When Lou Mammone immigrated with his family to the United States from Italy in 1925, he did not speak English.
So, starting a new life meant starting over in every way, including in school, where he entered first grade in Beaver Falls at the age of 12, said his grandson, Michael Mammone of Penn Township in Westmoreland County.
Mr. Mammone went on to become a college graduate and a second-generation grocery industry entrepreneur.
"When I think about what makes his story unique and noteworthy, I think (making his way as an immigrant) has a lot do with it," his grandson said.
Lou Mammone of Pompano Beach, Fla., formerly of Churchill, died of renal failure on Friday, Dec. 28, 2012, in VITAS Innovative Hospice Care in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He was 99.
Mr. Mammone was born Oct. 21, 1913, in Mongiana, Italy, to Angelo and Raffaela Timpano Mammone.
Mr. Mammone graduated from Beaver Falls High School in 1933 and from the University of Pittsburgh with a bachelor's degree in business administration in 1938. He became a citizen in 1939 and three years later was drafted into the Army during World War II, serving in the Philippines and Japan. In August 1942, he married Gilda Capuzzi.
After the war, he worked for a variety of food companies. He started Lou Mammone Inc., a food brokerage, in the Strip District in the early 1960s. In 1964, Mr. Mammone and a partner, Robert Zanetti, started Pittsburgh Cheese Terminal, a wholesale supplier of Italian meat, cheese and pasta.
Mr. Mammone's son, Louis E. Mammone of Champion in Fayette County, who joined the business, said his father taught him, "Don't be a pushover, but be a gentleman about all your dealings."
The brokerage disbanded in the mid-1990s, and Pittsburgh Cheese Terminal was sold in 1998.
Mr. Mammone and his wife split their time between Florida and Churchill beginning in the 1970s, moving to Florida in the early 2000s, Michael Mammone said.
Mr. Mammone remained active as he grew older, enjoying golfing, traveling and spending time with his family. In October 2011, he was honored as the oldest living Pitt marching band alumnus.
In addition to grandson Michael and son Louis, he is survived by a daughter, Margherita Lockwood of Hazelton in Luzerne County; a brother, Alfred Mammone of Beaver Falls; a sister, Mary McCallister of Beaver Falls; four grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Gilda, and a brother, Rudolph Mammone.
Friends will be received at the Gene H. Corl Inc. Funeral Chapel & Cremation Center of Monroeville, 4335 Northern Pike. Visitation will be from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Thursday in St. John Fisher Church in Churchill.
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