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Terry Amato

January 13, 1953 to March 14, 2014 -


Terry AmatoTerry Amato, well-known Portland advertising professional and friend to many, lost his valiant battle with cancer on Friday, March 14, 2014. He will be missed by all who knew him.

Terry was born in Portland, Ore. and grew up in the Laurelhurst neighborhood with his parents, Sam and Lena Amato, and his five siblings. His parents, married 63 years, offered a loving home filled with music and laughter. Terry attended St. Philip Neri Grade School before transferring to Our Lady of the Lake, where he graduated in 1967. He attended Jesuit High School and went on to Portland State University where he graduated in 1976 with a major in communication and minor in journalism. Some of Terry’s favorite memories came from his time in school, his passion for music and the lifelong friends he gained along the way.

Terry married his first wife, Carolyn Ruscitti, in 1978 and they made their home in Lake Oswego. Their marriage was cut short with Carolyn’s untimely passing in 1984 following her battle against breast cancer.

Widely recognized for his commitment to community involvement, Terry was a founding member of Amici d’Italia, served twice as the president of the Italian Businessman’s Club, and was named to the IBC Hall of Fame. He was honored by Willamette Weekly as one of Portland’s Top Ten Men Who Give Back, served on the board of the American Cancer Society, launched the Christian’s men’s group Disciples for God (affectionately named The DOGS). He also served on the Jesuit marketing committee, worked with Mary Sharon Moore on her program for the Catholic Radio, initiated the scholarship luncheon at University of Portland, and was the eight time champion of his Fantasy Football League (PPFL) of which he was a member for 35 years. Terry found a special joy in his volunteer work as a lector at his church and was happiest when his Oregon Duck football team hammered out a win.

A love of music followed Terry throughout his life. He formed several successful bands including the long running Ovation which played for over 40 years and included his life-long friend, Doug Foran, his brother Gerry and close friend Eric Guthman. Whatever Terry was involved with, he developed lasting friendships because of his friendly, engaging manner, integrity, and easy banter that everyone enjoyed. His professional life revolved around many people in Portland and the events of our community including The Bite of Oregon, Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival, Portland Bridal Show and Special Olympics Polar Plunge. More than anything, it was the number of people he touched that enabled his professional success.

Terry is survived by his wife, Barbara Amato of Lake Oswego; brothers Charles Roger Amato of Portland Ore., Donald Amato of Lake Oswego and Gerry Amato of Boise, Idaho and sisters Carol Amato of Corona, Calif. and Sheryl Russell of Wilsonville, Ore.

As he did throughout his life, Terry was always thinking of ways to give back. He and his wife, Barbara, started a scholarship to support children attending Our Lady of the Lake School when those families have financial hardship. It is this scholarship fund that Terry requested remembrances be given.

A memorial service for Terry will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 22 at Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Parish, 790 A Ave., Lake Oswego with a reception to follow at the church.