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Craftsman's skill, nature ensured loyal following

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By Rossilynne Skena Culgan
Saturday, May 18, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
 

John Manchini, owner of Albert's Shoe Service, started his on-the-job training when he was just a boy.

“His uncle owned the business — that was Albert. He took over the business from him,” Mr. Manchini's son John said. “He was an apprentice at 12 years old.”

John “Albert” Manchini, 67, of Creighton, who perfected his craft over the next half-century and owned the business for 41 years, died Tuesday, May 14, 2013.

John Manchini remembers his father repairing everything from shoes to hats to baseball gloves to purses — and more.

“He was a shoemaker-tailor-guidance counselor. Everything,” his son said.

The business was well-regarded, and loyal customers followed when Mr. Manchini moved his shop from New Kensington to Creighton, East Deer Township.

“He enjoyed the work. He enjoyed the people. He enjoyed the conversation,” his son said.

John Manchini described his father as “hardworking, family-oriented, intelligent.”

And he was funny, evidenced in his appearance with Dennis Miller in a comedy skit during a 1982 Pittsburgh television program. The skit focused on shoe repair.

Mr. Manchini enjoyed getting together for a monthly family “guys night” at Primanti Brothers restaurant.

A Steelers fan, he enjoyed playing bocce, fishing, shopping at Pittsburgh's Strip District and watching John Wayne movies. As a hobby, he made various types of wine, from moscato to Zinfandel.

He is survived by his wife of 44 years, Linda (Galie) Manchini; sons, John Manchini and his wife, Angela, of East Deer, David Manchini and his wife, Holly, of Lower Burrell, and Robert Manchini of East Deer; and six grandchildren.

Parting prayers will be held at 9:30 a.m. Saturday in Frank F. Gigler Funeral Home in Lower Burrell, followed by funeral Mass at 10 a.m. in Holy Family Catholic Church, 787 Freeport Road, Creighton. Burial will follow in Greenwood Memorial Park in Lower Burrell.

Rossilynne Skena is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6646 or rskena@tribweb.com.

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