Raymond Andreassi

November 8, 1927 ~ January 3, 2022 (age 94)

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1927 – 2022


On the night of January 3rd, 2022, from the Institute Hill neighborhood of Butler, after 94 richly lived years, Raymond A. Andreassi stepped off into his next venture.

Ray “Romolo” was born November 8, 1927 in Brady’s Bend to Giuliano and Celeste (DeMatteis) Andreassi, formerly of L’Aquila, Italy.  A first generation American, he was reared in a close-knit family of eight children and attended the Pine Run elementary school.  He took his first job outside the house at age 12 with a nearby dairy.  There he learned to drive a farm truck, beginning a life-long affection for all things automotive. 

Ray later fell in love with a neighborhood girl, Patty Harmon, and married her in September of 1952.  Following a honeymoon in Bermuda, Ray and Pat moved to Franklin to start the family that would eventually grow to seven after their move to Butler.  He opened a small business at that time in an early nod to his penchant for good footwear and fine clothes.  He also honed his talent for sales.  Over time, he would combine his natural rapport with people, understanding of retail commerce, and innate technical aptitude to succeed as a salesman in multiple business sectors – most notably, cars.  He stood out for his knowledge and enjoyment of German engineering, particularly Porsche, Audi, Mercedes and BMW.  “Speed safely” was his not-so-secret motto.  Other forays variably saw him as a buyer for a major department store and traveling representative for business machine sales.  He made friends and impressions everywhere he went.

A military veteran, Ray served with both the U.S. Army and Air Force Reserve.  He first enlisted in 1946 for continental and foreign service, and was later sent to the Philippines.  He was certified as a technician of the Fifth Grade with the Signal Service Group before being honorably discharged as a 1st Lieutenant in the summer of 1947.   He was returned at California with a WWII Victory Medal and recommendation for more military service.  He then spent time in Pittsburgh training with the Air Force Reserve.  Though he relished the experience, he chose to remain a full-time civilian.  He went on to attend the University of Pittsburgh for a B.A., and later pursued an insurance license.

Other interests and passions included photography, music, model train sets, and sports.  Names like Nikon, Pentax, Bennett, Belafonte, Alpert, Mancini, Lionel and Steelers held special regard in Ray’s world, one that was more hi-fi than wi-fi.  Industrious by nature, he was always busy tinkering, repairing, gardening.  He held a position in automotive sales through age 89.  Measured gait and economy of words notwithstanding, he was a kinetic and engaging individual who remained active until the bitter end.  He didn’t just play volleyball into his 80s, he was a sought-after teammate by players half his age.  He didn’t just cut his own grass last summer, he cut his son’s, his grandson’s, and their rental properties, too.  He loved his animals, and they him.  But perhaps more than anything, he loved fun.  And it must be said, Ray was the Sinatra of whistling.  Maybe the Pavarotti.

After a brief stay at Butler Memorial Hospital, he departed from his home while surrounded by family.

Ray’s spirit lives on through his children Timothy (Patty), John and Mary of Butler, Jane of Brighton, U.K. and Nancy of Beacon, NY; grandchildren Kelly Bowser, Daniel Lafferty and Evan Andreassi of Butler, Joseph (Sarah) Bowser of Bethel Park, and Marissa Andreassi of Denver, CO; great granddaughter Celeste of Butler; great grandson-to-be Harrison of Bethel Park; and beloved siblings, Mafalda “Malphine” Fogel and Lydia Emerick of Butler, Helen Bartoe of Brady’s Bend, and Josephine Vasbinder and Silvio “Scabby” (Shirley) Andreassi of East Brady, with whom he always remained close.  He was preceded in death by his ever-cherished wife Pat, and sisters Maria “Mem” Barnhart of Butler (originally of L’Aquila, Italy) and Gina “Jean” Karnes of Altoona.  Also preceding him in death were his cousin and close confidante, Giambattista “Greaser” Andreassi and sister-in-law Joanne, along with brothers-in-law Richard Snyder, Charles “Red” Barnhart, Kermit Bartoe, John “Jack” Emerick, Maurice “Cubby” Fogel, and Arthur Vasbinder, all of whom he regarded as full siblings. 

As a lifelong member of the Roman Catholic faith, intentional masses will be offered for Ray at All Saints Parish (formerly St. Paul) of Butler and St. Patrick Parish of East Brady.  A private memorial will be held at a future date.

In honor of Ray, please have some fun.


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