Art "Yi" Bellanca
December 19, 1924 – May 6, 2020
Art “Yi” Bellanca was born December 19, 1924 in Los Angeles California. His parents, Vincenzo and Maria, were immigrants from Sicily. Art was always a hard worker. He was working part time at the age of thirteen delivering 25- and 50-pound blocks of ice to homes for ice boxes. At the age of sixteen he was working full time. Like many of his generation he joined the army when he turned eighteen. After a year of training he was sent to Europe and immediately into combat. He rarely shared his experiences. He did tell his sister that his platoon leader was killed in battle. No one wanted to assume command. Art rose the occasion. Leading his men through the battle and to safety. He was given a field promotion to Sargent. He and his men were given R&R. As they headed away from the front, they came across a convoy heading toward the front. They were told to get on a truck. Art was now in the Battle of the Bulge. He stayed in Germany for a year after the war had ended commanding a checkpoint across the river from a Russian checkpoint. He carried shrapnel in his leg the rest of his life but no one would have known had his friend not told his brother.
Art returned home to a normal life. He went back to work for Linde, a company that provided different gasses; oxygen, nitrogen, etc. for commercial uses. He was in maintenance and quickly became the person that would be called on first to repair vital equipment. He was proud of the work he did. His supervisors and managers often commented on his skills and dedication. Although an hourly employee, he would work on problems at home, drawing diagrams and jotting down ideas that were usually implemented. Art worked for Linde Inc. which was purchased by Union Carbide, for forty years.
Art was always surrounded by family. He had two sisters and three brothers. He was married for ten years but had no children. He was loyal to his family and friends. He would get up every Saturday morning, drive over to his parent’s house by 8:00, and do all their yard work. It was a big yard. He would finish at noon, have lunch, and go home to do his yard work. If anyone of his family or friends needed help, he was there. And they called often. Art gave up many days off for his family and his friends. He never asked for help.
Art did not want much. He was meticulous about his yard. He was proud of the way it looked. The only thing that he was more meticulous about was his car. He kept them perfect. When he sold one it looked like it came off the showroom floor. Like many people he had a dream car. In 1981 he finally bought his Cadillac. He definitely deserved and earned it.
Art lived in San Gabriel in his parent’s former house that he loved with all the memories of Italian Sunday dinners and gatherings. He passed away peacefully in his home on May 6, 2020 with his caregivers and niece. He was ninety- five.
He was loved by his family and friends. Art was one of the last. He leaves one sister, many nephews, nieces, great nephews and great nieces. All of us miss him.