NOMMA Remembers Michael Finelli
Wednesday, July 29, 2015
From Michael Finelli's son, Frank:
I asked the funeral director if he could do a drive by the shop on the way to the cemetery so my guys could wave good-bye. I was the only person who knew from our family and all the cars in the procession that we would be driving this way since they usually take a different route.
Instead of just waving the guys decided to pull out the truck because my dad loved seeing our name on it as it would travel down the road. They also decided to bring out his anvil, hammer, gloves, hard hat, shop apron and then put his picture in front of his anvil. Lastly they collected all the national awards we had won as a company and held them for all to see. My dad was so proud of all the accomplishments that the guys had made.
I also asked the funeral director to slow down when he was getting close to the shop..Instead he became very emotional when he saw the tribute that he came to a complete stop so the guys could pay their respects to my dad and at the same time have my dad say good-bye to all of them.
A Tribute to Longtime NOMMA Member Michael Finelli
Michael Anthony Finelli left behind an 86-year legacy upon his passing on June 19, 2015. Born April 7, 1929 in Rosetto Valfortore, Italy, Michael lived and worked selflessly devoted to his family and his community.
He is survived by his loving wife Patricia (nee Sutera), father of Frank (Nancy), Angelo (Laureann), Roseann Bonsignore (Carl), and Michael Jr., and stepfather of Troy Davis (Crystal). Beloved grandfather of 14 and great-grandfather of one; brother of Leonard and deceased siblings: Lucy, Tony, and Rose.
A pioneer in many regards, Michael was accustomed to and enjoyed overcoming obstacles with determination and perseverance. From the age of seven, Michael began forging, crafting and repairing tools for farmers and local townsmen. When Michael first arrived in this country at the age of 18, without his parents or knowledge of the English language, he relied on the skills he learned in Italy as a child to obtain a job at a steel mill in Cleveland, Ohio. Realizing his specialized talent, Michael later turned his passion into reality by opening his own blacksmithing shop in his garage in 1956. This endeavor would later grow into a Solon, Ohio-based business, Finelli Architectural Iron and Stairs. Since its beginning nearly 60 years ago, the company has become a household name in its community and beyond, flourished tremendously, and received countless awards from industry peers. After Michael’s retirement, his two eldest sons, Frank and Angelo, continue to operate the dream that their father built with his heart and hands.
What is more impressive than Michael’s entrepreneurial spirit is the time and attention he spent raising a beautiful and successful family. The love that he had for his wife, children and grandchildren is unsurpassed by none. A devoted water skier, runner, gardener and sports enthusiast, he cherished nothing more than being active and creating new memories and traditions with his family. Michael consistently enjoyed challenging projects, much to his wife’s dismay at times, but also appreciated taking time away from work when travelling both domestic and internationally. Whether sipping wine in the Malbec region of Argentina or narrowly avoiding speeding Vespa’s on the streets of Rome, Michael lived presently and appreciated life to the fullest. You could always count on Michael and his wife being the first and last on the dancefloor at wedding and events, and you would never see him without a smile on his face.
Michael will forever be remembered as a person of integrity and quiet dignity; his word was his bond. He respected himself the way he respected others, and he was always fair in his dealings. He was self-made and self-reliant. Doing the right thing was the only way he did anything. By his actions, he became the standard to which his children and grandchildren would develop their own strong work ethics and integrity. Because of this, Michael achieved the ‘American dream’ and left behind a legacy that no one will soon forget.
To honor Michael’s commitment to others and his endless devotion to those in need of support, the Finelli family respectfully encourages gifts to be made in his name to The Gathering Place, 23300 Commerce Park, Beachwood Ohio 44122.
Say not in grief: "He is no more," but live in thankfulness that he was. –Hebrew Proverb