Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Mario Sebastiano Bertolini, Artist, Teacher, and Friend

Today I would like to take a moment to reflect back upon a man who was very influential in my art education, Mario Bertolini. A mild-mannered, polite, and cheerful gentleman who saw talent in his students even when they were sure they had none. I would look right, then left, and then back to the mediocre work in front of me and think," Maybe I would benefit more from another study hall," and Mr. Bertolini would walk by and said, "Wow! What an unusual interpretation!  That is such a creative take on..." whatever I was supposed to be doing.  He was quite the artist himself, as well as a master at pulling talent out of dormant little shells.

Mario Sebastiano Bertolini
Birth: Jan. 27, 1925
Youngstown
Mahoning County
Ohio, USA
Death: Aug. 8, 1997
Youngstown
Mahoning County
Ohio, USA

He was born at home, at 1624 Hillman Street, to parents Luigi Bertolini and Elena Macor. He grew up at 213 S. Main Street. In 1933, he and his family returned to Bertiolo, Italy for one year. He became fluent in French and Italian.

He met wife Ada at a dance. When they became engaged, not all of her family were happy with the news, because Mario's family were so obviously Italian. Nevertheless they were married 7/30/49. After the marriage, everyone was eventually won over by the charm and personality of Mario. Even lofty aunt Henrietta (Bobbie) admitted that she grew to adore him.

Mario and Ada lived in Iowa City together while attending Iowa State University for their teaching certification courses. They then lived at 949 Frederick in Niles, and had four children: Joseph, Mary Helen, Mary Frances, and Lawrence. Daughter Judy died in infancy.

Mario was a well-known local artist, with paintings in the permanent collection of the Butler Institute of American Art. He made his living as a school art teacher. In his spare time, he was active as a member of the TAG art group of Youngstown.

After a sudden fall and short stay at Northside Medical, he died surrounded by his family. He was followed in death by daughter Mary Helen, wife Ada, and more recently brother Livio. Survivors include two sons, one daughter, eight grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, sister-in-law, and several nieces and nephews.

Family links:
 Parents:
  Luigi Bertolini (1894 - 1971)
  Elena Macor Bertolini (1901 - 1979)

 Spouse:
  Ada Doran Bertolini (1929 - 2011)

Burial:
Saint Stephen Cemetery
Niles
Trumbull County
Ohio, USA

Mario Sebastiano Bertolini
Added by: Martin M
Mario Sebastiano Bertolini
Added by: Martin M
Mario Sebastiano Bertolini
Added by: Martin M
 
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His work is vibrant and colorful and extremely hard to track down.  Here is what I found.



Not only was he my high school art teacher,  I had the pleasure of teaching in the same city school district with the delightful Mario for many years.  I also took an evening oil painting class with him.
This man was an inspiration to generations of Niles, Ohio students.  He is fondly remembered and greatly missed.

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