Something broken? 'Big Al' could always fix it
“Big Al” Argiro could fix anything. And when nothing needed fixing, he'd dismantle something to put it back together better, his family said.
“There was always something to fix, rebuild, redo, and if there wasn't, he would find something to tear apart and rebuild,” said his granddaughter, Roseann Shannon.
Alfred T. Argiro Sr., 78, of Scottdale, died Monday, Nov. 27, 2017.
He was born June 12, 1939, in Brooklyn, N.Y., to the late Frank A. and Anna (Koenig) Cammarata.
“He was just an outgoing, funny, hardworking man,” said his daughter, Joann Shannon. “He liked sitting around and telling stories.”
Mr. Argiro gave himself little time to sit around. Over his career, he worked in an ice cream factory then a power plant before moving to Pennsylvania and starting his own contracting company.
He co-founded D's Market of Scottdale with his wife Dolores.
Most recently, he worked as a contractor for MLP Steel in Scottdale.
He was a bodybuilder and the host of “Big Al's Bar Bingo” at the East Huntingdon Fireman's Club, one of several social clubs he frequented.
“He never let the grass grow under his feet,” Roseann Shannon said. “He always said he had to keep busy so he could keep young and keep moving.”
His knack for construction and repair was self-taught, Joann Shannon said.
“That just always amazed us, how he only went through the eighth grade, but he always found a way to figure it out,” she said.
Whenever he'd figure out how to fix something that had stumped everyone else, he'd jokingly call himself “Wile E. Coyote, super genius,” his family remembered.
He loved playing with his grandchildren and telling stories about growing up in Brooklyn.
“A lot of people looked up to him and admired him. He was always there to help anyone with anything that he could,” Roseann Shannon said.
Mr. Argiro is survived by his wife, Dolores (Spinola) Argiro; children, Al Argiro Jr., of Rockwood, Joann Shannon and husband, Mark, of Scottdale, Diane Toth and husband, Dave, of Virginia, and Roxanne Argiro and her fiance, Jim Dillinger, of Scottdale; six grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
Friends will be received from 10 to 11 a.m. Thursday in Robert B. Ferguson Funeral Home, 105 Spring St., Scottdale, immediately followed by funeral services.
Graveside committal service and interment will follow in St. John's Roman Catholic Cemetery, with full military honors bestowed by the Scottdale-Everson Honor Guard.