Resident in the Spotlight
Allow us to introduce you to Ricky Furgiuele, a hardworking man who has worn many hats in his lifetime. He is first and foremost a man of strong faith, a family man, a businessman, a humanitarian, a friend and a resident of Villa Angela at St. Anne Home.
Ricky was born in Calabria, Italy in 1912. He would spend the first 13 months of his life in Italy before his parents, Gaetano and Matilda Furgulic, would relocate to the United States and settle in the small coalmining town of, Mentcle, PA. The Furgulic family would later raise 10 beautiful children in that home and impart in them the importance of faith and family.
Ricky would begin his hardworking career while working with the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). The CCC was created by President Roosevelt and was designed to provide employment for young men in relief families who had difficulty finding jobs during the Great Depression. Of his pay of $30 a month, $25 went to his parents. Ricky remembers being so thankful for the opportunity to be a part of a program that improved his physical condition, heightened his morale, increased employability, made a difference for others including his parents and instilled in him the strong work ethic that remains with him today.
Ricky remained with the CCC until an opportunity came available for him to work as a coalminer in the local coal mines. For Ricky it seemed like a natural progression since he grew up in a coal mining town and his father and brothers were all coalminers as well. Ricky would make coal mining his career for the next 18 years of his life. Ricky remembers that each coal miner was paid by the pound for the coal that they would extract. Ricky also remembers the foreman of the coalmines being dishonest towards the amounts that each miner would receive. Ricky felt this was a real injustice to his fellow hardworking coworkers, so he began advocating on their behalf and became very involved with the coalminers union. His advocacy efforts not only paid off for his fellow co-workers, but for his career as well. Ricky was elected into a leadership role with the union and would spend the rest of his coalmining career fighting for the rights of coalminers – a position that brought great satisfaction to his life.
Ricky is a true “people person” and others recognize this immediately. Saying this, his next career move was the perfect one for him. He had been approached by a friend to join him in a business venture selling mutual funds and Ricky accepted. This was in a time when mutual funds had not even been heard of in Western PA. Ricky began diligently promoting the company and the investment practice of mutual funds and in a short time, this “leap” became a very successful endeavor. Ricky had moved from selling mutual funds to managing people that sold them. Ricky remembers fondly spending a few times a year at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City at conferences with his clients thinking, “I didn’t do too bad for a 7th grade educated coalminer…”
He truly loved working and his long tenure showed it. Ricky retired after a fall in his home when he was 92 years of age. Ricky looks back fondly on his career and stated, “I often wonder… if I hadn’t fallen, would I still be working at 99 years old?”
During any downtime from work, Ricky was in some way supporting the church and strengthening his faith. His vacations were all spent in Cursillos and retreats at different monasteries around the country. This is also a reason why Villa Angela at St. Anne Home is such a great place for him to live. He is able to attend daily Mass and participate in religious activities that bring him such enjoyment and peace.
Ricky remains the “people person” he’s always been. If you stop in to St. Anne Home, you’ll most likely see Ricky in the main lobby chatting with visitors and fellow residents and continuing to make new friends. As a testament to all the friends that Ricky has made during his life, you can find a stack of letters that grace his nightstand in his room from friends and colleagues checking in on him and wishing him well.
Thank you, Ricky for selecting Villa Angela at St. Anne Home for your home. We are proud to know you, care for you and to be your newest friends.