Obituary of Gabriel "Gabe" J. Fieni
Gabriel “Gabe” Joseph Fieni, age 95, passed away on Thursday, September 6, 2018, at Hospice of the Comforter in Altamonte Springs, Florida. He was a lifelong resident of Pottstown and Reading, PA until his beloved wife passed away. He was the husband of the late Jean (Graeff) Fieni with whom he shared 35 years of marriage.
Gabe was born in Green Lane, PA in September 1922. Gabe was the son of the late Pasquale “Patsy” Fieni and Filomena (Ricci) Fieni. His father was the founder of the Evangelical Church of Isola del Gran Sasso, Italy, in the 1950’s.
He graduated from Pottstown High School in 1940.
Gabe pitched in the East PA League and in 1942 he signed a letter of intent with the Brooklyn Dodgers but placed his baseball career on hold when he was drafted into the Army. During World War II he served as a Medic in the US Army in Europe and the Battle of the Bulge. After serving in the Army, he signed a letter of intent with the Philadelphia A’s but his baseball career was ended when he suffered disabling injuries to his arm.
Gabe started a general contracting business building homes and swimming pools. He also had numerous inventions. In 1983 he obtained a Patent & Trademark for the Shin-Dig which is a tool to remove shingles and nails from a roof and also remove damaged or worn material when remodeling. Gabe sold the Shin-Dig business when he retired at the age of 83 in 2005.
After retirement Gabe raised funds and dedicated the Bobby Shantz Baseball Field at Pottstown High School to honor his long-time friend. Following that project he was the Founder and Designer of the World War II Memorial which was dedicated on December 29, 2006 in the Memorial Park in Pottstown, PA.
Gabe was a Life Member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 6341, a Life Member of the West End Fire Company, a Life Member of the Elks Club, a Life Member of the Royersford VFW, a Life Member of Who’s Who of American Inventors, a Charter Member of the World War II Memorials in New Orleans and in DC and was inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame, Pottstown Chapter, in 1990, and was inducted into the Pottstown District Alumni Honor Roll.
Gabe is survived by three children: Ronald Fieni of Reading, Phyllis Steed, wife of Joseph Steed, St. Cloud, FL, and Dennis Fieni, husband of Dana Fieni, Altoona; one step-daughter, Kim Chow, wife of John Chow, Reading, PA; one sister, Mary (Fieni) Sides, Pottstown; step-grandchildren and nieces.
He was predeceased by two brothers: Anthony “Tony” Fieni and Andrew “Andy” Fieni, and one granddaughter, Dawn Marie Shaner.
A viewing will take place on Friday, September 14, 2018, from 1:00 – 2:00 PM at the Chapel at the Limerick Garden of Memories, 44 Swamp Pike, Limerick, PA. A Life Celebration will take place following the viewing at 2:00 PM. Pastor Leroy Hallman will officiate. Houck & Gofus Funeral Home, Inc., 955 N. Charlotte St., Pottstown, PA 19464, will be handling the arrangements. Online condolences may be made to the family at www.houckgofusfuneralhome.com. In lieu of flowers donations may be made in Gabe’s honor to the Pottstown Parks & Recreation Department for the perpetual care of the World War II Memorial, Borough Hall, 100 E. High Street, Pottstown, PA 19464.