John Robert “Robby” Venturino, 25, of Morgantown, passed away at his residence in Morgantown, on Saturday morning, November 24, 2012. Robby’s hometown was Williamson.
Robby had put forth a valiant effort to live after having been diagnosed seven years ago with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a form of cancer that strikes young people between 16 and 20 years of age. Robby fought not only for himself, but for every person who would receive the same diagnosis in the future. He was remarkable in the amount of bravery and courage he displayed in fighting such a battle at such a tender age. He astonished the medical teams that treated him at the University of Kentucky Children’s Hospital, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and West Virginia University’s Ruby Memorial Hospital.
Even when the cost to him was great physical pain, he wanted to do all that was humanly possible to help his physicians and medical teams learn more about this form of cancer in the hopes that some day, no one would ever again receive such a diagnosis.
Robby was the beloved son of John Venturino of McAndrews, Ky., and Tami Smith Venturino Mosley of Williamson. He was born May 15, 1987, in Huntington.
While growing up in Williamson, Robby was involved in youth sports. He had participated in baseball and soccer. He attended Riverside Elementary School and Williamson Middle School. He was a 2005 honors graduate of Belfry High School. He attended Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College and Morehead State University on a full academic scholarship. He was currently in his third year at West Virginia University where he was a double major, studying psychology and sociology. Robby helped out his fellow students by working as a tutor with those who needed a little extra help with their studies.
During his high school career he served as the captain of the Belfry High School Academic Team and he participated in the 2004 National Youth Forum on Defense, Diplomacy and Intelligence held in Washington, D.C.
Robby was passionate about 4-H. He had participated in 4-H activities from a young age and he especially enjoyed attending events at the 4-H camp at Jackson’s Mill. Robby developed many enduring friendships as a result of his affiliation with 4-H. These friends were his 4-H family members.
Robby loved snow skiing and playing video games. He had a keen interest in creating video games and this was something he would like to have had the opportunity to pursue in the future. He was also a science fiction buff.
He was a member of the Calvary Baptist Church of West Williamson.
He was a former employee of Sears, located at the South Side Mall, Double Quick at Goody, Ky. and Applebee’s in Pikeville, Ky.
Robby was a bright, intelligent, funny, driven, passionate young man who would not give up on his desire to live and to make the very best of every day. He loved life and simply lived it to the fullest. Robby will be remembered for his laughter, his wit and his sense of humor.
Robby will be sorely missed by his family and friends. He leaves a legacy of strength and determination that will not be forgotten. He will be lovingly thought of and remembered always.
Robby was preceded in death by his maternal grandparents, Bob and Louise Trippett Smith; and his paternal grandparents, James “Jimmy” and Rena Scola Venturino; and two uncles, Jimmy Smith and Larry Venturino.
In addition to his parents, Robby is survived by his brother, Jacob Venturino of Williamson; his stepdad, Gary Mosley of Williamson; two stepbrothers, Stephen (Rebekah) Mosley of Turkey Creek, Ky., and Donovan (Judy) Mosley of Louisville, Ky.; two aunts, Debby (Lonnie) Bowen of Chattaroy, Mary Bede Venturino of McAndrews, Brenda Venturino of Williamson; two great-aunts, Lucy Rutherford of Ceredo, and Natalina Brown of Williamson; great aunts and uncles, Henry and Sheila Trippett of Williamson and Frank and Margaret Ann Davis of Pineville; special cousins, Jamie and Sarah Bowen and Chris and Craig Venturino; special friends and caregivers who helped Robby and the family, Penny and Greg Bowen of Chattaroy and their daughter, Ginni Bowen; many wonderful cousins, longtime friends and a host of 4-H family members and his beloved cat, Valentine.
The family wishes to express their deepest appreciation to all of Robby’s physicians, nurses, medical teams, Amedisys Hospice of Morgantown, and members of the staff, faculty and student body of Belfry High School. We thank the Belfry High School family for all you did to help Robby through your fundraisers and for simply making themselves available to him. Each and every act of kindness, love and generosity will never be forgotten by our family. Your loving kindness allowed Robby to see love in action and for that we are forever grateful.
The family will receive friends from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, November 27, at Weaver Mortuary in West Williamson.
The service celebrating Robby’s life will be at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, November 28, at the mortuary. The Rev. Aaron Rohde and the Rev. Ron Sanger will officiate.
Interment is in the Mountain View Memory Gardens at Maher. Active pallbearers include Chris Wellman, Cody Felix, Josh Eanes, Chris Whitt, Alexis Batausa, James Rutherford, Billy Dotson, Andrew Portzer and Chris Harrison.
Serving as honorary pallbearers are Jeff Yokum, Antonio Tramber, Aaron Devrick, Mark Gannon, Mitch Justice, Bobby Phillips, Billy Richardson, Brad Davis, Jim Blackburn, John Rozanski, Jack Rozanski, Mark Whitt, Vinny Kudva, Jamie Bowen, Nick Bowen, Caleb Tackett, Adam Stepp, Chris Venturino, Craig Venturino, Cory Maynard, Jeff Orndorff, Joel Orndorff, Ryan Hazard Butler, Jeff Brock, Jarrod May, Ryan Donovan, Justin Bevins, Joe Wells, Dustin Ferrell, Tony Bowling, Josh Bowling, Terry Williams, Justin Fickey, Chase Cantees, Kameron Williams, Daniel Allen, Kyle Wattula, Jason Wattula, Mark Jopling and Timmy Jopling.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made to West Virginia University 4-H Foundation, Andrew Barnes, 808 Knapp Hall, P.O. Box 6031, Morgantown, WV 26506-6031.
Please express online condolences at www.weavermortuaryinc.com. Weaver Mortuary of West Williamson is serving the Venturino family.