Gene A. “Geno” Scaia, 77, of Chisholm, was called home on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020.
Geno was born Jan. 9, 1943, in Chisholm. He attended Chisholm High School and was a graduate with the Class of 1961. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1961 and was assigned to the Destroyer Group USS Corry, deployed to the Bay of Pigs, during the Cuban Missile Crisis. During his enlistment, he was an accomplished softball pitcher and named to the All Navy Team and pitched his first perfect game. He was honorably discharged in 1965.
He was united in marriage to his wife, Gerrie Racchini on July 16, 1966, at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Chisholm. He was employed at Olglebay Norton Eveleth Taconite Company as a maintenance mechanic until his retirement in 1993. He played fastpitch softball for many teams across the Iron Range and Canada for many years. He was an excellent and passionate athlete and was also a referee for basketball, football and baseball with the Minnesota State High School League for many years.
He was an avid outdoorsman who loved to hunt and fish and enjoyed being at the hunting shack with the guys, his kids and grandkids. He spent countless hours in his gardens and his yard and house.
His three grandchildren meant the world to him, especially babysitting Bella and Evan, taking them everywhere he went and passionately following them throughout all of their activities. They were the light of his life and would always bring a smile to his face, when he would see them. He would always look forward to seeing Elizabeth and supporting her from the distance.
He was very active in the community and was a member of Potato Lake Hunting Lodge, Charter Member of The Chisholm Fire Department, Past Treasurer of Chisholm Sportsman Club, Knights of Columbus, Past President of Chisholm Italian-American Club, Past Commander American Legion Post 247, Veterans of Foreign War and Disabled American Veterans.
He is survived by his beloved wife, Gerrie Scaia; loving sons, Kevin R. Scaia, Todd A. (Melissa) Scaia; dear grandchildren, Bella, Evan and Elizabeth; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Liezerie Scaia and Katherine (Maurin) Scaia; sister, Evelyn Saccoman; brothers, William “Bill” Scaia and Edward Scaia.
Funeral: Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 20, at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Chisholm. Celebrant will be Rev. Anthony Craig.
Visitation: Will be from 6 to 9 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 19, at Rupp Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Chisholm, and will continue on Thursday for one hour before the service at the church.
Burial: Interment with full military honors will be in The Chisholm Cemetery.
Memorials: In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in his honor, to the Chisholm Community Foundation or St. Joseph’s Catholic Church.