John R. Spingola, 78, of Clearfield died Saturday, April 5, 2014 at his home. He was with his family.
A funeral mass will be celebrated at 2 p.m. Wednesday at the St. Francis Roman Catholic Church in Clearfield by Monsignor H. Desmond McGee. Burial will follow in Calvary Cemetery, Clearfield.
Friends will be received from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. and from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Bennett & Houser Funeral Home, 312 E. Locust St., Clearfield.
Born June 11, 1935, he was the fourth son of John William and Lena (Ballestrere) Spingola. He grew up in the East End neighborhood of Clearfield with his family.
He married his wife of 50-plus years, Mervine Palumbo, on Nov. 2, 1963 in Winchester, Va. They have two sons, John of New York City and Timothy of Clearfield. They have one grandchild, Charlena, the daughter of Timothy and Mamajoro Spingola.
In 1966, Mr. Spingola purchased the St. Charles Cafe and expanded the business from a bar to include a full-scale dining room. He later expanded it to include a banquet facility that has become a vital part of the community with it hosting many events.
In the 1960’s and 1970’s, Mr. Spingola was a pioneer in take-out beer and food, including pizza and full dinners to go. He was among the first places in the area to do Sunday take-out beer sales. A fan of sports, Mr. Spingola through St. Charles sponsored teams in Little League Baseball, wrestling, basketball, touch football, bowling, pool, softball and racing. He was also active in various local charities, including Ducks Unlimited and hosted many of their events.
He loved the Clearfield County Fair, especially when the James E. Strates Show’s train caravan would set up on the railroad tracks on Third Street in Clearfield. His place would be the unofficial headquarters of the carnival’s personnel. St. Charles also provided catering backstage for the various performers for many years.
He enjoyed playing poker and shooting pool with his friends. He loved hunting and target shooting. He was a huge movie fan and loved going to see live entertainment, including many Broadway productions and headlining nightclub stars.
Mr. Spingola was member of the Sons of Italy Due Palme Lodge 189 for more than 60 years. He was a bartender there early in his career. He also was a member of the Elks Club for many years. In the late 1970’s, he was a Penn State basketball booster under Coach Dick Harter.
He’s preceded in death by his father and mother and brothers, Frank, Bobby and Dominic (Coke) Spingola.
He’s survived by his wife Mervine; his sons, John and Timothy and his daughter-in-law, Mamajoro; his granddaughter, Charlena and his brother, William (Bill) Spingola of Syracuse, NY.
In lieu of flowers, please make any memorial contributions to the Clearfield Hospice, 438 W. Front St., Clearfield, PA 16830 and or to St. Francis Roman Catholic Church Endowment Fund, 212 S. Front St., Clearfield, PA 16830.