“These good and wonderful parents, George and Mary Ann Fama, they loved us, they held us up … safely above the swirling waters of life … they were always there for us.” This past Saturday, October 12th, 2013, our most cherished father and grandfather, George Fama, went to join our sweet mother in Heaven. He was in his 92nd year of his long and fruitful life.
The 3rd of eight children, George Joseph Fama was born on Dec. 29th, 1920, at Mabscott. The son of Sicilian immigrants, who came from the town of Fiumedinis, George’s parents were the late Phillip and Nancy Sparacino Fama. His brothers, Patsy and Andy, have preceded him in death as well as an infant brother and sister. He leaves his surviving sisters, Connie Bowden and her husband Roy of Beckley, Rosa Shucet of Virginia Beach and Tony Fama of Beckley.
With the outbreak of the war in 1941, George along with his three brothers entered the armed forces. George serving in the U.S. Army would fight in the Battle of the Bulge where he was injured.
When he returned home, George along with his brothers was apprenticing under Mike Verde, a shoe cobbler on South Fayette Street. Around the corner on McCreery Street was a beautiful young woman by the name of Mary Ann Huzoski who owned the Courtesy Beauty Shop. Fate would bring George and Mary Ann together. They would marry on July 17th, 1948. To this union were blessed four children, Joe Fama and his wife, Becky, Anastasia Fama Morton and her husband, Ray, twins Michael Fama and his wife, Heather, and Phillip Fama and his wife, Kelly, all of Beckley. The children grew up on East C Street and Stanaford Acres. After 62 years of marriage, Mary Ann died on Dec. 23rd, 2010, and now, “Oh Glad Reunion.”
George was the doting “Grandpa” to George, Joey, Alex, Nicole, Taylor, Eli, Rachel, Ethan, Logan, Tanner and Kameron. A devout Catholic, George and his family worshiped at St. Francis de Sales Parish, where he was a Third Degree Knights of Columbus.
From shoe apprenticing, George and his brothers would open Fama Shoe Repair and eventually Fama Shoes that would become a successful chain of shoe stores throughout Southern West Virginia. George and his brothers were truly one of “The Greatest Generation” and lived the “American Dream.” After 46 years in the shoe industry, George retired from the shoe business, but not from working. He immensely enjoyed helping his sons in their business endeavors. At the age of 90, George was still rising early and baking bread at Bellacinos. He enjoyed interacting with his co-workers and had many friends of the younger generation. In his leisure time, he enjoyed the Beckley Moose Lodge.
At the end of the day, it was the love of family that was George’s reason to live. He adored his wife and children and spending time with grandchildren. He was the fond uncle of many nieces and nephews and the kind brother-in-law of June and Karen Fama. At this time in life, George still has an aunt, Nellie Rodriguez, who survives him. “Togetherness” was everything to George.
On Tuesday, October 15th, at 11 a.m. the Funeral Liturgy will be celebrated at St. Francis de Sales Church. Monsignor Samuel Sacus and Fr. Pen will be the celebrants. The family will receive friends on Monday evening from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the Melton Mortuary Chapel. A Vigil Prayer Service will begin at 8 p.m. conducted by Rev. Mr. William Donald Wise. The Rite of Committal will follow in the Sunset Memorial Park Mausoleum where George will be entombed beside his beloved Mary Ann. Family members will be the pallbearers.
George’s family would like to publicly thank his many friends at Bayberry, especially Lily Ann Adkins, the Hospice Staff of the 4th Floor at the Veterans Area Medical Center along with Dr. Boyd and Dr. Jan and local physicians, Dr. Boustani and Dr. Thomas.
The family suggests donations of sympathy can be made to: St. Francis de Sales School, 622 South Oakwood Ave., Beckley, WV 25801, American Cancer Society, 101 S. Kanawha St., Beckley, WV 25801, or the Scholarship Fund of the Fr. John Halpin Council, 5667, Knights of Columbus.
Condolences may be sent to the family’s guestbook at www.meltonmortuary.com.
Arrangements by Melton Mortuary and Cremation Center, Beckley, WV.