The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

November 17, 2013

Margaret Gurto


Star Beacon

PORT ORANGE, Fla. — Margaret “Peggy” Gurto, age 89, a woman of Catholic faith, went to the Lord on Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013. 

Peggy was born on September 9, 1924, in Youngstown, Ohio, the daughter of Albert and Madeline (Edel) Harkabus. She grew up with her two brothers, Bob and Bill Harkabus, and a sister, JoAnne Fox. All preceded her in death.

Peggy graduated with Honors from Woodrow Wilson High School in Youngstown, Ohio. She volunteered with the U.S.O. during World War II.

She moved to Conneaut, Ohio as a key employee of the Astatic Corporation when the company relocated. In 1945, she met the love of her life Christy Gurto. They were married on July 3, 1946, in St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Conneaut and celebrated 64 wonderful years of marriage. Peggy also worked for many years as a cashier at the A & P grocery store in Conneaut.

She was an active club woman throughout her life, taking leadership roles in numerous organizations. Her service as President of the Conneaut High School PTA earned her the honor “Club Woman of the Year.” She served as past president of various groups in Ohio and Florida including the American Legion Auxiliary Post 12, Women’s Club of St. Juliana and St. Paul of the Cross Parishes, and the past secretary of the Ladies of K of C #4999. Together, she and Christy were active and supported many organizations and charities.

The family moved to Florida in 1966 where they became small business owners of motels and dry cleaning establishments. For many years, they returned to Ohio during the summer months and ran Pymatuning Bicycle Rentals near the state park. Always active in church related organizations, the couple made Cursillo #15, and as members of the Lady of Fatima Rosary Society made over 9,000 rosaries that were blessed and distributed to nursing homes and to the poor all over the world. Peggy was an integral part of Christy’s ministry to Hope Rural Catholic School and R.J. Hendley Christian School, and continued to support them.

She donated her time, her arts and crafts and needlepoint to the St. Juliana’s and St. Paul’s yearly Bazaars. She knitted numerous mohair sweaters for her teenage daughters and knitted all her children and grandchildren scarves and hats, as well as personalized dog blankets for the family pets. She enjoyed playing bridge and continued to read the newspaper bridge column daily.

Peggy made the most delicious spaghetti sauce and meatballs for her Italian family, but seldom ate Italian food. She enjoyed making balish, apple crisp, pecan pies, and pizzelles for her family and friends. She and Christy loved to go dancing at the American Legion and Knights of Columbus functions. Peggy always loved having the latest fashions and shoes and dressed to the “9’s” her entire life. She and Christy shared a wonderful, loving life together.

Christy passed away on March 15, 2011 and left a void in her heart. She lived with her daughter and son-in-law, Michele and Michael DeLong, until her death, and was happy to be the caregiver to the family’s dog, “Holly.” Her charitable deeds continued as she donated her entire household to charities that helped needy single mothers and Vietnam vets get back on their feet.

She was a woman who was devoted to God and to her family. She will be greatly missed by her loving daughters and sons-in-law, Diane and Barry Vorse of Jacksonville, Fla., Lynne and Henry Quartullo of West Palm Beach, Fla. and Michele and Michael DeLong of Port Orange, Fla.; and her adoring grandchildren, Alan and Shannon Vorse of Bloomington, Minn., Steven and Tara Veil of Brandon, Fla., Lauren Veil of Jupiter, Fla., James DeLong of West Palm Beach, Fla. and Jared and Erin DeLong of Valdosta, Ga.

She will also be remembered by family and lifelong friends who loved her dearly:, Pat and Gayle Gurto, Lorraine Gurto, B-Ann Gurto, Lee Armeni, Ruth Gerics, Eddie Zappitelli and Gordon Fox; and many nieces, nephews, and great-nieces and great-nephews. She touched the lives of all those who were fortunate to have known her.

The family will receive friends from 3 to 6 p.m., Today, Nov. 17th, at the QUATTLEBAUM FUNERAL HOME, West Palm Beach, Fla.

A Celebration of her Life and Mass of the Resurrection will be held 10 a.m., Monday, Nov. 18th, at St. Paul of the Cross Catholic Church, North Palm Beach. A private burial will be held at Royal Palm Memorial Gardens in West Palm Beach, Fla.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggest making a donation to the Hope Rural Catholic School, 15929 SW 150th St., Indiantown, Fla. 34956 or R.J. Hendley Christian School, 2800 Avenue R, Riviera Beach, Fla. 33404.

LET THIS BE HER EPITAPH: A LOVING WOMAN, MOTHER AND WIFE WHO LED AN EXEMPLARY LIFE THAT WAS FULL AND RICH. SHE WAS DEVOTED TO HER FAITH, HER FAMILY AND HER FRIENDS. SHE WILL BE MISSED. REST IN PEACE.

Condolences can be sent via the guest book at www.quattlebaum.com, www.raisianfunerahome.com and starbeacon.com.