Livio Andreatta - 76
Benton Harbor, Michigan
Livio Andreatta’s life will change how you think about miracles and blessings. For his life was filled with many of them and how he lived it daily, proved it. He entered this world on February 26th,1945 in the bombed out, war-torn city of Livorno, Italy. But to understand the man, you have to understand the humble beginnings of his father and mother’s love story. The fruit of this love story was a gift from God in the purest sense in producing, Livio and the world instantly became a better place as a result.
Livio’s father, Luigi Otto (aka Gino) Andreatta was left alone at the age of 10 years old in Bedollo, Italy. He had to fend for himself doing odd jobs, lived in a barn and when he turned 18, made his way to America to reunite with his mother and step-father. Upon arriving to America, he was immediately drafted into the United States Army during the outbreak of World War 2 and was sent back to North Africa, Sicily and Italy to fight against his own people. He served as an interpreter and snuck bread to childhood friends who he would find in Allied prison camps. While in Naples, Italy he met a striking young woman, Vincenza (aka Enza) Mastriani, selling flowers in the town square. One sunny afternoon, as the German’s retreated, they began to carpet bomb Naples and as Gino and Enza were conversing, both scattered into different buildings to take cover. The bomb that fell on the building Enza ran into didn’t go off but the bomb that fell on Gino’s building where he sought refuge, did… He was severely injured by shrapnel in his head and back which earned him a Purple Heart, but his greatest prize from that day was Enza visiting him every single day in the Army hospital to help nurse him back to health. Day-by-day he got better, quickly proposed, Gino and Enza were married days later and he had to leave to continue on with the war effort. His war-bride would soon write him to deliver news he was to be a father and that’s how Livio Andreatta came to be… His mother scrounging to find him milk while her husband continued on fighting in the European campaign. A miracle indeed.
After the war ended, Enza and her infant son would travel by boat through Ellis Island and Livio would meet his father again in Chicago’s South-Side Pullman neighborhood. Livio was small in stature but, by some miracle, his big personality more than made up for it. He was known as a stand-out baseball player at Palmer Park and one of the best dancers on the south side often going on Jim Lounsbury’s television show to dance. One of his greatest prides was being a Mendel Catholic alum. It was only by a blessing that he was able to attend Mendel as Father Ron Tursich loaned his parents the money for tuition after a year away at Seminary, starting his sophomore year.
After graduating high school in 1963, Livio volunteered for the Army and was sent to South Korea to defend the 38th Parallel as part of the Second Infantry Division in 1965. While stationed in South Korea, another miracle took place as he tried out for the Army Baseball team (Second Infantry Warriors) and made it. As such, he traveled throughout South East Asia playing baseball and competed in the Good Will Games while war raged in Vietnam and his friends came home mangled or didn’t come home at all.
On October 18th, 1969, another blessing took place when he met Patricia Dunn at a local neighborhood bar and asked her to dance. Days later, their very first date was Livio asking Patricia to accompany him to a children’s hospital to visit sick kids. As he often did, Livio did this in full make-up and dressed as a clown to bring smiles and joy to stricken kids. They shared their love for one another for 50 years beautiful years, having celebrated their miles tone anniversary on November 22, 2020.
In the years to come, Livio’s life included many more miracles and blessings, not limited to the following:
The births of their 3 sons, Brian, Lee and Brad whom Livio loved and supported every day of their lives without fail. He took off summers to coach their baseball teams, left work early to coach their football and basketball teams and he sat in the stands for swim practices/meets, plays, sing-alongs, on and on. He inspired them as a father.
Livio found his true passion in life… Owning his own business selling insurance. He married his BIG personality with wanting to help people and his motto of “just do what’s right” proved itself daily.
He opened his home to countess (literally) folks who needed a soft place to land. Some for a night and others for years.
He volunteered as President of Homewood Flossmoor’s Parents Organization Promoting Sports for 10+ years, spent countless hours with The Men of Tolentine, Mendel Catholic (of which he was inducted into their Hall of Fame)and countless other charities that he raised money for and donated his time to.
Livio viewed this country as a miracle and his small part in it as a miracle as well. From its founding principles, to the opportunity it provided him and his family via God given freedom, he was uniquely American and so proud of it.
Within all these miracles, there was one that stood out as the greatest of all. His faith. He attended mass daily, confession weekly, took part in adoration and served what-ever parish he belonged to as a faithful servant of God.
His gift was to connect with folks and it was awe-inspiring all the lives he touched via his smile, general pleasantries or simply taking the time to get to know a stranger.
The miracle of Livio’s life will play out over time and span the ages through his children, grand-children and countless lives he touched during his time on this earth.
Livio is survived by his wife Patricia nee Dunn of 50 years, sons Brian, Lee, Bradley (Kelli) Andreatta. Grandfather to Nicholas, Kaitlyn, Giancarlo, Sofia, Gino, Dominic and Genevieve Andreatta. Son of the late Vincenza “Enza” nee Mastriani and Luigi Otto “Gino” Andreatta. Brother of Vivian (Toby) Perez. Uncle and friend of many.
Resting at Panozzo Bros. Funeral Home, 530 W 14th Street(US Rt 30, 3 blks E of Western Ave), Chicago Heights on Thursday November 18, 2021 from 2:00 PM to 8:00 PM. Funeral Friday 9:15 am from funeral home to St Joseph Church, 17951 Dixie Highway, Homewood. Mass 10:00 AM. Interment Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Alsip. Info 708-481-9230 and panozzobros.com.