Niagara Gazette


February 11, 2011

Henry J. Borgese

LEWISTON — Henry J. Borgese,  83,  of Niagara Falls, NY, passed away, peacefully, Thursday, February 10, 2011 in Mount St. Mary’s Hospital, after a brief illness. He was born on April 25, 1927 in Niagara Falls, NY to the late Anthony and Alberta (nee Certo) Borgese.

He was educated in the local schools and at age 10 was selected to enter a class for the gifted children at the Fifth Street School. After graduating with honors from Niagara Falls High School, he continued his education at Syracuse University where he majored in Foreign Trade with a minor in French. His college education was briefly interrupted by a call from Uncle Sam.

After finishing his duties with the Army, Henry resumed his studies at the University and graduated in 1950. He later entered graduate school at the Sorbonne in Paris, France under a Fellowship from the French government. He embarked on a career that spanned 44 years and was as diverse as it was impressive. It included working as a field representative for the Experiment in International Living, which was funded by the Ford Foundation. He also held a teaching position in a French high school.

In 1956 he relocated to Paris to become the Assistant to the Director of the Motion Picture Export Association of America for Europe, and was eventually transferred to Rome, Italy, where he became the Assistant to the Director for the Mediterranean Area.

In 1963 he joined Conbow Corporation in Niagara Falls as President and Managing Director of its Italian subsidiary, Tiam Italiana SPA, and remained in that position until his retirement in 1994.

For many years Henry divided his time between his home in Rome and his home in Niagara Falls. In 2003, due to serious health problems, he finally returned to Niagara Falls permanently.

In keeping with the spirit of the Rotary Club, Henry’s philosophy became evident while living abroad after he was selected as Niagara Falls’ Community Ambassador to Holland in 1951 to create international understanding. His motto has always been “People learn to live together by living together.” A community benefactor, Henry donated his family’s building and property, the former Star Bottling Corporation on Pine Avenue and 17th Street, to the Pine Avenue Business Association to further the Italian Culture in the city by forming the Henry Borgese Italian Heritage Museum and Cultural Center. He was also the recipient of the Pine Avenue Business Association Special Citizens Award. Recently, he was recognized by Mount St. Mary’s Foundation for his contribution to  Our Lady of Peace Nursing Care Residence. His donation was used to enhance their cafeteria area and it was renamed the Borgese Bistro.

Henry was a member of St. Mary of the Cataract Parish, the Niagara Falls Rotary Club, the Niagara Falls Country Club, the St Catharines Club and a former member of the Knights of Columbus  Niagara Council #247. His pastimes included cooking, and playing bridge. As in Italian tradition, family was very important to Henry and he was most happy when he was surrounded by his family and friends.

He is survived by a brother, Frank A. (Jennie) Borgese; a sister, Carmela “Connie” Borgese, both of Niagara Falls; a sister-in-law, Angeline Borgese and many nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great- nephews and great-great-nieces and nephews.  Henry was predeceased by his parents; three brothers, the late Joseph Borgese, late Candelor “Ken” Borgese and the late infant Francesco Borgese; four sisters,  late Martha Previte, late Margaret Borgese, late France Rao and the late Mary Borgese; two sisters-in-law, late Marie Borgese, late Anna Borgese; and brothers-in-law, the late Dominic Previte and the late Pete Rao.

The family will be present to receive friends Sunday and Monday 2-4 & 7-9 PM at the SPALLINO-AMIGONE FUNERAL HOME, 1300 Pine Avenue, Niagara Falls, where prayers will be said Tuesday morning at 9:15 AM, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at St. Mary of the Cataract Church at 10:00 AM. Interment will be in St. Joseph Cemetery, Niagara Falls, NY. Friends invited. If desired, memorials may be made in Henry’s memory to the SPCA Niagara, 2100 Lockport Rd., Niagara Falls, NY 14304, or the American Cancer Society.

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