A Mass of Christian Burial for Lucian F. Cirino, 95, will be held 10 a.m. Monday, at Immaculate Conception Church in Willoughby.
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Lucian went to meet his Creator and be reunited with his wife Mary Jane, of nearly 70 years, his sons, parents and siblings on Thursday, November 14, 2019.
Lucian will be buried with Military Honors as a veteran in the United States Army, having served in Guadalcanal in WWII.
Lucian’s life began with his home birth by a midwife in Matrice, Italy in 1923, born to his Italian parents, Carmella and Paul Cirino. His father came to the United States in search of a better life for his family and opened Cirino’s Grocery Store in Little Italy in Cleveland, before returning to Italy to meet his son Lucian for the first time when he was eight years old.
In 1936, Lucian, his brother and mother, would join his father in America. His excursion on the Conte de Savoy provided many stories to his children and grandchildren, including a story about a family he would never meet again, providing him with a swim suit that he needed to wear to help pass the time on the voyage while his mother lay seasick in their stateroom. His accommodations didn’t allow for 3rd class passengers to use the swimming pool, but this nice family provided him with the swimsuit and gave him hope for the life that lie ahead in America.
After a long journey, he arrived in amazement upon seeing the large buildings in New York City, nothing like the vast green lands of Matrice, speaking only Italian and landing in a place he was told was a land where the streets were “paved with gold.”
He arrived in the United States, through Ellis Island in New York, and boarded a train to Cleveland to begin working at his family grocery store. He enrolled in Murray Hill School, but found himself lying about his age so that he could work and give his paycheck to his parents to make ends meet. Turning 18, he entered the United States Army, and found himself stationed on the Pacific island of Guadalcanal. While serving, he would find comfort in letters from Mary Jane, who would later become his wife.
Lucian was married at Holy Rosary Church to Mary Jane Gattozzi, and the two lived with his parents in Cleveland’s Little Italy, helping to run the family grocery store. As years passed, Lucian had four sons, Paul, Jerry, David and Jeffrey.
Lucian made a living by driving cabs in Cleveland and opening his own Barber Shop, Lu Cirino’s Barber Shop. Lucian and his family lived in Murray Hill, Little Italy until 1966, and eventually settled in Lyndhurst, and were parishioners of St. Pascal Baylon Catholic Church in Highland Heights.
His days of cutting hair did not end until he was 92 years old, after suffering a small stroke. He always missed the good conversations that being a barber brought him. He loved talking to his customers and his bright, vibrant laugh brought a smile to so many faces.
Lucian was affectionately called “Lu” by family and friends, and Grandpa Lucian or Poppy by his grandchildren. He will always be remembered for his humor, charm, love of watching the Masters and puffing on his cigar, welcoming surprise voice when the grandkids visited- “Well, what a surprise, the kids are here!,” love of Italian food such as his wife’s homemade cavatelli, grilling sausages in the summer while guiding visitors in and out of his driveway (“watch your speed”), and his love of a good nap and a cold Heineken.
Lucian died peacefully surrounded by family, never allowing him to be alone during his last weeks of life on this earth. His hands were always held tightly as prayers were said to comfort him as he lived out his last days at Mentor Ridge, being cared for by angels on earth that often caught him sneaking a Heineken or asking for Fontinella cheese.
Lucian was preceded in death by his parents, Paul and Carmela (Minillo) Cirino; infant brother, Mario; brothers, John Cirino and Carmen Cirino; his wife of nearly 70 years, Mary Jane Gattozzi Cirino; son, Paul and his daughter-in-law, Mary Anne (Fazio); and his son, David.
Lucian is survived by his son, Jerry (Donna) and Jeffrey (Elizabeth); many nieces and nephews and cousins; along with 14 grandchildren and 40 great-grandchildren, with the youngest great-grandchild, Lucia, as his namesake.
Saint Lucy was Lucian’s Patron Saint and the patron saint of eyesight. When Lucian’s body became weak, and his hands could no longer cut hair and his ears stopped hearing clearly, his vision was intact and provided him with much needed comfort in his last years, allowing him to see the many gifts and visitors who regularly visited him, such as his good friend and colleague Gene Dissler and many other friends and family members.
Guests will be received from 3 to 8 p.m. Sunday at McMahon-Coyne Funeral Home, 6330 Center St. (Route 615, north of Route 2), in Mentor.
To leave condolences for the family, order flowers or participate in the Memorial Tree Program, visit www.MCVfuneralhomes.com.