Michael Orfitelli


Dr. Michael A. Orfitelli, 63, a resident of Davenport, died unexpectedly on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2009.

A Mass of Christian Burial for Mike will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2009, at Christ the King Chapel on the campus of St. Ambrose University, 518 W. Locust Street. Visitation is from 4-7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 20 at the Halligan-McCabe-DeVries Funeral Home. Honoring Mike’s wish cremation rites will take place after the visitation. Inurnment will take placed at a later date. Memorials may be made to either H.D.C. or to the family to be donated in Mike’s name to his favorite charities.

Michael Anthony Orfitelli was born April 22, 1946 in Braddock, Penn., the son of Michael A. and Carmela R. (Catania) Orfitelli. Mike was united in marriage to Barbara Goricki on Aug. 26, 1967 in Rankin, Penn. 

Dr. Orfitelli achieved many degrees over the years, including his B.S. and M.S.Ed. at Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, Kan.; and his Ed.D. at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, N.M.


Mike currently served as professor and chair of the Department of Kinesiology, College of Education and Health Sciences at St. Ambrose University where he has been actively serving for over 32 years. His greatest achievements included being responsible for starting the NYSP program at the University for which he received the prestigious Silvia O. Conte Award. He went on to become an NYSP evaluator at the national level.  He was also a very active volunteer and had been past president of the I.A.H.P.E.R.D., and the Davenport Breakfast Lion’s, to name a few. He was the first women’s soccer coach, after starting the program and was currently the St. Ambrose University Head Women’s Golf Coach. Mike was inducted into the St. Ambrose University Athletic Hall of Fame and was a board member on the Davenport Park Board.

Mike was very proud of and loved his family. He enjoyed spending time with them whenever possible and was especially excited and proud of his granddaughter, Mia. He also enjoyed morning coffee with his “buddies,” walking through Scott County Park, traveling, and watching TV. He was a people-person and thoroughly enjoyed his family, friends, and meeting new people. He was always eager, willing and ready to help anyone in need especially his students at St. Ambrose and his family.

Survivors include his wife of 42 years, Barbara and their children; two daughters, Christa Orfitelli, Davenport, and Amanda Orfitelli, Raleigh, N.C.; his son and daughter-in-law, Michael and Jennifer Orfitelli, Davenport and his granddaughter, Mia; two sisters, Marline Rossi, North Versailles, Penn. and Madeline Orfitelli, Rankin, Penn.; a brother, Domenic Orfitelli, also of Rankin, Penn.; his two brothers-in-law, John (Julia) Goricki, Ft. Meyers, Fla. and Nick “Buddy” Rossi, Swissvale, Penn.; as well as his beloved dog, Sam who was a trained therapy dog that Mike would take to nursing homes; they enjoyed hunting together and walking through the park. His parents preceded him in death.

Online remembrances and condolences may be expressed by visiting Mike’s obituary at www.hmdfuneralhome.com.

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