Fred (Ferdinand) Thomas Rosati, co-founder and patriarch of the multi-state pizza restaurant group Rosati’s Pizza, passed away on Monday, March 30 at the age of 102 in Cave Creek, Arizona, the company announced today.

Mr. Rosati was active in the business well into his 90s. He placed a strong emphasis on customer service and fresh, natural ingredients.

To Fred Rosati, no one was a stranger. His presence and his love of life always brought joy, and his exuberance and vitality lit up every room he entered.

Mr. Rosati co-founded the Rosati’s Pizza franchise company in the 1970s. Today, there are approximately 200 locations throughout the country. The first Rosati’s Pizza opened in 1964 in Mount Prospect, Illinois.

Born in Chicago on June 23, 1917, Mr. Rosati was one of 10 children and the keeper of a great family restaurant tradition. In the late 1890s, his family served Italian food to customers in New York. After the turn of the century, the family moved to Chicago and opened another restaurant that served Italian-style pizza before going on to found Rosati’s Pizza itself.

To this day, Rosati’s Pizza maintains that strong family tradition. Rick Rosati, one of Mr. Rosati’s sons, serves as the company’s CEO and another son, Jeff Rosati, serves as its CFO. Many other family members are also involved in the business.

One of 10 children and a World War II veteran, Mr. Rosati married Theresa Cortina in 1946. Mrs. Rosati, who is 100 years old, survives him, as do their seven children, Regina Rosati, Stephanie Haack, Rick Rosati, Michael Rosati (Kay Rosati), Annamarie Bensfield (Joseph Bensfield), William Rosati (Joanne Rosati), and Jeffrey Rosati (Karen Rosati). Mr. Rosati was also the proud grandfather of 14 and great-grandfather of six.

The family will have a private graveside service at this time. A celebration of Mr. Rosati’s life will be held at a later date.

Pizza News