On December 27, 2018, Dr. Mario Argentieri passed away after a valiant fight just shy of his 97th birthday. He believed that life was a gift and did everything within his power to preserve it.
Dr. Argentieri was born on January 25, 1922 in Hornell, N.Y. to Ermindo Argentieri and Marianina (DiMattia) Argentieri of Furci, Italy. He was predeceased by his wife of 61 years, Dona (Roth) Argentieri. He is survived by 6 children and their families: Thomas Argentieri (fiancé Linda Forrest), Linda (Lee) Rascovar, Paul (Lynne) Argentieri, Gerald (Cheryl) Argentieri, Diane “Dede” (Richard) Ranger, and Theodore (Diane) Argentieri. Affectionately known as Papa Doc to his grandchildren: Justin (Ariane), Matthew (Serena), Meaghan, Cale; Alexander (Yesel); Christian (Allison), Dane (Silvana), Veronica, Paula (Chris), Vanessa (Dan); Brett (Stacey), Eric; Elliot (Kathyr), Lowell (Allyson), Colby (Kelly). He had 18 great grandchildren: Garrett, AJ, Julian, Sebastian, Vera, Evelyn, Leilana, Raja, Rocuzzo, Phineas, Celia, Ava, Jack, Julia, Henry, Ruth, Dylan and Tyler. Dr. Argentieri is also survived by his sister, Dorothy Ianacone and by his sister-in law June Klaserner.
Dr. Argentieri was a graduate of St. Ann’s School, Hornell High School, and Georgetown University (undergraduate and medical school) in Washington D.C. Following graduation from medical school and his internship, Dr. Argentieri enlisted in the Army Air Corp where he served as a flight surgeon. Thereafter, he went on to specialize in Internal Medicine with a subspecialty in Cardiology.
In 1954, Dr. Argentieri returned to Hornell, N.Y where he continued the private practice of medicine until he retired at age 80. He was on staff at St. James and Bethesda hospitals. At various times he served as chairman of the Steuben County Medical Society. He was recognized nationally, being named to the National College of Cardiologists.
Dr. Argentieri was blessed to grow up in a town where the name Argentieri was not uncommon. He grew up and lived with many uncles, aunts, first, second and third cousins. He was privileged to care for many of his former classmates and friends. He developed a large practice and gave selflessly of himself to his patients at all times. He continued to make house calls as far away as Wellsville until he was well into his seventies. He rarely needed to ask for a family history. The only thing he remembered more than his patients’ family history was his repertoire of jokes that he would leverage when a good laugh was needed. He loved life, his family, and community, and was well-respected by all in return. Through the years on any given day he was greeted variously as “Moe” or “Mario” or “Doc” or “Doctor.” At age 95 he was designated Honorary Marshall of the Hornell St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
The family would like to thank Dr. Chaudhry, Dr. Hariprasad, and Dr. Randhawa for their medical expertise and friendship. We also like to thank Sally and John Brown for the help they provided throughout our parents later years. Thanks to all the family and friends who visited Dad when he became housebound. Thanks to the caregivers who provided 24-hour care in Dad’s last days and to the staff at Elderwood. Thanks to Fr. Schnacky, Dad’s special friend, who visited him daily; and thanks to our cousins Ray and JoJo Argentieri and Camilla Kelly who spent so much time at the hospital. Their presence was welcome both by Dad and by all of us during his final days.
Calling hours are 6-8pm Saturday (Dec. 29, 2018), and 1-5 p.m. Sunday (Dec. 30, 2018) at the Bishop & Johnson Funeral Home, Inc., 285 Main St, Hornell. Friends are invited to join the family at St. Ann’s Church in Hornell where a Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. Monday (Dec. 31, 2018). Committal prayers and interment, with military honors, will follow at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Town of Fremont.
Those wishing may contribute in his memory to: Our Lady of the Valley Parish, 27 Erie Avenue Hornell, to Steuben County Rural Ministry in care of Turning Point, 20 Elm St., Hornell or to the Mario A. Argentieri, M.D. Scholarship Fund at St. Ann’s Academy, P.O. Box 446, Hornell, N.Y. 14843. Envelopes for memorial contributions will be available at the funeral home.
Online condolences or remembrances of Dr. Argentieri are welcomed at www.bishopandjohnsonfuneralhome.com.