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Vito J. Misale


Vito J. Misale, 89, of Missoula, Montana, went to be with the Lord on Tuesday, November 7, 2017, with his children by his side.

He was born July 5, 1928, in Ishpeming, Michigan, one of 16 siblings.

His parents were Joseph A. and Marie (Bertucci) Misale, stepmother Margret (Fonzasin) Misale.

Vito, two sisters, and four brothers, lived in the Marquette Orphanage for seven years until his father married his stepmother, the only mother he ever knew. Their ages ranged from two to eight years old. While in the orphanage his father came very Sunday to spend the day with his children. Vito remembers him bringing fruit every Sunday. Vito was five when he entered the orphanage and 12 when he went home again, after his father married his stepmother.

Vito married Carol L. Sillanpaa on December 10, 1946, in Ishpeming, Michigan. A few years after their marriage, with two small children, they made the long move to Butte, Montana, where Vito became a miner. Vito wanted to work in the mines in Upper Michigan, but because he had rheumatic fever as a child he could not pass the physical. They must not have given physicals in Butte at the time. In 1958, he moved his family to Richland, Washington, where he worked on the Ice Harbor Dam, and there he started his construction career. In 1968, he moved to Grand Coulee, where he worked on the Grand Coulee Dam until 1978. In 1978, he moved back to Butte, Montana, where he drove a Caterpillar 797F with a 400-ton capacity in the Berkeley Pit Mine. In 1998, he retired and moved to Missoula, Montana.

He loved country-western music, had a wonderful voice and used to sing and play the guitar in his younger years. He enjoyed boxing in his younger years and won the Golden Glove at age 16. He was an avid U of M Grizzle fan.

He was a loving and caring father; he loved his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren unconditionally. He raised his children to treat everyone the way you would want to be treated.

His grandchildren and great-grandchildren called him "Big Dad." His first grandchild gave him that title; he went on to be known as "Big Dad" by eight grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren and their friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents; stepmother; wife, Carol; brothers: Rosario, Carmello, Sarafeno, Salvador; and one grandson, Danny.

Survivors include: daughter, Joanne (Daniel) Davidson, Electric City, Washington; daughter, Nancy (Bruce) Berry, Electric City; son, Joseph (Mary) Misale, Missoula; son, James (Sharon), Missoula; brothers: Joseph, Peter, Anthony, Michael, Bruno, and Frankie; sisters: Theresa, Carmella, Valentine, Rose, Anna and Kathy; many nieces and nephews.

Many people pass through our lives, but there are special people that truly touch us and remain within our hearts, and Vito is one of those people. The words in the song "Make Me a Channel of Your Peace" were lived out by Vito. He was a caring, compassionate, hard working, loving man. He loved God and his family. Vito worked many jobs and never complained, no matter what the job. He provided for his family. When his wife, Carol, became ill and was not able to care for herself, Vito cared for her. He said he would not allow her to spend her last years in a nursing home.

He did not like to be praised. He was a humble man. He loved laughter and his eyes would sparkle; when he was concerned about things, you could see it within his eyes. Our world needs more people like him. Visualize our Lord Jesus Christ saying, "Vito, my child, welcome home, my loving and caring servant," as Jesus' arms enveloped him.

Celebration of Vito's and his wife, Carol's, lives will be held at a later date.


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