Home News Somerton philanthropist, bicyclist dies at age 92

Somerton philanthropist, bicyclist dies at age 92

A local legend: Nick Forgione is pictured in 2012 at his 90th birthday celebration. Forgione, who would have turned 93 on July 27, died on July 9. TIMES FILE PHOTO

Services were held on Monday for Nick Forgione, a Somerton resident who raised tens of thousands of dollars for cancer charities through a series of bicycle rides. He was 92.

A 1940 Northeast High School graduate, Forgione enlisted in the U.S. Navy on Dec. 8, 1941, the day after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

After his service in World War II, he worked three years at Eastern State Penitentiary before joining the Philadelphia Police Department. He was assigned to the highway patrol division. He worked as a private investigator after leaving the police force.

After being diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 1983, Forgione shunned chemotherapy and radiation in favor of diet, exercise, vitamins and faith.

Later, he overcame prostate cancer and a severe bowel obstruction.

Forgione participated in and helped organize bike-a-thons sponsored by Fox Chase Cancer Center and the American Cancer Society. One trip took him from Fox Chase to the White House. He climbed the Manayunk Wall and biked along with Tour de France winners Greg LeMond, Miguel Indurain and Lance Armstrong. He also won multiple gold medals at the International Police Olympics and is a member of the Pennsylvania Police Hall of Fame.

Over the years, Forgione was honored by the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives and the Pennsylvania Senate.

Deeply religious, Forgione attended Mass daily at St. Christopher Church, where he was a lector, usher and Eucharistic minister. He also attended retreats as part of the Men of Malvern.

Forgione, who would have turned 93 on July 27, died on July 9. He is survived by his wife of 70 years, Nora; daughters Nancy Fitzgerald (Eugene) and Lydia Miller (Joseph Hanis); grandchildren Dawn Saurman and Zachary Miller; great-grandchildren Gianna and Holden; and sisters Teresa Bria and Rose Schambers.

A viewing and funeral Mass were held at St. Christopher.

Memorial contributions can be made to St. Christopher Church, 13301 Proctor Road, Philadelphia, PA 19116. ••

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