Eugene M. ‘Geno’ Valesano, 81, veteran, played for Detroit Lions, Blue Cloud Motel owner, motorcyclist

By on January 30, 2019

Eugene M. “Geno” Valesano, 81, of Lititz, passed away on Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019.

He was the husband of Doreen M. “Sue” Simpson Valesano, with whom he shared 54 years of marriage this past April 4. Eugene, also know as Mickey, was born in Wakefield, Mich., the son of the late Anton D. and Mary Landretti Valesano.

Geno retired in 2000 after 20 years as a sales representative for Boart Longyear Ltd., an explorational drilling equipment firm. He also, with Sue, owned and operated the Blue Cloud Motel in Ironwood, Mich., as well as taught school in the Utica and Roseville areas in Michigan. He also served in the U.S. Army Reserves.

A talented football player, Geno played and graduated from Northern Michigan University, where he was elected to the Wildcats Hall of Fame. He was drafted in 1961 by the Detroit Lions in the NFL and played for both the Lions and later the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL.

He and Sue moved to Lititz 30 years ago and have been members of St. James Catholic Church. He loved to ride his motorcycle, and was a member or the Happy Pappys and Retreads motorcycle clubs.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by his daughter: Maria A., married to Gregory C. Gruett of Lititz; his two grandchildren: Ryan and Gia Gruett; and his sister: Virginia “Pat,” married to Robert Cicero of Glendale, Calif.

He was preceded in death by his brother: Rudy Valesano.

Gene, Geno, Mickey, Dad, Papa… regardless of who he was to you, he was family. He was loved by many because his smile was contagious and his heart was so big. Anyone that met him loved him instantly. He was the definition of what a hero is.

Friends will be received on Saturday, Feb. 2 from 10 to 11 a.m. at St. James Catholic Church, 505 Woodcrest Drive, Lititz, with the mass to follow at 11 a.m. Interment will be in Witness Park Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, please make contributions in Geno’s memory to St. James Catholic Church, 505 Woodcrest Drive, Lititz, PA 17543; or to St. Jude’s Childrens Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38015 (or stjude.org).

To send an online condolence, visit SnyderFuneralHome.com. Arrangements by Charles F. Snyder Jr. Funeral Home & Crematory, Lititz.

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