Floyd H. Agostinelli died March 21st of cancer, after a year or so of illness, at the age of 74. He had a couple of operations to remove cancer and various follow up treatments. He donated his body to Howard University School of Medicine, as did his wife Beth Ann, who died in August 2000. They were married for 45 years.
He was very weak after the death of his daughter Sharon, who died in June 2004 of cancer of the appendix. He was not able to regain his strength.
He is survived by his older brother Virgil, 6 of his 7 children, and his 11 grandchildren.
Here is an autobiographical piece he wrote as part of an application. I found it very dear. Please click here to read it.
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Floyd was born in Anaconda, Montana on December 1, 1930 to Italian immigrant parents. He was the youngest of seven children. Born during the Great Depression, which was followed by World War II, Floyd's early youth was marked both by the poverty of the depression and the fears of World War II. (Three of Floyd's older brothers served in combat during WWII.)
At an early age, Floyd became a self-confessed Communist, was very engaged in "social causes" and was proud of his union membership. Even during the McCarthy era, he remained in the communist alleged International Union of Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers. Floyd became both the editor of the local Union paper and a lobbyist for the Union. Floyd grew up hating the Catholic Church with a passion, because the Church always seemed to side with the Anaconda Copper Mining Co. Deciding to pursue an education, Floyd attended Montana State University. (Later on, he earned a B.A. degree in Philosophy and a M.A. degree in Sociology.) While there, Floyd met a Catholic layman and a Priest who were interested in the same issues as he but were interested in these issues because they were Catholic. This began Floyd's journey to the St. Peter Claver Center and back to Catholicism. Floyd moved to Washington, D.C. in 1955 to join the St. Peter Claver Center. This was an interracial friendship house in Washington, D.C., where the staff lived in defiance of legal segregation, and were paid board, room and $6 a month. Floyd was also a pacifist, an anti-death penalty advocate, a DC freeway opponent and an original DC Statehood member and supporter. He met and married his lovely wife, Beth Ann Cozzens, an ex-St. Peter Claver Center staffer, in 1956. Their very happy marriage of 44 plus years was blessed by seven children and 11 grandchildren.
Floyd was very active with the National Catholic Conference for Interracial Justice (NCCIJ) in the early 60s. He became one of the local representatives of the six major national sponsors of the 1963 March on Washington, who were responsible for the arrangements. Also, through the National Center for Urban Ethnic Affairs (NCUEA), Floyd developed a capitalization program for "low income" credit unions and helped develop the new model for the Community Development Credit Union (CDCU), which became an official type of credit union charter of the National Credit Union Administration. Over a period of six years, Floyd stimulated the deposits of over $5 million in nonmember deposits in Community Development Credit Unions. On September 14, 1991, Floyd became ordained as a Deacon for the Archdiocese of Washington. For both Floyd and Beth Ann, this was an added blessing to them.
Throughout most of his life, Floyd tried to do what he saw as God's work on earth. In this work, his lovely wife Beth Ann was always there with him. It was Beth Ann's unqualified love and concern that enabled Floyd to do so many things in his lifetime. For Floyd, Beth Ann made his life worth living. As did his wife before him, Floyd has donated his body to the Howard University School of Anatomy. Floyd is survived by Damien; Peter and his wife Sandy, their 3 children Dominic, Teneisha and Kenny; Paula and her husband Tony, their children Leah and Jordan; Gregory and his wife Jeri; Andrew; Sharon's two sons Forest and Floyd; Ann-Marie and her husband James, and their 4 children James Chigungu, Maurin, Bethann and Paul.
Many people have wanted to offer their sympathies. Here are two ways to communicate with the family: