September 24, 1922 – January 6, 2021
GUIDO CHRISTOPHER (DiCristofaro), age 98, born 9/24/1922, passed away Wednesday, 1/6/2021. Beloved husband of the late Amelia (nee DiCerce); caring father to two sons, Pasquale (Deborah) and Dino (deceased); dear brother of Giovanina (deceased), Victor (deceased) and Vivian (Fatica); loving son of Pasquale and Carmela (nee DiBartolomeo); devoted grandfather of Catherine, Stephen (Britt), Margaret Errico (Riccardo), Patricia, Benjamin (Suzanne) and Andrew (Lauren); great grandfather of Bronwyn, Christopher, Theodore, Max, Lorenzo, Clementine, Daniela, Delphine, Giovanna; uncle and great uncle of many nieces and nephews, both living and deceased, in the United States, Canada, and Italy.
Guido lived an extraordinarily full life, in which he left a lasting impact and lifelong memories with all who knew him.
He was born in the farming village of Santo Stefano, Campobasso, Italy and was drafted into the Italian army at the age of 19 to serve in World War II. During his time in the army, Guido was interned as a prisoner of war on the island of Rhodes, Greece, and the one thing that kept him going was the excitement of being reunited with his family, especially his father. While it was an extremely trying time, he did learn a bit of Greek, which he was always thrilled to use in conversation when the occasion arose.
By war's end in 1946, Guido was repatriated to Italy, but he would not return to the home he once knew. Italy was ravaged by the German Army as American forces advanced through the country. The damage to Italy’s infrastructure forced him to walk from Termoli to Santo Stefano, and the impact of war on Italian soil would soon hit home. When he arrived home in the middle of the night, he was confused by the fact that there were now animals in a stable where the kitchen once stood. In the dark of the night, Guido called out to his family to open the door, and his younger sister Vivian called back, presuming Guido had died during the war, “It’s not Guido, Guido’s dead.” Elated to be home, he and Vivian had a warm reunion.
Now home, Guido would quickly learn of the German bomb that destroyed his family home, killing his father, Pasquale, while he was inside. The impact of this tragedy would be carried with him for the rest of his life. Guido then assumed the role as head of house to his mother and Vivian.
In the following year, he married Amelia DiCerce and would later father his first son, Pasquale, in 1949. Guido emigrated alone to the United States in 1951 and lived with family in Batavia, New York for a brief time before permanently moving to Cleveland, Ohio. Guido first worked on the railroad; however, when payday came, his name was never called. After missing a few paydays, Guido spoke to a friend who could understand some English. His friend was able to communicate with the boss and they found out that because they couldn’t pronounce Guido’s name, ‘DiCristofaro,’ they never called it out on payday. His friend suggested he “Americanize” his name to something a little easier for their boss to pronounce, and ‘Christopher’ was established. Amelia and his son, Pasquale, would later join him in the United States in 1954. Guido would father his second son, Dino, in 1968.
Guido was a trained machinist and worked for over three decades for various manufacturers, but later entered into real estate investment and maintained a more comfortable living in his late adult life. Though he had left factory work behind, his knack for engineering remained on full display with various DIY projects and some of the “custom” tools and machinery used to maintain his thriving garden.
Outside of work, Guido had an unmatched enthusiasm for his social life, and belonged to several clubs including the Oratinese Social Club, Sons and Daughters of Italy, and the Knights of Columbus. Even into his final year of life, he was a highly active member of his community, and enjoyed Bocce at the Mayfield Heights City Park Bocce Courts, playing cards, dancing, and listening to music.
Like many Italians, Guido valued family above all. He enjoyed hosting and entertaining his grandchildren at his family home during holidays and serving an abundance of Italian cuisine alongside his homemade wine. From 1971-2016, Guido flew home to Italy nearly annually to spend time at his family home in Santo Stefano. Guido got a kick out of his great grandchildren and would often be found playing on the floor with them and, of course, trying to feed them.
Guido’s personal charm and natural gift for storytelling now leave behind a lasting and impactful legacy with his family, friends, and those who knew him. He will be sorely missed and remain exceptionally beloved.
Due to the health risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Christopher family is holding a private family ceremony at DiCicco & Sons Funeral Home. Entombment will take place at Knollwood Cemetery. Though the family is saddened by the current limitations, they are planning a more formal mass in celebration of Guido’s life to be held in the summer of 2021, or upon a safe return to normalcy.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests making a donation in Guido’s name to the Santo Stefano Church Renovations at the following link: paypal.me/SantoStefanoChurch.
If you would prefer to send donations directly, Pasquale will also be collecting funds to be sent in Guido’s name.
The above donation link will remain available until August 10, 2021. At that time, Pasquale will collect all mailed and online donations for transfer to the Santo Stefano Church Renovation.
- Santo Stefano Church Renovations
Livestream Funeral Service 11 am
Tuesday, January 12, 2021
Tuesday, January 12, 2021
January 12, 2021
Your father was should a sweet and gentle man. He had a heart of gold and was such a great companion for my mother. We enjoyed getting to know him more and more over the last 8 years. He will be truly missed. We loved all of his stories from the past he would tell us. Please know we are thinking of all of you and he will forever be in our hearts.