Gene W. D'Elia, 95, Garvey Manor Nursing Home, Hollidaysburg, passed away Wednesday at the home.
He was born in Hillsville, son of the late Rev. Pasquale and Angelina (Profeta) D'Elia. He married Eleanor Nardella, and she died in 1985.
Surviving are a daughter, Dr. Zanab D'Elia-Jalli of Qom, Iran; a son, Guido of State College; six grandchildren: Bianca D'Elia of New York City, Matteo D'Elia of Brooklyn, N.Y., and Hali, Narges, Mohamad and Fatima Jalli, all of Mashhad, Iran; two stepgrandchildren: Sara Sutton-Fell of Boulder, Colo., and Will Sutton of Missoula, Mont.; eight great-grandchildren; and two brothers: Dante and David, both of Altoona.
He was preceded in death by two sisters: Mary Stango and Blanche DeStefano; and two brothers: Guido, who died in Normandy, and Donald.
Gene was a 1936 graduate of Altoona High School and attended Penn State Altoona from 1987-89. He was a sergeant in the U.S. Army Air Corps, serving as a radioman in China, Burma and India. He was employed with the Pennsylvania Railroad from 1953-58 and with the U.S. Postal Service as a clerk for 25 years. He was a member of the former Fifth Avenue United Methodist Church and a 60-year member of the A&J Iaia American Legion Post. He was a founding committee member of the Big A Booster Club and a member of the Nittany Lion Club.
Gene was an avid reader who took classes at Penn State Altoona into his 70s. He was a booster of Altoona and Penn State football and enjoyed international travel.
Friends will be received from 7 to 9 p.m. today at Santella Funeral Home. A service celebrating Gene's life will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Dec. 21, 2012, at Llyswen United Methodist Church by Pastors Charles Baughman and George Sanders. Interment will be at Calvary Cemetery with military honors.