DERBY — “Everyone received free bread under her reign, and the wait was never more than an hour even if you sat there for three.”
That is a sentence in the obituary marking the loss of Roseland Apizza co-founder Lina S. Lucarelli, who died Saturday at the age of 92.
Lucarelli’s venerable Hawthorne Avenue landmark noted her passing in a touching Facebook post Monday.
“She had the insight to turn a simple bakery into a beloved hometown pizza establishment at just the age of 15,” it read. “Through five generations, our family has continued to push out pies, and will continue to do so for generations to come.”
Roseland has fed generations of Derby families.
Customers and neighbors expressed their condolences on the Valley Indy Facebook page Monday.
Click the link below to see the love and support for the family.
“Everyone knows that the best pizza in the world is made right here in Derby at Roseland,” Derby Mayor Anita Dugatto said in a statement. “Lina’s leadership as owner, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and friend made her one of the respected role models for women throughout the state. She will be missed by all who knew her.”
Lucarelli was a “fearless leader” according to her family. She was quite the real estate magnate — she’s listed as the owner of at least seven properties in Derby, including several on Roosevelt Drive (Route 34).
She was born in Montebello, Italy in 1923 and came to the U.S. at age seven to escape the rule of Benito Mussolini, who became prime minister in 1922.
Her family described her as the “beloved and devoted matriarch” of the Lucarelli family.
She worked at the local landmark with her husband, Nazzareno “Bocci” Lucarelli until his death in 1980.
Click here for her complete obituary, which includes calling hours and funeral arrangements.