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Samuel Francis Ballato  Korea


August 5, 1931 - December 25, 2017

Samuel Francis Ballato, 86, of Weirton, WV, died Monday, December 25, 2017, at the Veteran’s Hospital in Aspinwall, PA.

Born on August 5, 1931, on Avenue A in Weirton, WV, Sam was a son of the late Giuseppe and Rosa Napoli Ballato. He was preceded in death by his two brothers, Ross and Frank Ballato, and his five sisters, Nancy J. Yakunich, Virginia Ballato, Mary Sweda, Sarah Warzynski and Rose Buelich.

An All-State lineman from Weir High School, Sam graduated and continued his education at Glenview State College, where he was an All-American lineman, and a prospect of the NFL Cleveland Browns. 

His football career took a turn when he was drafted into the United States Army. Sam fought for his country during the Korean War receiving three purple hearts and a bronze star for his heroism and injuries he sustained in the Battles of Pork Chop Hill and Old Baldy. On one occasion he laid severely wounded in a rice paddy field for 19 hours before he was air lifted to medical care.

In 1952 he met the love of his life, Norita May Wright, the two were married and had five children, seven grandchildren, and a great granddaughter
After returning home from the war, Sam worked as a postman and eventually became an insurance man with Western-Southern selling millions of dollars of insurance over his 25-year career. 

He was a member of Saint Joseph the Worker Roman Catholic Church, Weirton, a founding member of the Oakland District Fire Department and was the Commander for over 20 years of the local chapter of the Purple Heart Recipients. Family and friends will always remember Sam for the love he had for his fellow veterans.

Sam is survived by his wife, Norita May Wright Ballato; his daughter, Rebecca Ann Fuscardo (Chunky) all of Weirton, WV; his four sons, Sammy J. Ballato of Altoona, Pa, Christopher A. Ballato (Chicky) of Wellsburg, WV, Nicholas J. Ballato of Follansbee, WV, and Anthony Ballato (Tammy) of Waverly, Va; seven grandchildren, Greg, Nathan, Nicole, and Tommy Ballato, Gaetano, Abriana, and Gia Fuscardo; and a great-granddaughter, Scarlet Ballato.
Visitation will be 4-8 PM Thursday at the Greco - Hertnick Funeral Home, 3219 Main Street Weirton, WV

Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated 10 AM Friday, at Saint Joseph the Worker Roman Catholic Church, Weirton.

Rev. Fr. Dennis R. Schuelkens, Jr. will preside.

Interment will follow with military honors at the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies, Bridgeville, Pa.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Disabled American Veterans. DAV/Org/donate

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