Age 83 (Oct. 20, 1932 – Oct. 16, 2016). Beloved father to Geff (Jan), Tim (Marla), Scott (Joanna) and Mike (Kelley). Loving grandfather to Ryan, Elise; Jake and Miles; Jessica, Sam, Nellie, and Zeke. Son to the late Joseph and Rose (Stelleni) Gioia. Former husband of Sharon (Finnigan) Gioia (but remained friends till the end). Brother to Angela Harr (deceased), Ann Toth, Helen Cooper, and Bobby Gioia (deceased). Uncle to Tripper Morris, Bobby Morris, Pam Zonsius, Gina Kent, Sandi Mendes, Barbara Daley, and Angela Pitt. Geno was born on October 20, 1932 in Cleveland, OH. He graduated from John Adams High School in 1951 and graduated from Kent State University in 1957. He earned his Master's degree in Health & Physical Education from Western Reserve University in 1964. During his freshman year at Western Reserve University he played football for the late, great coach, Eddie Finnigan. He was then recruited away by Kent State's long time football coach, Trevor Rees. While at KSU, Geno lettered 3 times each in baseball and football. He was named All Mid-American Conference ("MAC") in both sports: baseball in 1955 and 1956 and football in 1956. He was the first player in KSU history to be selected First Team All MAC in both sports and, to earn All MAC honors in two different positions in baseball, second base and centerfield. In 1956, he was voted captain of the Golden Flashes' football team. Geno was inducted into the Kent State University Athletic Hall of Fame in 1983. Following a spectacular college career, he was named the MVP in the Cleveland Muny Football League in 1958. In 1960 he was signed as a free agent by the Boston Patriots (now the New England Patriots) but he soon returned home and signed with the Cleveland Bulldogs. Geno's professional career included working in the family construction business (JF Gioia Construction, now Trimor Construction), as an educator, coach, business owner, real estate investor and ski instructor. Geno was a loyal father, husband, uncle and friend. He taught his children, nieces and nephews the joys of skiing, boating, working out and, most importantly, the importance of family. His deep faith in Jesus and God comforted him along his journey to Heaven, where he knew that everlasting life awaited him. Visitation will be Thursday, Oct. 20 from 2:00 - 4:00PM and 7:00 – 9:00PM followed by closing prayers at FORTUNA FUNERAL HOME 7076 Brecksville Rd. Independence, OH 44131 (1/2 mile north of Pleasant Valley Rd.). Memorial service celebrating Geno's life is Friday, Oct. 21st, 11:00 a.m. at FRIENDS CHURCH 8645 Avery Rd., Broadview Heights, OH 44147.
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