Geno C. Zambotti, 90, of Indiana, died Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, at West Penn Hospital in Pittsburgh.
He was born in 1929 in Aultman to Zelinda and Clemente Zambotti.
Geno was a fighter. Born at the start of the Great Depression and having lost his own father months after his birth, Geno saw his mother as an example of tenacity and grit that defined his long life. From shoveling coal and grueling work on the railroad as a teenager, he labored to earn enough for a college education in mathematics, a master’s at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and continuing studies at Thiel College, American University and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He served in the Navy during the Korean War from 1951 to 1955, and put aside his fears to enlist for submarine duty to earn hardship pay to help his widowed mother and put toward his education.
Today, the submarine on which he served, the USS Requin, is docked at Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh.
Geno taught mathematics at Elderton High School, where he met his beloved wife of 60 years, Frances Sellers. He taught at Lenape Tech and continued his passion for teaching as a professor of chemistry at IUP, where he belonged to several professional organizations and retired in 1994 as professor emeritus of chemistry.
A devoted husband, father and grandfather, Nonno, as he was known to his grandchildren, lived his life to the fullest by filling every moment with his many hobbies: woodworking, beekeeping, gardening and canning. He found joy sharing a good story with his family and friends. Nonno had great memories of traveling the world but was most at home in Indiana in the house that he and Fran built with their own hands, where he spent time as part of bridge clubs, bowling teams, and the ballroom dance club.
He had many good times tailgating at Penn State football games.His many passions and zeal for life have inspired his children and grandchildren throughout their own lives.
His most courageous fight came in the last few years when he battled the rare autoimmune disease that eventually took his life. Nonno’s spirit was never broken. He was surrounded by his loving family to the end.
Surviving are his wife, Fran; his children: Michael Zambotti, of San Diego; Lynn Fisher and husband Ken, of Birmingham; Dave Zambotti and wife Becca, of Los Angeles; Traci Zambotti and husband Philip Giordano, of Chevy Chase, Md.; and Kimberly Bellar, of Colorado; and his eight beloved grandchildren: Joseph Fisher and wife Paige, of Atlanta; Madison and Nathan Fisher; Anna and Lily Zambotti; and Joey Geno, Francesca and Roman Zambotti Giordano.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his brothers, Leno, 1973, and Bruno, 2020; and his sister Eda, 2017.
Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at Bowser-Minich Funeral Home, Indiana.
A funeral Mass will be held at Church of the Good Shepherd, Kent, at 11 a.m. Saturday, followed by a luncheon at Rustic Lodge in Indiana. Interment will be in St. Bernard Cemetery, Indiana.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to VNA of Indiana County or Church of the Good Shepherd in Kent.