Guy A. Travaglio, Jr., age 93, of Butler, passed away Saturday, September 7, 2019 at his residence, surrounded by family.
Born July 24, 1926 in Ambridge, PA, he was the son of the late Guy and Christine DiNovo Travaglio, Sr.
Guy was a member of Saint Michael the Archangel Roman Catholic Church.
While a student at Butler High School, Guy worked as a bellboy at the Willard Hotel. He graduated in 1945 and joined the U.S. Army and was stationed in Okinawa, Japan. Following his discharge, he attended Slippery Rock College and Butler Business School.
His first job out of college was at Butler Office Products. During that period he held side jobs as the part owner of a local record store, a sports reporter for WBUT radio, and as a disc jockey at Danceland. During his time at Danceland, Guy brought to Butler many popular music performers, including The Angels, The Platters, Bobby Vinton, and Lou Christie.
Guy joined WBUT full time in 1962. He worked in advertising sales at the station and hosted several programs, including the Guy Travaglio Phone Party. Guy and another local radio personality, Larry Berg, purchased WBUT in 1973 and operated the station until they sold it in 1978.
Guy remained at WBUT until 1980, and then continued his radio career, including his popular Phone Party show, at station WISR in Butler. In 1985 he became WISR’s General Manager and Sales Manager – positions he held until he retired in 1993.
His retirement was short lived. In November, 1994 he was elected State Representative for the 11th Legislative District, succeeding longtime Representative Joe Steighner. During his five terms in Harrisburg from 1995 – 2004, Guy effectively served on many committees and the Task Force on Law Enforcement and Public Safety.
Even with his work and family responsibilities, Guy was a community leader and active volunteer for more than 60 years. From the 1950’s until 2017, he was a member at one time or another of more than 40 organizations, often in leadership roles, including chairman of the board of the Butler County Chamber of Commerce, chairman of the Butler City Redevelopment Authority, and chairman of the Downtown Butler 21st Century Task Force. In 1966 he was elected to Butler City Council and served a four-year term.
Guy was the recipient of numerous awards and honors for his charitable and civic work. Among the awards, he was recognized as a Paul Harris Fellow by the Butler Rotary Club. In 1983 he received the Butler County Chamber of Commerce’s Distinguished Service Senior Award. Because of his dedication and service to others, particularly young people, Guy in 1983 was honored by more than 400 Butler community residents with a surprise “This is Your Life” celebration. In 1999 Guy was honored by the Italian Heritage Society of America as Man of the Year in Government.
He is survived by his wife, Bonita “Bonnie” Ross Travaglio, whom he married June 27, 1965; six children, Guy V. Travaglio and his wife, Peggy, of Goose Creek, SC, Deborah Williams and her husband Tom, of Butler, Valerie Brashers, of Virginia Beach, VA, Roger Travaglio and his wife, Sharon, of Norfolk, VA, Robin Bachman and her husband, Daryl, of Butler, and Norma Jean Wood and her husband, David, of Petrolia.
Guy is also survived by one brother, Vincent Travaglio, of Butler; 13 grandchildren; and 20 great-grandchildren.
In addition to his parents, Guy was preceded in death by his first wife, Norma Jean Bartoe Travaglio; one brother, Michael Travaglio; and one granddaughter, Sara Bachman.
Friends will be received in the Martin Funeral Home, Inc. 429 Center Avenue, Butler, on Tuesday from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. and on Wednesday from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Thursday at 11 a.m. from Saint Michael the Archangel Roman Catholic Church, 432 Center Avenue, Butler, with Reverend Will Wuenschel officiating
Burial will take place in Saint Michael’s Cemetery.
Military honors will be accorded at the cemetery by American Legion Post 117, VFW Post 249, and American Legion Post 778.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations to St. Michael Roman Catholic Church, 432 Center Avenue, Butler, PA 16001 or to Good Samaritan Hospice, 116 Browns Hill Road, Suite 100, Valencia, PA 16059.