Norita May Ballato, a hardworking lady who was ahead of her time, passed away on Wednesday, November 25, 2020. She was 85 years old.
Norita was born in Grantsville, WV, to Loyd and Leatha Kimble Wright on May 20, 1935. Loyd was a County Commissioner and County Assessor in Grantsville, Calhoun County, WV. Her mother, Leatha, died of cancer when Norita was 11 years old.
Norita attended Glenview State College, and this is where she met the love of her life, an All-American lineman from Weirton, WV, named Samuel Francis Ballato. The two dated, got married and were blessed with five children, seven grandchildren, and one great-granddaughter.
Sam, a three-time purple heart and bronze star recipient of the Battles of Pork Chop Hill and Old Baldy of the Korean War, made a career as a life insurance agent, and Norita cared for her family working multiple jobs in her lifetime. She could be described as a mover and a shaker, someone who could do anything. She was a Real Estate Agent and an Assessor for Brooke County. She worked at her son’s family business, Ballato Brothers Automotive, where she was a manager, mechanic, and gas pump attendant. She was a caretaker for the elderly and a custodian for the Follansbee Presbyterian Church. She was also was the maintenance person for the Riverview Nursing Home. For relaxation, she would buy old houses remodel them, and sell them. She could recycle just about anything and put it to good use.
She was active in the community as well. She served on the Brooke County Planning Commission, the Democratic Women’s Association and was on the board of directors of Brooke Hancock Mental Health.
Norita nourished her faith at Saint Joseph the Worker Roman Catholic Church in Weirton.
In addition to her parents, Norita was preceded in death by her husband, Samuel Francis Ballato, on December 25, 2017, and her two sisters, Leota Yoak and Elva Vaughan.
She will be remembered with love by her daughter, Rebecca Ann (Chunky) Fuscardo, her four sons, Sammy J., Christopher A. (Chicky), Nicholas J. and Anthony (Tammy) Ballato; her grandchildren, Greg, Nathan, Nicole, and Tommy Ballato, and Gaetano, Abriana, and Gia Fuscardo; her great-granddaughter, Scarlet Ballato; her brother, Loyd “Sonny” Wright and her half brothers, David, and John Wright.
A private family visitation will be held at 9:30 a.m. Monday at the Greco Hertnick Funeral Home, 3219 Main Street, Weirton.
Friends and family are invited to attend a Mass of Christian Burial on Monday at 11 a.m. at Saint Joseph the Worker Roman Catholic Church.
The Very Rev. Dennis R. Schuelkens, Jr., V.E. will preside.
She will be laid to rest with her husband at the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies.
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