Graziano Cornolo, after 61 years of life, was called home to be with the Lord on Tuesday, December 14, 2021.
Graziano (or Gratz to those who knew him best) was born on September 3, 1960, in Thiene, Italy to Ermenegildo and Marcella Cornolo. From a young age, Graziano was drawn to the outdoors and spent his entire life enjoying fishing and hunting. At the age of 15, he moved to Montreal, Canada and later attended the University of Connecticut. While majoring in Physical Education, Graziano played soccer on a full ride scholarship. During his senior year, the UConn soccer team won the 1981 NCAA Championship, something Graziano was proud of his entire life. Upon graduating from UConn, Graziano moved to Kansas City to play professional indoor soccer as a forward with the Kansas City Comets.
In 1984, while celebrating the final game of the season with the team at Kemper Arena, Graziano met Sharon Keaton as they both stood in line at the salad bar. He turned around and upon seeing Sharon, he told her that he “was in love”. A short 14 months later, Graziano and Sharon were married on June 1, 1985. Graziano became a physical education teacher and soccer coach at Rockhurst High School for one year. He then became a roofer for Sharon’s family business, Keaton Brothers. Little did he know that he would spend the rest of his life in the construction industry. In 1990, Graziano opened his own extremely successful business, Century Roofing.
To their joy, Graziano and Sharon welcomed the birth of their son, Travis, on February 8, 1990. Graziano spent most of the ‘90s focused on growing Century Roofing into one of the largest roofing contractors in the greater Kansas City area. Despite working seven days a week to build the company and provide for his young family, Graziano spent much of his free time coaching both boys and girls’ recreational soccer teams. Any spare time was spent traveling the Midwest with friends to find the best hunting and fishing locations.
On June 25, 2001, Graziano and Sharon were again blessed by God with the miracle of adopting their daughter Angelina. It was at this point that their family became complete. The family enjoyed yearly trips to the Lake of Ozarks where they would spend summers with family and friends. Graziano was always happiest when he was outside enjoying God’s natural landscapes.
Graziano always loved the United States and was grateful for the opportunities this country afforded him. On September 24, 2004, he fulfilled a lifelong dream to become an American citizen. Graziano was always grateful for being able to create a successful business rooted in integrity, even when faced with hardships and adversity. He always beamed with pride when talking about his two children attending Kansas State University.
Graziano is survived by his loving wife of 36 years, Sharon, his two children Travis and Angelina in Kansas City, as well as his older brother Rinaldo, nephew Alberto, niece Eleonora, and extended family in Italy.