Outgoing entrepreneur enjoyed serving others
Ronald Paluzzi loved talking to people and sharing a kind word — traits that defined a life of serving others.
“Wherever we were, people recognized him and came up to him and started talking,” said his daughter, Joan Paluzzi.
Whether close to home or a few states away, she wasn't surprised to meet someone who knew her father.
Ronald P. Paluzzi Sr., 85, of Greensburg died Wednesday, Jan. 24, in Westmoreland Manor.
He was born Feb. 26, 1932, in South Greensburg, a son of the late Julius and Mary Colonna Paluzzi.
Mr. Paluzzi lived in South Greensburg all his life, meeting his late wife, Elizabeth Rahl Paluzzi, in elementary school.
They were married for nearly 60 years, his son, Ron Paluzzi Jr. of Latrobe, said, adding that it was his father's devotion to his wife and children that drove his hard-working, entrepreneurial spirit.
“Once he got the taste of having his own business, he just ran with that,” Ron Paluzzi said, recalling his father's passion and integrity.
Mr. Paluzzi first business venture was a gas station; he later opened Ace Beer Distributing and the Beverage Mart in Greensburg. He also was an insurance agent for Minnesota Mutual Insurance. But with his outgoing personality and welcoming demeanor, his children say he was a natural fit for the restaurant business.
“I think the most passionate he ever got about a business — and he was always enthusiastic — was about his restaurant, The Intermission,” said Joan Paluzzi.
The son of Italian immigrants, Mr. Paluzzi had helped his parents run a small mom-and-pop restaurant as a kid, leading him to open his own place. Tucked in a shopping center in Latrobe, the interior filled with movie-themed décor, The Intermission was a favorite hangout for Steelers players practicing at training camp, his children said.
“He was just so proud of that place,” said his daughter, Lynn Rychlicki.
After retiring from the restaurant, Mr. Paluzzi worked as a deputy sheriff for Westmoreland County. He was a member of St. Bruno Church in South Greensburg and active in the community through service with the Lions Club, as a member of South Greensburg council and a board member of Mutual Aid Ambulance.
“He believed in service, I think that was an important part of how he understood himself in the world,” Joan Paluzzi said, adding that his first focus was always his family. He loved telling people how many grandchildren and great-grandchildren he had and sharing memories of his late brother, Edward.
Mr. Paluzzi is survived by his four children, Edward R. Paluzzi and wife, Deborah, of Unity; Joan Paluzzi, of Lebanon, Ore.; Lynn Rychlicki and husband, Gary, of Greensburg; and Ronald P. Paluzzi Jr. and wife, Beth, of Latrobe; 13 grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren.
Friends were received at the Clement L. Pantalone Funeral Home, 409 W. Pittsburgh St., Greensburg. Parting prayers will be held at 9:15 a.m. Saturday in the funeral home, followed by a funeral Mass at 10. in St. Bruno Church. Interment will be in Greensburg Catholic Cemetery.