Rosati’s Pizza Patriarch dies at 102
It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of Fred (Ferdinand) Thomas Rosati, 102, in Cave Creek, Arizona.
Fred was born on June 23, 1917, in Chicago Illinois, and was the firstborn of ten children to Saverio and Anna (Mercurio) Rosati. He spent his childhood in the Austin District of Chicago and graduated from Austin High School. Fred served in the United States Army from 1940 to 1945 and was a Veteran of World War II.
In 1946 he married Theresa (Cortina) and co-founded Tolona Pizza Products with family members. In 1948, Fred and Theresa moved to suburban Riverside, Illinois to raise their seven children.
“Give the people what they want.” Sam Rosati, my Great Great Grandfather spoke these words. A humble philosophy on which Rosati’s Pizza was built. Fred was born into a restaurant family, and in the early 1950’s, beleieved that pizza, a dish commonly enjoyed by Italians, should be enjoyed by everyone. The first Rosati’s Pizza was opened in 1964. By 1978 there were ten pizza shops operated in the Chicago area. During the year of 1979, my family began to franchise the business into what it is today!
In his free time, he enjoyed coaching Little League and proudly hosted many backyard ball games in the neighborhood. Fred had a true love for the game and will forever be one of the most devoted Chicago Cubs fans. My Great Grandpa also really loved the Italian culture. His favorite song was “O Sole Mio.” He taught me everything there is to know between the Italian holidays and traditions to the Italian music. I will forever be grateful for that!
If he wasn’t on the baseball field, you would find Fred at the racetrack, playing cards or in Door County, fishing on the Mink River. To Fred, no one was a stranger, and life was truly about the journey. He was fun-loving and cheerful, and his impulse was always to share whatever he had.
He will be greatly missed by all whose lives he touched. His presence and his love of life always brought joy, and his zest and vitality lit up every room.
- Main Image: Rosati’s Pizza