Mauro Seghetti was welcomed into Heaven on January 10th, 2019, surrounded by loving family, at the age of 92. Born on December 14th, 1926 in Staffoli, Italy to Marino and Erina (Turini), he was the oldest of three siblings; his sister, Maura, and brother, Enzo. His stories of his youth in the Italian countryside were favorites around the family dinner table, whether it was his long bike rides from his home in Staffoli to the Mediterranean coast, or his tales of hiding out in the forest while German troops occupied his home during WWII. It was also these early years, working alongside his father who served as the local contractor and blacksmith for Staffoli, that ultimately forged his lifelong passion for craftsmanship and all things mechanical.
As much as he loved his home, it was his love of a girl, Gina Bellagamba, that convinced him to leave all that was familiar and venture across the Atlantic toward a new adventure. Mauro and Gina had met as children, he in 3rd grade and she in 1st, forging a relationship that would last a lifetime. However, their romance did not begin until their late teens. At age 21, Gina immigrated to America to help her aunt and uncle with their family business, Commellini’s Italian Restaurant in north Spokane, WA. After six years of long distance courtship, Mauro knew he needed to be closer. His journey initially took him to Canada, where Gina joined him while he worked for the railroad and the local golf course, both of them traveling to Spokane in six-month intervals to help with Commellini’s. Ultimately, he was sponsored to come to the United States, thanks in part to the skills as a welder and metal worker he had developed in Italy. This was not before he and Gina welcomed one of their proudest accomplishments, their daughter Linda, followed shortly thereafter by their equally beloved son, Robert. As one of the requirements of the immigration system Mauro need a full-time job to immigrate to the United States. Mauro got a job with Artistic Ironworks in Spokane where he spent the next 25 years. When Artistic Ironworks closed in 1988, he transitioned to work at Kaiser Aluminum for three years before his official retirement. Though those who knew Mauro would say he never truly retired.
Mauro and Gina quickly became fixtures in north Spokane, and were well known to neighbors and customers at Commellini’s. Mauro’s work ethic and attention to detail were relentless, and extended well beyond his career at Artistic Ironworks. Outside of work, his family and their needs came first. In his personal life, he served as caretaker for the extensive Commellini’s property, and he often lent his skill and expertise to the property management of Albert Commellini’s multiple downtown business and buildings. Mauro’s vision for his family’s homestead never ceased expanding and in 1983 he started construction on the first of four duplexes he built himself on the property. He continued to manage and tend to these throughout his retirement, much to the delight of all those fortunate enough to rent from him. His presence remained a staple at the Commellini’s property and he could often be found traveling the grounds on his bicycle or his four-wheeler, delivering mail, or tinkering in his shop, well into his late 80s. Those who have ever driven by Commellini Estate are familiar with the beautiful lawns carefully tended and mowed throughout the summer, another favorite pastime of Mauro.
While it may seem to some like his life was filled with hard work and labor, Mauro rarely saw it as work, as he found joy in discovering elegant solutions to complex challenges and seeing a vision or a project come to fruition. It is unlikely Mauro would have referred to this as work, as his passion, second to his family, was spending time outdoors and using his immeasurable skill to fix whatever needed to be fixed, always putting others’ needs before his own. Though, through it all, he managed to find time for leisure, and was known to enjoy fishing and wood-cutting. His homemade wine was nothing short of legendary, and he loved to share the trials and tribulations of his prized tomatoes grown in his home garden. Family and friends alike also knew it was a good day when they’d visit Mauro and Gina at home, and he’d share with them the Italian cookies known as Pizzelle, that he and Gina had meticulously crafted together, more for their many visitors than for themselves. And though his kitchen was often stocked with the most delicious food, hand crafted from Italian recipes passed down through generations, it was not uncommon to find him with a smile on his face enjoying his culinary independence at a buffet while playing the slot machines.
Above all, one certainty about Mauro’s life was his love for his family. Known affectionately to family as “Nonno”, he filled his life with large family gatherings, projects for his many grandchildren of whom he could not have been more proud, and weekends at the family cabin on Deer Lake. He loved watching his family enjoy the beach from his chair on the porch, or sharing stories and a meal around the massive dining room table he had built himself. He was truly a man of gentle, and quiet wisdom and one of the rare individuals who, by nature, balanced an immense inner and physical strength shaped by years of skilled craftsmanship, with a welcoming warmth of sweetness and caring unmatched by most. Known for his sense of humor, quick wit, and unparalleled intuition, it was a special moment when he’d glance at you with a loving wink and that characteristic twinkle in his eye.
Words can hardly convey the magnitude of the life he lived and the endless love he had for his family, but for those blessed enough to know him, his impact on this world is undeniable. His loss will undoubtedly leave a void in the family and the community, but his memory will live on through moments at the lake, dinners together, and the evidence of his handiwork permeating almost every corner of the Commellini’s property.
He is survived by the love of his life, his wife Gina, their children Robert (Lauri) Seghetti and Linda (Lyle) Seghetti-Moholt, as well as grandchildren Dominique (Dan) Barr, Desiree (Emilio) Seghetti-Sulpizio, Damiano Seghetti, Julian Nardo, and Rachael (Brendon) Myers in addition to a great-grandson, Paxton Barr and numerous relatives throughout the U.S., Canada, and Italy. A memorial service will be held at 11:00 AM on January 21st, 2019 at St. Joseph’s with a celebration of life following the service from 1:00 to 4:00 PM at Commellini Estate. In honor of Mauro’s remarkable life, memorial contributions can be made to the American Cancer Society or Hospice House of Spokane.