Michael Ignatius Augello, 100, of Pittston, passed away on Friday, January 31, 2020, in Wilkes-Barre General Hospital surrounded by his loving family.
Born on February 13, 1919, he was the son of the late Giuseppe and Giustina Augello, who immigrated to the U.S. in the early 1900s from Serradifalco, Sicily. One of eight children, Mr. Augello was delivered at home in an apartment nestled above the family’s business: a grocery store on South Main Street named Augello's.
In 1937, he graduated from Pittston High School. At that time, the Great Depression had taken a toll on the Pittston area and the family store was forced to close. In 1938, with just a $150 investment, Michael and older brother Samuel, started a new venture together on Main Street - the Gramercy.
Mr. Augello worked tirelessly throughout his life. From 1942 to
1945, he served his country dutifully in World War II. A Sergeant
in the Army Air Corps, he worked as a military chef in North
Africa, Algeria, Tunisia, and Sicily, Italy. He took great pride and
care in serving his fellow soldiers.
In 1948, Mr. Augello married the love of his life, the late Susan
Puma. They were wed for over 50 years and had three children together. When they weren’t working at the Gramercy, the couple enjoyed visiting family at Harvey’s Lake, vacationing at the Jersey Shore, traveling around the world, and spending winters in Boca Raton, Florida. Together, they formulated the recipe for the Gramercy’s award winning sauce. For 80 years, Mr. Augello enjoyed serving up his Sicilian cuisine for generations of customers’ weddings, baptisms, communions, graduations, and after-funeral luncheons. He especially loved preparing his daily specials for “the boys” at the lunch table.
Until his final year, Mr. Augello spent every morning at the Gramercy making his daily soups, sausage, and, when in season, his famous stuffed artichokes. He worked for many years alongside his son Michael P., current owner of the business along with his wife Mary Pat. Mr. Augello was a devoted family man and was so proud of his three children, his grandchildren, and everyone who worked for him over the years. He took pride in the fact that he passed along his work ethic to his family and employees, and he loved when everyone would come back to the restaurant to visit him.
Mr. Augello spent the entirety of his life living and working in Pittston. He was a devout Catholic and faithful member of St. Rocco’s Church and St. Joseph Marello Parish. In November 2019, he received the Pittston YMCA Spotlight Award for being a fit and active lifetime member. In addition to his cuisine, he was an honorable gentleman known for his no-nonsense one-liners and heart of gold. He was a pillar of strength, perseverance, and resilience, and he exhibited a strong will to live life to the fullest until his very last breath. He will be sorely missed and lovingly remembered by his family and all those who had the pleasure of knowing him.
In addition to his parents and wife, Mr. Augello was preceded in death by his brother Samuel, sisters: Carrie DePasquale, Mary Leone, Josephine Attardo, Katie Fasciana, Phyllis Augello, and Connie Augello. Surviving are his children: Senior Judge Joseph Augello and wife Mary Virginia, Diane Collins and husband Patrick, Michael P. Augello and wife Mary Pat; grandchildren: Susan and Nathan Kuhl, Attorney Diana Marie Collins and fiancé Justin Gilmore, Maria Augello and William Lombardo, Christina Collins, Michael Patrick Augello and Christine Alaniz, Jeana Augello, and Joseph Augello. Mr. Augello was so thrilled with the recent birth of his first great grandchild, Michael I. Augello II.
The Augello family would like to thank Silver and Golden Care for the exceptional care given, especially by his aide Ginny Popple. They also express their appreciation to Dr. Charles Manganiello and to the late Dr. Samuel DePasquale for their wonderful care throughout the years.
Funeral services will be Wednesday, February 5, 2020 at 9:00AM from Adonizio Funeral Home, LLC, 251 William Street, Pittston with a Mass of Christian Burial at 9:30 AM in St. Joseph Marello Parish, 237 William Street, Pittston. Entombment with full military honors will follow in Denison Cemetery, Swoyersville. Relatives and friends may call from 4:00 to 8:00 PM on Tuesday, February 4, 2020, at the funeral home. Memorial donations may be made to the Care and Concern Ministries, 37 William Street, Pittston, and Miles for Michael, 9 N. Main Street, Pittston.