Macomb attorney dies at 78

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Anthony J. Bellanca, 78, succumbed to his three year battle with Cancer on August 14, 2016. He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Marianne (Holowinski), four children, Roselie Marie Ruebelman (Charles), Helen Bellanca, James V. Bellanca, II (Lisa), Marie Antonette Bellanca, and four grandchildren, Christopher, Emily, Anya and Jocelyn.

Mr. Bellanca practiced law for more than 50 years in the firm founded by his late father, James V. Bellanca, Sr. in 1935, where he joined his brother Peter Bellanca (deceased 1998) in 1964. His brother, James V. Bellanca, Jr., joined them, followed by Anthony's nephews, Steven J. Grobbel and James V. Bellanca, III.

He was graduated from the College of Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, received his juris doctorate degree from the University of Detroit Mercy in 1963 and pursued a Masters at Law at the University of Michigan. Mr. Bellanca was dedicated to numerous educational and professional organizations.

He was past President of the Macomb County Bar Association where he had been active since 1974. He recommended the formation of and did some of the initial work to establish the Macomb County Bar Foundation where he served as Trustee, Director and ultimately President. He was on the St. Clair Shores Planning Commission for more than a decade. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Catholic Lawyers' Society and the CYO for many years. He served on the Italian American Cultural Society Board of Directors from 1969 until 1995, serving as its President from 1973 to 1978. He was the first recipient of the Medaglia D'Onore Life Achievement Award in 1987. He was the founding Trustee and President of the NOI Foundation from 1996 until his death.

On account of his devotion to the Italian Culture and particularly the Italian language, the President of the Republic of Italy first awarded him the title of Cavaliere of the Order of Merit in 1977 and then conferred upon him the title of Commendatore in 2003, one of the highest awards given by the Government of Italy to a non-citizen.

In the end, his life can be summed up in one word: Devotion. He was devoted to his profession, his community, his church, his heritage, and foremost, to his family.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests the consideration of a donation to the NOI Foundation, 20480 Vernier Road, Harper Woods, Michigan 48225.

Published: Thu, Aug 18, 2016