PHOENIX - Nicholas Joseph Pela, 91, passed away peacefully at home Sunday, Aug. 11, 2013.
Nick was born Jan. 9, 1922, in Niles, to Louis and Jennie Scotti Pela, and moved from Niles to Phoenix in 1963.
Nick was a 1939 graduate of Niles McKinley High School and a U.S. Army veteran of World War II, serving four years with the 33rd Infantry Division.
He was a career carpenter and retired in 1985. Following retirement, he traveled the world with the love of his life, his wife, Mary Clemente Pela, whom he met on April 17, 1941, on the corner of Fenton Street and Wood Avenue. They were married in May of 1946, after Nick returned from the war.
A longstanding member of the Arizona Italian American Club, Nick was also a religious man who belonged to Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Niles and later to St. Louis the King Parish in Phoenix.
He enjoyed at-home carpentry projects, reading the novels of Gay Talese, was a lifelong fan of the music of Frank Sinatra, and was happiest when surrounded by family.
Nick is survived by his wife, Mary; a daughter, Dianne Pela; four sons, Nicholas (Carolyn Bodine) Pela Jr., John (Louise Derose) Pela, David (Barbara Moritz) Pela and Robrt (Todd Grossman) Pela; a brother, John Pela; a sister-in-law, Marilyn McGuirk Pela; many beloved cousins, nieces and nephews; 11 grandchildren; and 13 great-grandchildren.
Besides his parents, Nick was preceded in death by his brother, Louis, and sister, Mae.
Following a private interment in Veterans Cemetery in Phoenix, with military honors, a Mass of Christian Burial will be held Monday.
Material contributions may be made to the Niles Ohio Historical Society.
Arrangements were handled by Chapel of the Chimes Mortuary in Glendale, Ariz.