Cover photo for Dante Di Fiore's Obituary
Dante Di Fiore Profile Photo
1939 Dante 2020

Dante Di Fiore

November 30, 1939 — August 26, 2020

Dante Di Fiore, age 80, was born in Rionero Sannitico, Italy, on November 30, 1939. He lived an accomplished life. Outside of his family roles, Dante was an entrepreneur, a master plumber, an inventor with 5 United States patents, a published author, an expert gardener, and a philosopher who made an impact on countless people that met him. He was set in his habits and didn't let anything get in his way, especially if it kept him from enjoying a dish of pasta or cup of espresso. His signature stubbornness was only rivaled by his love. He was always willing to help anybody in need by offering an abundance of generosity.

Dante's life was not paved easily after losing his wife and raising 4 young children as a single parent while running a business. But Dante truly embodied the American Dream. In 1964, at the age of 24, he came to the USA with a modest 3rd grade education, unable to speak the language, and no money in his pocket. But he made up for those shortcomings with endless amounts of grit, hard work and dedication. Being too proud to accept any handouts during his early days, he had to take a factory job with poor conditions in order to make ends meet- this is where he lost part of his finger. That, along with his calloused hands that were forged over many years of tough labor, were part of his physical appearance that was defined by his unyielding spirit and never-quit work ethic.

Despite not having formal training, he was a brilliant visionary who blazed the trail for basement waterproofing in northeast Ohio. His influence had earned him the respect of his peers, his advice has been sought after by engineers, and his expert testimony has held-up against industry professionals in the court of law.

His Italian heritage was important to him, and he never missed an opportunity to share the traditions and skills that he brought with him from Italy. Whether it was his involvement in the Rionero Sannitico Club, playing bocce or tre sette, being interviewed by the local news station on how to identify edible mushrooms, hosting various Italian class students in his kitchen on how to make homemade pasta, or being Cleveland's fig expert who advertised a free plantings give-away at his house so he could pass on a little bit of Italy to any stranger that stopped by. Around the clock, he almost never locked his door – it was literally always open to any visitor. Unannounced guests were welcomed with open arms and greeted with a cup of espresso within seconds.

One step away from the sidewalk on the busy suburban street of Wilson Mills transported you back to Italy with lush vegetable gardens, fruit trees that he had manicured and grafted over the decades, and various farm animals. When his children attended St. Paschal Baylon, the students experienced the old-world environment cultivated by Dante through field trips across the street to learn how to milk goats, and Halloween contests throughout the school to guess the weight of the massive pumpkins that he grew - these are brief perspectives into his one-of-a-kind personality.

Dante was a religious man who was preparing to enter heaven. Through all the many hardships he faced, his faith never wavered, rather only grew stronger. The more challenges that came his way, the more his faith was cemented. The last gift left to his children was clear communication of his final wishes, which provided a guiding voice to help through the process of focusing on his comfort. He has been reunited with his wife Debora, his parents, Beniamino and Concetta, and his brother, Antonio.

He is survived by his his four children: Concetta Di Geronimo (Paolo), Ben Di Fiore (Candice), Maria Solanki (Varun) and Francesca Calanni (Charlie),
sisters, Elvira Ferrante (Umberto) and Michelina Di Franco (Antonio), and his brother Antonio's wife, Maria Di Fiore.

His grandchildren (Claudia, Giuliana, Mino, Fiona, Vivienne, Stella, and Nicolo) all loved him and Dante felt fortunate to be able to spend quality time with them. Their visits brought him immense joy and he loved cooking for them. His grandchildren will miss their Nonno very much and the taste of his legendary pasta will live on forever in their memories.

We invite you to please view this short video tribute: https://youtu.be/7id2EOd6p-k

Entombment Knollwood Cemetery. Family and Friends are invited to gather for Mass of Christian Burial 11 a.m. Saturday at St. Paschal Baylon Church, 5384 Wilson Mills Road, Highland Heights, OH 44143 WHERE FRIENDS MAY CALL FROM 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. SATURDAY.

SOCIAL DISTANCING WILL BE OBSERVED AND MASKS ARE REQUIRED AT CHURCH.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in Dante's memory suggested to San Bartolomeo Church in Rionero Sannitico, Italy, which was a cause dear to Dante's heart.
Envelopes will be provided at the Service.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dante Di Fiore, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Saturday, August 29, 2020

10:00 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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Mass of Christian Burial

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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