Benjamin “Benny” Tony Portaro, passed away at the age of 102, on Friday, March 17, 2023, at Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center. He was born on March 12, 1921, in Caulonia, Reggio Calabria, Italy, son of the late Pietro (Pete) and Carmela Vallelonga Portaro.
Benjamin attended Bridgeport Schools. He was a veteran of the United States Army serving during the WWII era. During his time in the US Army, Benjamin went to France then Germany to take part in the Battle of Sauer Basin and then on to the Battle of the Bulge in Luxemburg where he was captured and taken prisoner of war. After getting an Honorable Discharge he received the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, POW Medal, Good Conduct Medal, American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with two bronze stars, WWII Victory Medal and the Combat Infantryman Badge 1st Award. In December of 2022, Benjamin was personally handed the French Legion of Honor by the French President Macron. After the war Benjamin went to work for a commercial construction company where years later, he retired from. While on his free time he was an avid gardener and enjoyed teaching others how to grow their own gardens. He loved the mountains of West Virginia.
Benjamin is survived by three daughters, Marie “Bonnie” Bernadette and husband Daniel Alder of Virginia Beach, VA, Margaret Teresa and husband Miles Tate of Sun City West, AZ, Annette and husband Mike Smith of Brownsville, PA; two sons, Edward “Eddie” Michael and companion Joan Freeman of WV and CO, and James “Jimmy” David and wife Onnie Bergman of Clarksburg, WV; two sisters, Sylvia Basile of Clarksburg, WV and Helen Cutright of Bridgeport, WV; one daughter-in-law, Sharon D. Portaro; eleven grandchildren, Christopher Ryan and wife Melissa Alder, Lauren Alder-Reid and husband Mike Reid, Richard and wife Dora Barnes, Jennifer and husband Steve Shuba, Michael and wife Heather Smith, Natalie and husband Dustin Kniffen, Jessica and husband Phil Ruiz, Emily Portaro and companion Soren, Benjamin Portaro, Susanna Portaro, Thomas and wife Miranda Portaro, Daniel Bergman, Brandon Bergman, and Sarah, Matthew and wife Emily Bergman; several great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, great nieces, great nephews, great great nieces and great great nephews.
In addition to his parents, Benjamin “Benny” was preceded in death by his loving wife, Claire Marie (Frankenstein) Portaro of 68 years; two sons, Joseph “Joe” Portaro, Benny Portaro; one daughter-in-law, Chris Portaro; one sister, Emma Belcastro; one brother, William “Bill” Portaro.
In lieu of flowers and in honor of Mr. Portaro, donations can be made to the Honor Flight Huntington located at 285 Gallaher Street Huntington, WV 25705 for the Clarksburg/Bridgeport flight.
Family will receive friends at Davis Funeral Home, 124 Olen Thomas Dr., Clarksburg, on Thursday, March 23, 2023 from 12:00 Noon – 8:00pm, a Prayer Service will be held at 7:30 pm; Catholic Funeral Liturgy will be held at St. James Catholic Church on Friday, March 24, 2023 at 10:00AM am with Father Akila Rodrigo and Father Patsy Iaquinta as co-celebrants. Interment will follow at Holy Cross Cemetery where full military honors will be accorded by the Harrison County Honor Guard and the US Army Honor Guard. Online condolences can be made on www.DavisFuneralHomeWV.com. Davis Funeral Home is honored to serve the Portaro family.
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