October 10, 1955 ~ October 31, 2021
“The saddest thing in life is wasted talent, and the choices that you make will shape your life forever.” This was Gus’s favorite movie quote and summarized how he lived his life. Gus spent no time wasting his talents or zest for life.
Born in Port Richmond near Philadelphia to George and Rita (nee Centofanti) Cifelli, Gus’s early years were spent with family and friends from the neighborhood, MDG Parish School, Maternity BVM and Archbishop Ryan High. Once Gus made a friend, they remained so for life. He loved making WWII model airplanes, hiding out with buddies in their fort, the “S.S. Mess”, launching rockets with his dad, Steely Dan, boxing, Tastykakes and Tootsie Rolls. He was an Eagle Scout, ran cross-country and starred in school plays. His favorite part was that of “Stewpot” in South Pacific, a role that suited his witty personality. He loved making people laugh. Gus was one of the first guides on the Philadelphia Tour Trolley and was the recipient of the Philadelphia Union League Award.
Gus was a “double-domer” at the University of Notre Dame where he earned his undergraduate and JD degrees. He served 2 terms as president of the Student Bar Association. He was the primary organizer of the extremely popular Annual Law School Talent Show. Gus’s love for his alma mater never waned. He hosted an annual picnic for incoming students each summer and returned to teach a popular law school seminar for many years.
Gus had a successful career as an attorney for 35+ years in the Seattle area, was awarded Super Lawyer multiple years, was a pro-tem judge and served on the faculty of NITA. He was a friend and mentor to many.
He was dedicated to community service. He was Santa for the cancer ward at Children’s Hospital and served 20+ years as a dedicated ommittee member for the Eastside Division.
Two of Gus’s greatest passions were cars and flying. He spent endless hours tinkering on his antique cars including his cherished “Banana”. He earned his pilot’s license and was thrilled to travel to Russia to pilot an authentic MIG at the speed of sound. In recent years, he was honored to be a docent for the Heritage Flight Collection and was especially proud of his well-researched presentation on the Night Witches/Women Aces.
Gus is survived by his loving wife, Christa (nee Ralston), his children, Augustine George and Angeline Patrice, sisters Marguerite Genesio (Flemming Godiksen) and Andrea Mangold (Robert), seven nieces and nephews, in-laws William Gary and Patricia Ann Ralston, and brother-in-law J. Scott Ralston.
Gus’s bucket list included having a chance to see the Northern Lights. He did not get that chance in life but, perhaps now, he’ll be part of them.