*** ONLINE AS OF AUGUST 5, 2011 ***
    



St. Vitus Cemetery - Shenango Twnp PA

In 1900 the Italian ethnic parish of St. Vitus was established on the south side of New Castle in Lawrence County, Pennsylvania. The Catholic congregation soon bought and remodeled an existing Methodist Church and held services there beginning on December 25, 1901. Without a cemetery of their own the church members, as they had done for years, continued to utilize St. Joseph’s Cemetery in New Castle as a burial ground. Additional funds were raised by the church and the eight-acre King property in Shenango Township, on Old Pittsburgh Road and near the New Castle City Home, was purchased in 1905. A dedication ceremony was held at this property on Sunday, June 11, 1905, with the “Rev. Father Alexander, O.F.M.,” the pastor of St. Vitus, presiding over a solemn service. The parish, soon under the exceptional guidance of the Reverend Nicholas DeMita, was quickly expanded and a new church was completed in New Castle in August 1907.

In 1946, with over 3,000 interments having already taken place, the church was able to purchase an additional ten acres of adjoining property to expand the cemetery. The new section was dedicated by the Reverend DeMita on Sunday, November 2, 1947. The Most Reverend Hugh C. Boyle (1873-1950), the Bishop of the Pittsburgh Diocese, was on hand for the ceremony. The first burial in the new section was made the next day when nineteen-year-old Pfc. John Conte of New Castle, a U.S. Army Air Corps mechanic killed in an automobile accident on Wake Island in January 1946, was laid to rest.

Among the people interred here are my a handful of my relatives of the DeMarc family of West Pittsburg, including my maternal great grandparents Charles and Mary DeMarc and my maternal grandfather George DeMarc. When George and his older brother Lou went off to fight in Europe during World War II my grandparents were worried sick. George served with the battle-scarred 79th Division, and though seriously wounded on two occasions, returned home relatively intact in early 1946. His older brother Lou, serving with the 540th Combat Engineer Regiment, was killed in action in Southern France in August 1944. His father Charles (my great grandfather) was so saddened at the loss of his favorite son that he literally shut down. When Charles passed away in May 1947 everyone said he died of a broken heart. When Lou’s remains were returned home after the war in January 1949 he was buried next to his dad – in the spot originally earmarked for his mom. My grandfather George DeMarc survived the horrors of war, but was unfortunately killed in an automobile accident near Poland, Ohio, in February 1953. He was only twenty-nine years old. When my grandmother Mary DeMarc passed away in October 1959 she was buried near George. Another brother named Ralph, who died of pneumonia at the age of eighteen in April 1928, is also buried here. This is a place I visit often.

Famous interments include many of the early pioneers who help establish the fireworks industry in New Castle, including Leopoldo “Paul” Fazzoni (1868-1940), Paul Rozzi (1869-1943), Jake Conti (1874-1942), Constantino Vitale (1876-1949), and Antonio Zambelli (1877-1957). Another notable burial is Moowid Joseph (1885-1968), who established the popular Joseph’s Supermarket back in 1917.

When the Reverend DeMita, who had faithfully served the Catholics of New Castle for over fifty years, passed away in May 1956 he was laid to rest in the cemetery. This beautiful burial ground, with its assortment of gothic-style family burial vaults and mausoleums, is kept in immaculate condition to this day.


The entrance to St. Vitus Cemetery on Old Pittsburgh Road. (Dec 2006)


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An early look at St. Vitus Cemetery. The baby, whose family lived across the street, is Mildred Symons. (1923) (Photo courtesy of Debbie
Heasley)


Another family photo showing St Vitus Cemetery. The little boy standing is either Raymond or Rolland Symons. (1923) (Photo courtesy of Debbie Heasley)


An aerial view of St. Vitus Cemetery. The athletic fields of Shenango High School can be seen at top, while the chapel and mausoleum of the Parkside Cemetery is partially visible at bottom edge of photo. (c2014)


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The final resting place of my great grandmother Mary (DeMatteo) DeMarc of West Pittsburg. (Sep 2009)


An old postcard of the cemetery c1950.



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The stone of Charles DeMarc Sr. and his son Lou – my great grandfather and great uncle – of West Pittsburg. (Jul 2009)


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The family stone of the Reverend Nicholas DeMita and family. (Jul 2010)


A photo affixed to the stone of Italian-born Michael & Potenza (Carlone) Frabotta, taken on their son’s wedding day in 1954. (Jul 2010)


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Casting my own shadow as it nears dark. (Jul 2010)


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Comment

  1. Please replace the flag it is worn and shreded

    john heasley · 07/28/2013 05:26 PM · #

  2. are their and Perrotta.Perrotti or deLprenzo familier buried in this cemetery..I think you have some Bullano members buried in St Vitis Cem Looking forward to your response

    Jill Perrotto · 02/05/2014 04:52 PM · #

  3. Hi Jeff,
    I contacted you perhaps a year or two ago regarding this picture of my Grandparents,
    Mike and Potenza Frabotta. I’ve just compared the picture of Grandma Potenza with my pic of her at my parents’ wedding in 1954. She looks much younger here. This picture must be either from my uncle’s wedding circa 1947 (which would still be at their son’s wedding, but earlier), or perhaps even their own wedding in the 1930s (both had lost their spouses; Potenza was my Dad’s stepmother).
    Anyway, for accuracy’s sake, it was earlier than 1954. And it may not have been at a SON’S wedding. I’m sorry (not that anyone else would have caught it!).
    Please keep it in !! I know for sure it was at A WEDDING, either in the mid-1930s or mid-1940s. Sorry I can’t be more accurate (my Grandfather didn’t change much through the years!).
    I don’t remember if I asked you this, but I believe Hakes married into my Dad’s family at some point. His step-brother (Potenza’s first son) was a DuBois, and I think one of his sons married a Hake?
    Keep up the good work ! I often get lost for hours on your pages. I love local history!!
    Patti

    Patti J Frabotta · 03/28/2014 09:24 AM · #

  4. I’m trying to locate the grave of Paula Jean Stanish, a dear friend who passed 1-11-87. She was born 3-12-64. If you can steer me in the right direction please e-mail me at 55spankey88@gmail.com. Thank you, Gary Richards.

    Gary Richards · 08/12/2014 01:24 PM · #

  5. My mothers family is from New Castle and I am trying to find the graves of her family. I started doing My Ancestry and she has been a great help to me. She is 95 and I would love her to see her family found.
    If someone would be so kind to take pictures of their graves it would be greatly appreciated.

    Vincent Christopher b 1820 uncle and aunt
    Letizin (Lena) Christopher b 1897

    Dominick Simeone 1877 to 1953 parents
    Angeline (Innucci) 1881 to 1942

    Cecillia (Pantalone) Innucci b1860 grandmother

    Fran · 12/19/2015 09:08 PM · #

  6. I am trying to locate the grave of my Dad’s army buddy from New Castle. His name is Angelo M. Cozza (1921-1999), son of Constantino & Mary Cozza. I believe the family is buried in St. Vitus. Thank you.

    Don Spencer · 01/01/2016 04:38 PM · #

  7. I am trying to locate the graves of my Grandparents. Nicholas and Alma DeFiore. Would greatly appreciate any help.

    Thank you>
    Nicholas Marks

    Nicholas Marks · 05/11/2016 04:10 PM · #