eighth Ave., Altoona, where a vigil for the deceased will be held. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Thursday, June 27, 2013, at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church. Committal will be held at Calvary Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made to St. Rose of Lima School, 5519 Sixth Ave., Altoona, PA 16602, or Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic High School, 2400 Pleasant Valley Blvd., Altoona, PA 16602.