Mario C. Battigelli, M.D., a former faculty member of the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, died at home, surrounded by family, on Friday, September 27, 2019. He was 91 years old.
He is survived by his wife Giovanna Battigelli, and their four children, Anna Battigelli (Paul Johnston), Lisa B. Nurme (David Nurme), David Battigelli (Susan Battigelli), John Battigelli, and by his grandchildren, Annalise Nurme, John David Nurme, Mario Battigelli II, and Lorenzo Battigelli.
He was born in Florence, Italy, and baptized in the Battistero di San Giovanni, one of five children and the only son of Enrico and Elena Battigelli. He received his medical degree in 1951 from the University of Florence, Italy. Following a fellowship at the Clinica del Lavoro at the University of Milan, he received his master’s degree in Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh in 1957. In 1965, he accepted a joint appointment at the School of Medicine and the Graduate School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina. His career was characterized by a devotion to public health, particularly the environmental causes of occupational lung diseases. He worked all his life to defend and protect the sacredness of human labor, highlighting its physical, medical, ethical, psychological, and spiritual dignity. He retired to Chapel Hill, reading widely, often with others, returning regularly to the work of Dante. In retirement, he also cared for the elderly in Chapel Hill, serving on the Orange County Nursing Home Advisory Committee. He was an active member of UNC’s Newman Catholic Community. He will be remembered for his intellectual curiosity, compassion, uncompromising integrity, encyclopedic reading, keen intellect, and skilled care as a clinician and researcher. He was a devoted and much-loved husband, father, and grandfather.
A funeral Mass will be celebrated on Friday, October 4th, at 11 a.m. at the Newman Catholic Student Center in Chapel Hill.
Walker's Funeral Home in Chapel Hill is assisting the family.