Nicholas J. Aquilano, a native of Geneva, N.Y., went to heaven on the 22nd of October, 2017. He left an incredible legacy of love and honor over his 87 years with family and friends.
Born into a very large, close-knit Italian-American family in the historic enclave of Torrey Park in Geneva on March 16, 1930, Nick arrived amidst the poverty of the Great Depression which formed his strong work ethic. At age 6, he worked with his mother Caroline in the nearby farm fields, raised his own chickens at 9, ran the meat counter at a neighborhood butcher shop at 12, and worked in the bakery of the Market Basket grocery store chain while attending Geneva High School. After graduation he and his older brother, Donald, opened DANA Photography Studios in downtown Geneva capturing history in their pictures of family weddings, a visiting President Truman, and big band legends including Tommy Dorsey and Count Basie as they performed at Club 86.
He was drafted into the Army in 1950. After the service he earned a B.S. in Electrical Engineering at Syracuse University and was recruited by GE for a prestigious assignment with the US Navy setting up and testing radar and missile systems in the Mediterranean. He then earned his Masters from San Diego State and his PhD from UCLA.
He joined the faculty of the University of Arizona in 1968 and had a distinguished 25 year career in the field of Operations Management. He co-authored the landmark textbook in the field, “Production and Operations Management,” and launched the Operations Management Association. But his greatest accomplishment was being a father. He was always there for his children and grandchildren and was a calm, steady, loving presence in their lives.
Nicholas J. Aquilano was a son, husband, father, grandfather, brother, nephew, uncle, cousin, brother-in-law, son-in-law, father-in law, godfather, and friend who gave his time to whomever and whatever was needed without question. He will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.
Nick is survived by his wife, Nina (Ballardini) Aquilano; children Don (Lucy) Aquilano, Kara (Greg) Forney, Mark Aquilano; grandchildren Riley, Nicholas, Shea, and Carson; nieces Michelle (Michael) Smith and Karen (Bill) Greco; nephew, Nelson (Jean) Acquilano, and many cousins in the Acquilano and Gigliotti families. He is pre-deceased by his parents Carmen and Caroline (Gigliotti) Acquilano; brother and sister-in-law Donald and Theresa Acquilano and many aunts and uncles.
A memorial celebration will be held in Geneva in the spring.