Mario G. DiCristofaro, 89, Italian-born collision shop owner who could fix anything

Dec 20, 2021 294

Mario G. DiCristofaro, who owned and operated an auto collision shop in Buffalo, died Dec. 12 in Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, Amherst, from complications due to Covid-19. He was 89. Born in Pratola Peligna in the Abruzzo region of central Italy, his boyhood memories from World War II included diving into ditches for shelter from bombing raids and hiding his father from German troops who were rounding up local men for work camps.

After his town was liberated, he began working as a mechanic at the age of 12 for his father, who established a trucking business with surplus vehicles he bought from the U.S. Army. When he was 16, he went to Caracas, Venezuela, with his father and a brother and stayed there after they returned to Italy a couple years later. He trained as a helicopter mechanic and was employed by oil companies. He received several awards for his work.

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