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Nurse's love of people aided her in business world

| Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012, 12:01 a.m.

The phrase “young at heart” could have easily applied to Carole Ferri, who in her later years rode a camel in Egypt and kissed the Blarney Stone in Ireland.

Mrs. Ferri, who with her husband, Edward J. Ferri, operated Ferri's Grocery Store in Murrysville, enjoyed mentoring the young people who worked in their store.

“Our young clerks appreciated the time she spent with them, especially when they needed someone to talk to,” said her son, John Ferri of Murrysville, president of Ferri Enterprises, which owns restaurants, motels and strip malls.

Carole E. Ferri of Murrysville, retired secretary for Ferri Enterprises, died on Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012, in Allegheny General Hospital in the North Side. She was 79.

Born in Dravosburg and raised in McKeesport, Carole Petterson was one of three children of Rudolph Petterson, a milkman, and his wife, Elizabeth Knoll Wood Petterson.

After graduating from McKeesport High School in 1951, Carole Petterson enrolled in McKeesport Hospital School of Nursing. After receiving her degree as a registered nurse, she worked in the operating room of what is now UPMC McKeesport.

“The staff at the hospital, especially the nurses, liked my mother,” John Ferri said. “She never missed a monthly luncheon with the nurses she worked with.”

In 1954, after her marriage to Edward Ferri, who purchased the former Snyder Grocery Store in Murrysville, she continued to work for several years at the hospital and at the store, where she earned the respect of her customers.

“As busy as she was, she'd take the time to talk to talk to them and field any complaints,” Ferri said.

He described his mother as “a woman of great faith and strong morals,” which she tried to pass on to the store's young employees.

Ferri recalled how much his mother enjoyed music and that as a member of the Civic Light Opera Guild, she attended various performances.

In addition to her son, John, Mrs. Ferri is survived by a daughter, Karen L. Ferri of Export; six grandchildren; a brother, Dr. Kurt Petterson of Denver, N.C.; and a sister, Linda Barkemeyer of Delmont.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Edward, in 2000.

Visitation will be from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday in Hart Funeral Home, 3103 Lillian Ave., Murrysville, and 9 to 10 a.m. Monday in Mother of Sorrows Church, 4202 Old William Penn Highway, Murrysville, followed by a funeral Mass at 10 a.m. Interment will follow in Grandview Cemetery, Export.

Jerry Vondas is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7823 or

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