Loving patriarch, enthusiastic dancer
Lorenzo Maddelina died on April 27, 2015 at the age of 101. A longtime resident of Claremont, he was a familiar figure often seen walking through the Village. He was well-known to store merchants and the many people he encountered on his daily walks.
Mr. Maddelina was the son of Italian immigrants who traveled from Naples, Italy in 1906. The story goes that Michael and Rose Gallo met onboard the ship and later married. They first arrived in Connecticut and then settled in Providence, Rhode Island where Lorenzo was born on May 24, 1913.
The family eventually grew to include eight children, four boys and four girls. His parents started out in the grocery business. Later, they moved to an Italian section in the neighboring city of Cranston, where they set up a small store.
Lorenzo married Pauline Barone in 1938 and, soon after, the couple welcomed a son, Larry. Mr. Maddelina was inducted into the US Army in 1941, serving for five years in the Pacific Theatre of World War II. After returning home, the family moved to southern California. A few years later, daughters Lorraine and Elaine were born.
Mr. Maddelina spent most of his career in the TV and appliance business. He retired from Westinghouse where he worked for many years. He was a great fan of music, from classical to popular, as well as of dance. He went to see every new musical, enjoyed TV variety shows and encouraged his daughters’ love of singing. These years were filled with school and choir recitals, and car rides were almost always sing-alongs.
After Pauline died in 1979, Lorenzo went back to his love of dancing. After a few years, he became a fixture in local dance circuits. He always made it his business to dance with all the ladies, especially those without partners. Mr. Maddelina took care with his appearance. He always dressed in dapper attire, often topped off with a hat, and liked to don a tuxedo for special occasions.
He considered dancing not only a fun thing to do, but a good form of exercise. Lorenzo continued to dance well into his 90s. He requested and enjoyed a dance party for his 95th birthday party. His 100th birthday was celebrated by his family, many friends and like-family caregivers at Claremont Place.
Mr. Maddelina was very sociable, delighting in the people who he met as a longtime parishioner at Our Lady of the Assumption Church as well as the fellow Italian-Americans he hobnobbed with as a member of Highland Park’s Garibaldi Society. True to his roots, he was a wonderful cook and enjoyed preparing Italian dishes for family and friends. “He was a friendly, gregarious person. He was larger than life,” family shared.
Mr. Maddelina was predeceased by his wife Pauline, his daughter Elaine Algorri and grandson Christopher Algorri. He is survived by his son and daughter in-law Larry and Mary Maddelina and his daughter and son-in-law Lorraine Maddelina and Leonard Marasco. He also leaves six grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.