Domenick Italiano, South Philly water ice entrepreneur, dies at 90

Domenick Italiano, 90, creator of Italiano’s Water Ice, died Sunday, June 13, of coronary heart illness in his South Philadelphia house.

Mr. Italiano, affectionately often called Mousy resulting from his pace or diminutive stature relying on whom you ask, opened his household water ice enterprise at his house at South12th and Shunk Streets in 1976. Some would say it was in his blood; his father the late Filippo Italiano began promoting shaved ice and syrup from a pushcart and later opened Pop’s, one other South Philly water ice establishment.

Italiano’s Water Ice turned a summertime custom, and the enterprise laid declare to being the originator of the Gelati, a scrumptious layering of ice cream and water ice that’s now a staple at many different stands.

However as tasty as his treats have been, many shoppers got here to Italiano’s walk-up window for the added pleasure of the proprietor’s sunny persona.

“He’d be outdoors singing. He may carry a tune. Acappella,” his daughter Nanci Italiano mentioned. “He cherished speaking to the folks. He cherished making his water ice. They’d say, ‘How do you make it?’ He’d say, ‘I make it with looove.’ “

Mr. Italiano was born in South Philadelphia to his father and his Mom Teresa Italiano, who died when he was very younger. He was raised by his father and stepmother, Savina Italiano.

Mr. Italiano served within the U.S. Military throughout the Korean Warfare. When he returned house, he met and married his spouse Nora, and so they raised three youngsters in South Philadelphia.

For about 20 years, Mr. Italiano labored for IBM in Middle Metropolis in what was then the workplace merchandise division, overseeing the rental of kit resembling typewriters. His daughter realized after her father’s loss of life that he was a happy-go-lucky jokester who usually introduced in espresso and corn muffins for his coworkers. He operated the water ice enterprise summer season nights and weekends.

“He may have been promoted [at IBM], however he would have needed to uproot his household,” his daughter mentioned. “He was blissful along with his smaller job, staying the place he was and the place all people cherished him. He did that to maintain us secure right here. He was blissful as that common man.”

Mr. Italiano was additionally a Mummer, a longtime member of the Downtowners Fancy Brigade. Good along with his fingers and instruments, he helped construct their floats.

“He was a Mummer by means of and thru. He was a Mummer endlessly,” his daughter mentioned.

Mr. Italiano additionally loved making a wager from time to time. He loved soccer as a sport, performed road ball as a youthful man and had quite a lot of respect for Tom Brady, however he wasn’t a partisan of anybody crew, Nanci Italiano mentioned.

“No soccer crew was his favourite,” she mentioned. “No matter he had his cash on, that was his favourite.”

He preferred betting on the horses, too. The opposite day, Mr. Italiano’s daughter stopped by the Turf Membership, an offtrack betting location in South Philadelphia, to get a replica of the Day by day Racing Program to ship alongside along with her father in his journey to the afterlife. He went to the membership usually for social causes as a lot as anything.

The regulars have been saddened to be taught of Mr. Italiano’s loss of life.

“The Ice Man!” one in all them mentioned.

“He would have preferred that,” the daughter mentioned.

Mr. Italiano can also be survived by one other daughter Donna Italiano; two grandchildren; one nice grandchild; and different kinfolk and associates. His spouse and son, Frankie, 5 siblings, and stepmother died earlier.

A viewing can be held Thursday, June 17, from 6 to eight p.m. at Murphy Ruffenach Brian W. Donnelly Funeral Dwelling, 2239 S. Third St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19148. One other viewing can be held Friday, June 18, from 9 to 10 a.m. at Stella Maris Catholic Church, 2901 S. tenth St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19148. A Funeral Mass will comply with at 10 a.m. Burial can be at Sts. Peter and Paul Cemetery, Springfield, Pa.

Donations in Mr. Italiano’s reminiscence could also be made to Stella Maris Catholic Church.

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