Nancy Palese, Co-Founder of the Iconic Nancy’s Pizza, Dies at 87
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Nancy Palese, Co-Founder of the Iconic Nancy’s Pizza, Dies at 87

Nancy Palese, born Annunziata Scarano, passed away on January 20th at the age of 87. The soft-spoken and stoic co-founder of Nancy’s Pizza has left a legacy that will be fondly remembered by the family, friends and customers whose lives she enriched.

CHICAGO (PRWEB) January 26, 2022 - Nancy Palese, born Annunziata Scarano, passed away on January 20th at the age of 87. The soft-spoken and stoic co-founder of Nancy’s Pizza has left a legacy that will be fondly remembered by the family, friends and customers whose lives she enriched.

Palese was born in the tiny southern Italian town of Brindisi-di-Montagna, where she met her beloved husband Rocco – the man who invented Chicago’s famous stuffed pizza in 1971. The couple emigrated to the United States in 1969, accompanied by their three children, Ted, Rose, and Marisa. Set on realizing the American Dream, Rocco and Nancy ran several pizzerias together before opening the now-famous brand named for Nancy. Side-by-side, the Paleses worked 12- to 16-hour days bringing their unique brand of pizza to Chicagoans.

The Palese’s daughter, Marissa Palese Besch, who has been active in the family’s business since Nancy’s opened its doors in the early 1970s, continued to work closely with her mother after Rocco’s passing in 1994.

“My mom gave her all to her family,” says Marissa. “She treated everyone with respect and kindness, she worked very hard and always made sure that her children ate properly. She led by example – giving us the love and the values we needed to be happy and successful. And through it all, she lived up to the lyrics of her favorite Sinatra classic, “My Way.”

In 1977, the couple met Dave Howey, their long-term business partner and confidante – he and Nancy were the only people that Rocco shared his recipe with.

“Nancy and Rocco are pizza royalty” says Howey. “Nancy was a partner, a friend, and a good businesswoman. We will continue to honor her commitment to the original recipe, her legacy of putting family first – and treating customers like family.”

Through Howey’s franchising business, the brand has 28 locations including venues in the Chicago and Atlanta areas, Southern Illinois, Raleigh, North Carolina and O’Fallon, Missouri.

Nancy is being laid to rest in a private service.

SOURCE Nancy's Pizza

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