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Walter B. Bianconi
October 4, 1930 ~ October 8, 2023 (age 93) 93 Years Old
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Walter B. Bianconi died peacefully at his home in Barberton on Sunday, October 8, 2023. He was the greatly loved husband of the late Adele Jean Bianconi, and beloved father of Susan (Robert), Patricia (Ph.D.), Michael (M.D.; Yocasta), Mary, Laura (M.D.), and David (Jennifer); and loving grandfather of Robyn, Andrew (Ashley), James, Stephen, Elena, and Vilavy. In addition to his adored wife Adele he was preceded in death by a beloved daughter-in-law, Pamela. Walter was born in 1930, the only child of Giuseppe and Annunziata Bianconi, who each emigrated to the U.S. from Italy. The family lived initially in Searight, Pennsylvania, a coal-mining patch. From the age of eight he never stopped working, holding multiple jobs including grocery delivery boy, soda jerk, life guard, farm laborer, road crew, and Anchor Hocking warehouse worker. Even as a child and throughout his life he helped his parents navigate their English-speaking world. He graduated from Connellsville (PA) High School at sixteen and was awarded a scholarship to attend the University of Pittsburgh, where he met the love of his life, his future wife Adele (Marraccini), recipient of the same Pitt scholarship. He was a member of Delta Tau Delta fraternity and president of Sigma Epsilon Delta pre-med honorary fraternity. In 1955 Walter graduated from Pitt’s medical school and married Adele. During his time in medical school he worked on polio wards under the supervision of vaccine pioneer Jonas Salk. He interned at Pittsburgh Hospital and then served two years in the U.S. Navy with the rank Lieutenant Senior Grade. When he left the service Walter and Adele moved to Barberton (Ohio), where he practiced family medicine in partnership with the late Francis Cleary, M.D., for thirty-four years. Walter was accredited in Family Practice and was on the staff of the Barberton Citizens Hospital (now Summa Barberton) for forty-three years. In 1967 he was Chief of Staff, and for twenty years also held a part-time teaching position as a preceptor in the Family Practice group. His dedication both to family practice and to teaching made this role a pleasure to him and to many medical residents. Walter and Adele raised a family of six children whom he adored. He would jokingly lament that his children attended college and postgraduate programs for more than 40 years, earning twelve degrees among them—yet “no one was rich!” His own enjoyment of medicine made him pitch medical school to all six of his children, but he was unfailingly supportive of all their various talents and excited about their different paths. When not working he was with his family: fishing, birding, teaching the children to swim, introducing everyone to his enthusiasm for the natural world, making silly jokes. He would say that being a forest ranger was his alternate career. After retiring Walter and Adele traveled extensively in Europe, often on overseas duplicate bridge tours. For both of them bridge was a passion and a pleasure, whether played with friends, as they did enthusiastically for many years, or in the more structured world of competitive bridge. Each achieved the rank of Silver Life Master. In 2015 Walter was shattered to lose Adele. For the remaining years of his life he enjoyed his children and grandchildren, and the devoted companionship of daughter Mary. Thanks to his faith in the Lord Jesus he now rejoices with Adele forever. Family and friends may call on Monday, October 16, 2023 from 4:00-7:00 p.m. with a short memorial following at 7:00 at the Campfield-Hickman-Collier, 566 West Park Street, Barberton, Ohio 44203. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in memory of Walter Bianconi to Haven of Rest (serving the homeless), Akron, Ohio; and The National Audubon Society.
His Video-Gift tribute may be viewed and condolences made at www.Campfield-Hickman-Collier.com.