Michael J. Vazzano, Sr.
June 2, 1934 – September 28, 2021
Survived by wife, Beverly J. Vazzano; daughters: Lisa Vazzano Young (Karl Kohrt), Mary Beth Knust (Paul), Diane Ernatt (Paul); sons, Michael Vazzano, Jr. (Stacie), Joseph Vazzano (Paula); 14 grandchildren.
The family will receive friends Friday, October 1st from 5pm-7pm followed by VIGIL SERVICE at 7pm, all at West Center Chapel. MASS OF CHRISTIAN BURIAL: Saturday, October 2nd at 10am at St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church, 15353 Pacific Street. Interment: Calvary Cemetery with Military Honors. Memorials are suggested to Siena/Francis House or Society of St. Vincent de Paul Omaha.
To view live broadcasts of the Vigil Service, Mass, and Graveside Service, please go to www.heafeyheafey.com and click the “View Live Cast” button on the home page.
Michael J. Vazzano was born on June 2, 1934, to immigrant parents, Guiseppe and Concetta Vazzano, from Sicily. He was the youngest of six children. His brothers, Michael, John, Ross, and Sam; along with sister, Mary, who preceded him in death were among the first to greet him on Wednesday when he passed. He was raised in Omaha, Nebraska, in the area of town known as “Little Italy”.
He graduated from Tech High and got a job driving a delivery truck. One day as he was driving his delivery truck, he took a left instead of a right and drove to the Navy recruiter office. Michael walked in and enlisted in the Navy. When he returned to his truck and got to work, his boss said, “You’re an hour late.” Mike said, “I just enlisted in the Navy and am giving you my two weeks notice.”
Mike was out of the Navy for two years and found himself working for the City of Omaha. Around that time, he met the love of his life, Bev, who was attending St. Catherine’s School of Nursing. They married in 1962 and were blessed with five beautiful children. Mike and Bev lived in the old neighborhood for five years and then moved their growing family of seven to the Elmwood Park area where they made many lasting friends, as they established themselves as a “58th Street family”.
Being the youngest child in his family, the next youngest sibling was 15 years old. Family was so important to Mike, and he always said of his wife’s strong connection with her seven siblings that they always made him feel that they were also “HIS family”. He was so grateful for this as he had lost his parents shortly after he and Bev married. Mike was always in awe of the strong relationships within Bev’s family and wanted to emulate that in his own. He made sure to tell his children to pay attention to this and how important it was to him.
He retired from the City of Omaha. After a short period, Mike’s strong work ethic took him to a position with the County where he worked for an additional 11 years. Mike was a hard-worker, and he loved his friends. He had a great circle of friends and was an integral part of the Order of the Sons of Italy and could be found there every Thursday serving spaghetti.
Mike always said that his three greatest loves in life were his Faith, his Country, and his Family.
He was an amazing man that many people described as a man they had the pleasure to look up to and modeled what to look for in a husband and father. Mike was a devoted family man. Those who knew him described him as a loyal friend, fun and funny, making his family laugh through their tears until the very end. Mike had a great love of music and when his children were young, he sang, danced and taught them the music of his childhood and his heritage. He sang traditional Italian songs, not only the classical, but the humorous, with his children from a young age.
Mike was well read, humble and was a friend to everyone. He taught the importance of respect. When asked what their lasting memories of their father were, the children all said, “He taught by example. Be honest with others and they will be honest with you. Be good to others, and they will be good to you. Show love and compassion, and you will be shown love and compassion”.