|Guy L. Vitale, Jr., 65, died at 4:20 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 24 at OSF St. Mary Medical Center, Galesburg, after a year-long battle with cancer.
He was born July 11, 1945, in Galesburg, the son of G. Louis Vitale and Marguerite Rinella Vitale. They preceded him in death as did his stepmother, Betty Vitale.
He is survived by his wife, Andrea Ferretti Vitale; his son, Adam Guy Vitale of Galesburg; his daughters, Alexis Ann Vitale (and Kyle Kerber) of Hermosa Beach, CA and Kathleen Ferretti Vitale of Denver, CO. He also is survived by his grandson, Pierce Guy Kerber. Additional survivors include his sisters, Margot (Bruce) Rowe of Cincinnati and Marcia (Doug) Millar of Decatur; his brother, Michael (Susan) Vitale of Decatur; his stepsisters, Terry (Dick) Quinlan of Chicago, and Lisanne (Roger) Haney of Prospect Heights, IL; and his stepbrother, Joe (Robyn) Wolff of Novato, CA.
Guy earned a B.A. in history from Lawrence University, Appleton, WI. Guy worked two years for the US Peace Corps in Ecuador, South America. Upon completion of his service, he taught junior and senior high school for two years at Costa Catholic School and in St. Louis. He earned an MBA at Washington University, St. Louis.
In 1973, Guy began work at G&M Distributors, Inc., a family owned beverage distributorship in Galesburg. Guy's intention was to continue his family's local heritage that his grandfather, August Rinella, had begun at A Rinella & Co. in 1910 and his father, Louis, established at G&M Distributors in 1946. Guy quickly learned that a local, family business and community service were intertwined.
Guy became involved in various activities and organizations. He served on the boards of the Carl Sandburg Junior College Foundation, Cottage Hospital, Knox County YMCA, Costa Catholic School, United Way of Knox County, GREDA, The Associated Beer Distributors of Illinois, National Beer Wholesalers Association, and Soangetaha Country Club. He served as president of Soangetaha, GREDA, and the YMCA board. Guy felt his best contributions were his participation in eliminating the indebtedness of the Knox County YMCA and Soangetaha, his fund raising efforts for the Galesburg High School gym and pool, and his work on the annual fund raising goal of the United Way.
Under Guy's leadership, G & M donated and supported various community organizations, too numerous to list.
Guy enjoyed sports and his farm in rural Maquon. He said he never could have endured the stress of business without the swimming pools at Soangetaha and the Knox County YMCA. He had his last swim at Soangetaha Sunday, Aug. 22, with his grandson, who had his first swim at the same time.
Visitation will be Thursday, Aug. 26, from 4-8 p.m.at Hinchliff-Pearson-West Galesburg Chapel. Funeral Mass will be Friday, Aug. 27 at 10 a.m. at Corpus Christi Catholic Church, 273 S. Prairie St. The Rev. William Miller will officiate. Burial will be at St. Joseph Cemetery. Memorials may be made to Hopessong.org, a charity to benefit cancer patients established by his daughter Alexis or United Way of Knox County. Online condolences may be made at www.h-p-w.com.