Gary “Gutch” Anthony Mandarino, 66, beloved ultra-talented musician, animatronics engineer, and artist of Aurora, Colorado, died Wednesday, February 10, 2021. He was born at the Charleroi-Monessen Hospital on January 17, 1955, the son of the late Robert J. Mandarino, Sr. and Helen Hodgson Mandarino who survives. Gutch was a 1972 graduate of Monessen High School, and following graduation enrolled in the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, graduating in 1974. He then continued to work at the family business, Frank’s Service Garage in Monessen as Service Manager until 2002. One of his many talents was to design, create, and build props for Tom Savini’s TerrorMania in Monessen and the TransWorld Haunt and WorpedStudios in CO. But his main lifelong passion started in 1972 when Gutch bought his 1st Fender bass guitar, and the rest is history. He quickly learned to play on his own and joined several smaller groups before his major debut with the City Rhythm Band in the late 1970’s. The band traveled to Los Angeles, CA to hit the big time and played some high level CA venues including the Queen Mary. He returned to the Mon Valley in the early 1980’s and continued his band escapades with Network, The Enforcers, and Black Smith playing all of the local hotspots. In 2007, he relocated to Aurora, CO and joined the Moses Jones Band which later became the Wash Park Band. They are the premiere Top 40 dance band in the Greater Denver Area and played venues such as an opening for Everclear, Breckenridge Ski Resort, Denver Broncos Monday Football Night Pre-Game, and the Colorado Avalanche NY Eve 2019 Pre-Game. Gutch was also co-owner of Kiddie Rides USA based in Denver. He is survived by his mother, Helen Hodgson Mandarino, three brothers Robert Jr. (Laurie) Mandarino of Wexford, John Mandarino of Bridgeville, and Bill Mandarino of Atlanta, GA, one niece, Kristina Mandarino (David) Morgan, and his loving girlfriend Peggy Schreiner. In addition to his father, he was preceded in death by his loving wife Heather Elizabeth “Lizzie” Hartman in 2014. A memorial visitation and celebration of life will be held this coming summer and handled by DALFONSO-BILLICK FUNERAL HOME INC. and CREMATION SERVICES, 441 Reed Avenue, Monessen. In addition, his Colorado crew will be planning an event on his behalf sometime in the near future. The date and time of the visitation and services will be posted on the funeral home website and announced in the Mon Valley Independent. Interment will be in Grandview Cemetery, Monessen. The family suggests memorials be made to the charity and cause of ones choice on his behalf. Condolences will be accepted for him, the family, and all his loving friends at the www.dalfonso-billick.com.
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