on August 26, 2013 - 7:49 PM
, updated August 26, 2013 at 8:16 PM
Aug. 2, 1926 – Aug. 24, 2013
Pasquale “Pat” Tarquini, a pizzeria owner and real estate agent known for his devotion to family, died Saturday in Kenmore Mercy Hospital, Town of Tonawanda, after a short illness. He was 87.
“He was larger than life. He was an unforgettable presence. He was loud, and he was charming,” said his daughter Mary Lou Tarquini de la Plante. “He was the caregiver of the family. People turned to him for advice and support and direction.”
A native of Buffalo, Mr. Tarquini left Emerson Vocational High School in 1943 to enlist in the Navy at age 17. He served in the Pacific, a stint that led to a mermaid tattoo on each arm after he crossed the equator and lung trouble from his work desalinating water in the intense heat.
He received an honorable discharge and military honors that included bronze stars and a World War II Victory Medal.
In Buffalo, he and his wife, Alfreda “Jackie,” ran Pat’s Tailor Shop on Paderewski Drive and Tarquini’s Pizzeria, which had locations in Buffalo, Cheektowaga and Depew.
Mr. Tarquini got into real estate to help his late brother, Eduardo, also a restaurateur, sell some of his restaurant property. Later, when young cousins lost their parents, he took charge of finding them a home.
He was a broker with two Amherst businesses, Royal Homes and Metro Royal. At 87, he was one of the oldest licensed real estate brokers in the state. The Amherst Town Board intends to adjourn its Sept. 9 meeting in his memory.
Survivors, besides his daughter, include a son, Pat David; a brother, Anthony; and a sister, Lucy Cuevas.
Another son, Bernard Robert “Ben,” died in a car accident in 1973.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 11 a.m. Thursday in St. Joseph University Catholic Church, 3269 Main St.