February 18, 1928—February 19, 2019
August (Gus) J. Vitale, 91, from Elko, Nevada passed on February 19, 2019 in Elko, Nevada from a short term illness. Gus was born February 18, 1928 in St Louis MO. to Antonino and Augustine (Gilardi) Vitale.
Gus grew up and went to Saint Marks Catholic School until 8th grade then attended Christian Brothers College (CBC) in St Louis, MO. In his younger years he belonged to the Sherman Park Community Center Golden Glovers Boxing Team. He loved bowling, boxing and baseball. He was drafted in the Army in 1950 and spent a year in Korea with the Heavy Mortar Infantry Regt. 3rd Division. He was honorably discharged in 1952. He returned to St. Louis and started working on vending machines with his brother Manual for Wonder Novelty Company before becoming a bar owner with his brother Frank for a time. In the late 50’s he was offered a job in Las Vegas, NV where he worked on vending and slot machines. He always said he took a chance to move to Vegas but he never regretted it. He then moved to Elko in the late 1950’s and worked in casinos in Elko, Wendover and Jackpot. He met Marjorie Strickland Jarvis in Elko and they were soon married. Marge had a ranch in Mountain City and Gus and she worked the ranch until they sold it in 2006. Gus obtained his Gaming License and started Elkada Slots in 1965. He had slot machines, pool tables and shuffle boards in various locations in Elko County up until the present. He also opened Gus Vitale’s Bar and Slots, the home of the Cherrigoosie Indian and the Wedding Bed Roulette Table, on Idaho Street in the mid 70’s and sold it in the late 70’s. Gus is a proud member of the Elko VFW Post 2350. Gus really had a soft spot for all animals especially dog and cats. He would take care of the stray cats in the neighborhood. He also loved to dance; he was famous for his Friday night dancing at the Red Lion. Gus was loved by all and made many Friends wherever he went. He was a true patriot and loved this country. Gus had a slogan he used all the time, “Don’t Cuss, Call Gus”. He would always wink and point when he said it.
Gus is survived by his beloved cat Cooper, Brothers: Joe (Ginny) The Villages, Florida, Manual (Shirley) O’Fallon, MO, Children: Arlene Jones, Elko, NV, Joe Jarvis (Teri), Elko, NV, Bill Jarvis (Silvia) Eureka, CA, Grand Children: Debbie Pawelek(Milton), Elko ,Genieve Swain (Scott) Reno, Jim Jones (Christy), Carlin, Steve Schweer (Annette) Las Vegas, Randy Schweer (Karen), Elko. He had numerous great grandchildren, nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his Father: Antonino, Mother: Augustine, Wife: Marjorie, Brothers: Damian, Frank, Anthony (Trigger) Sisters: Grace Simon and Teresa Thomas.
Services will be conducted on Friday March 1, 2019 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church 990 Highland Dr. Elko, Nevada at 10:00 A.M. There will be a Rosary and Viewing Thursday February 28, 2019 from 6:00 to 8:00 P.M. at Burns Funeral Home 895 Fairgrounds RD. Interment will be in Burns Memorial Garden, Elko Nevada with his beloved Wife Marge.
If you would like to donate to an organization in honor of Gus, we ask you to donate to the Elko VFW Post 2350. Donations may be mailed to the VFW, P.O. Box 1266, Elko, NV 89803.