July 2, 2016

Mostly clear

Volunteers help Vietnam veteran’s widow finish home renovation

CHIPPEWA LAKE — Andrea Fussi and her husband spent 15 years remodeling their cottage-style home on Ash Street in Chippewa Lake.

On Feb. 13, 2012, the day before the couple’s 27th anniversary, Jerry Fussi died of a massive heart attack at 64 before he could see the project finished.

From left, Ed Zachery, director of Medina County Veterans Service Office, Andrea Fussi and Stan Morgan, store manager of the Medina Township Home Depot, pose with checks from Home Depot and Disabled American Veterans Chapter 72. (COURTESY PHOTO)

Thanks to a $2,800 grant from Home Depot, and Team Depot, the company’s volunteer program, the widow will have her dream home.

The grant paid for the materials to finish the home and Home Depot employees from the Medina Township store donated their labor.

“This is more than a dream come true for me,” said Fussi, 56. “They really need to be recognized for the good that they do.”

The Disabled American Veterans Chapter 72 also presented Fussi with a $250 check to help with some final details.

One of Team Depot’s focuses is helping veterans. Jerry Fussi served in the Army during the Vietnam War and he injured his back in combat. The injury caused him a great deal of pain, Fussi said.

She said her husband would start work in different rooms, but the back pain and various operations made working on the remodeling projects for a sustained period of time difficult.

After her husband’s death, Fussi said she had trouble managing the projects on her own, including hiring labor.

“Some people were really good and others weren’t,” she said. “We only had so much money put aside because he was going to do a lot of the work himself.”

Ed Zachery, director of Medina County Veterans Service Office, knew about Fussi’s predicament, and put her in touch with Stan Morgan, store manager of the Medina Township Home Depot.

Morgan said nine of his employees helped with finishing the home.

“We were out there about seven days total,” he said.

The remodeling involved new carpeting in two rooms, laminate flooring in another, and new patio and storm doors. The volunteers finished closets and did drywall work and plaster work as well.

The group added closet shelves and rods, put new locks on three doors, and cleaned out some junk in the backyard, Morgan said. It also built custom shelves in front of some of the windows.

Fussi said she expected the finishing touches on the home to be completed within a week.

“It looks complete. It’s so much nicer now,” Fussi said.

Contact reporter Kiera Manion-Fischer at (330) 721-4049 or kfischer@medina-gazette.com.