Obituaries 12-11-2012

Luigi ‘Dixie Lou’ Visconti

Apostolic Blessing Recipient, Active in North End fraternal and charitable organizations

Luigi “Dixie Lou” J. Visconti  of Boston’s North End died on December 4. He was 97 years old.

An Army Medic during World War II, ‘Louie’ was a recipient of an Apostolic Blessing from Pope Benedict for his long time service to Sacred Heart Church. He was an active member of many North End fraternal and charitable organizations especially St. Mark’s and the Holy Name Society. He will be missed as a kind man who generously extended his time and help to his family and neighbors.

He was the cherished son of the late Agnese (Torchietti) and Angelo Visconti; loving husband of Grace (Palazzolo) Visconti; beloved father of Agnes Strazzullo and her husband, Domenic and Maria Cronin and her husband, Paul; cherished grandfather of Domenic Strazzullo and his wife, Ashlei, Louis Strazzullo and Megan and Matthew Cronin; caring brother of Amelia Zara and the late Mary Visconti, Mafalda Reppucci, Carmine Visconti, Elvira LaPorta and Vincent Visconti and is also survived by many loving nieces and nephews. Funeral arrangements were by the Boston Harborside Home. Burial was at St. Michael Cemetery in Boston. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to St. John School, 9 Moon Street, Boston, MA 02113. www.bostonharborsidehome.com.

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Lillian Polcari

Last Surviving Member of The Founding Family of “Stella’s Restaurant”

Lilliam M. Polcari of Point of Pines, Revere, died on December 1 at her home following a brief illness. She was 96 years old.

Born and raised in Boston’s North End, she was a graduate of Emmanuel College, Class of 1939 and Leslie College, Class of 1945. Her parents were born in Italy and came to this country, with their parents in the late 1890’s settling in Boston’s predominantly Jewish and Italian immigrant communities. In 1925, her parents, Annibale and Angelina (Vara) Polcari opened their restaurant which was in the heart of Boston’s North End until they moved to their premier location in 1979 at 74 East India St., Boston. The restaurant remained there until it closed its doors in 1983.

When Annibale died in 1968, Lillian’s two brothers, Louis and Charles A. Polcari took over the total management of the restaurant. For many years, Lillian acted as bookkeeper and custodian of records. Before that and during her restaurant career, she was also Chief Laboratory Technician for several Boston doctors in private practice. In the 1960’s and 1970’s, she was a substitute teacher for the City of Revere, usually serving at the Whelan School.

“Stella’s Restaurant” was a mecca for all categories of Who’s Who in America for more 60 years. Celebrities of all social, educational, clerical, political and infamous backgrounds were hosted there and enjoyed the finest in Italian dining with impeccable presentations and courtesies. And a remarkable accommodation was always accorded old family friends and neighbors as well as those of the “Rich and Famous.” The Kennedy Family, especially Jack and Jacqueline and their entire entourage often frequented the famous Boston five star eatery.  Movie, television and radio personalities were long time patrons from Sinatra, Tony martin, Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis, Martha Raye, Bette Davis, Red Skelton, Danny Thomas, Gina Lolabrigidia, Eve Arden, the Goldberg Family and many many more. Politicians, their wives and escorts, composers, conductors, the very rich and the very ‘not so rich’ met at “Stella’s.” The famed restaurant was also legendary for its décor of Italian and Greek Art and Sculpture.

Lilliam Polcari’s life, or much of it, was centered at the core of the restaurant where she maintained a presence until its closing.

Her brother, Charles A. Polcari died in August of 2001 and her brother, Louis Polcari died in December of 2000.

She was the devoted aunt of Louis C. Polcari and his wife, Joanne of Weymouth, Angela M. Ventola and her husband, Robert and Marie C. Polcari, all of Salem. She is also lovingly survived by her sister-in-law, Gloria M. Polcari of Point of Pines, Revere.

Family and friends are invited to attend her Funeral Mass today, Wednesday, December 5 in St. Anthony of Padua Church, Revere, at 11 a.m. Burial will be in the Family Estate Lot at Forest Hills Cemetery, Boston. In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to the Italian Home for Children, 1125 Centre St., Jamaica Plain, MA 02130. Funeral arrangements are entrusted to the care of Vertuccio & Smith Home for Funerals of Revere – www.vertuccioandsmith.com.