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Donald J. Figurella
March 20, 1936 ~ January 25, 2023 (age 86) 86 Years Old
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Age 86 of Canton, died peacefully on Wednesday, January 25, 2023, following an extended illness. He was born in Sharon, PA on March 20, 1936, the eldest son of Patsy and Amelia (Ficcalia) Figurella. He was a 1954 graduate of Brookfield High School, Brookfield, Ohio, and attended the University of Massachusetts, studying Turf Management. In 1956, he married his high school sweetheart, Nancy Coppage. Together, they had three children, son Terry, and daughters Nancy and Lory. In his youth, he worked at Yankee Run Golf Course in Brookfield, Ohio. He also worked as greenskeeper at Edgewood Golf Course in North Canton, Ohio, and later for eight years as superintendent at Brookside Country Club in Canton, Ohio. Towards the end of his time at Brookside, he established BesTurf Sod Farms, where for decades he continued his love of all things turf and farming until his retirement. Donald was past president of the Ohio Sod Producers Association. Don and Nancy raised their children on the farm and in the family businesses. In addition to raising sod, they also grew and sold sweet corn to the residents of Stark County. In 1986, the family purchased Symes and Son Flowers, Inc. in North Canton, Ohio, where daughters Nancy and Lory continue to this day. Son Terry and Rose Anne Figurella continued with the sod farm and their own seed and fertilizer business. Every day was “take your kid to work day” when the children weren’t in school. They taught their children (and grandchildren) a formidable work ethic, while at the same time having fun and immense pride in accomplishment. Over the years, his hobbies included truck and tractor pulls, where he ran the track grooming tractor between events. He loved attending car shows, and owned many classics over the years including Jaguar and Austin-Healy. In retirement, he also enjoyed his two RVs, his 1960 Ford Tilt-Cab flatbed truck, and was a member of the Northeast Ohio Chapter of The American Truck Historical Society. He was continually tinkering with a vehicle or piece of equipment, and he loved to read technical publications, expanding the depth of his mechanical ability. He always had a hat and sunglasses close by, ready to jump on the tractor at a moment’s notice.
Donald is survived by his loving wife, Nancy, and their three children. Terry and Rose Anne Figurella of Uniontown, Ohio, Nancy Figurella of North Canton, Ohio, Lory Figurella and James Phillips of North Canton, Ohio; brother Angelo “Butch” and Gina Figurella of West Palm Beach, Florida. He is also survived by his three loving grandchildren, Ray and Anja Figurella of Austin, Texas, Chris Rollins and Andrea Knam of North Canton, Ohio, and Neil Figurella of Canton, Michigan; two great grandchildren, Allison and Penelope Rollins; and numerous nieces and nephews. Donald was preceded in death by his brother, Robert D. (Bob) Figurella in December of 2021.
Donald will be remembered for his tireless work ethic, pride in his family, and his beautiful sod. He always enjoyed a good story, and loved the quote, “When you love what you do, you never work a day in your life.”
In honoring his wishes, there will be no calling hours. A private memorial service and burial in Brookfield Cemetery in Brookfield, Ohio has taken place. Arrangements entrusted to Arnold Funeral Home.