Thomas Mafrici, 82, of Central Square passed away on Thursday at St. Joseph’s Hospital. Tom was born 1933 in the village of Staiti Italy and immigrated to the United States with his family when he was 2 1/2. Tom grew up on the North Side of Syracuse and graduated from North High School, where he made countless life-long friends. He was a Golden Gloves Boxer and served in the Air Force during the Korean Conflict. After his discharge, he lived briefly in California before returning to Syracuse and marrying his high school sweetheart, Natalie Zangari.
After working for General Electric for several years, Tom found his true calling when he bought a house in North Syracuse in 1964 and opened Tom’s Clam Bar, thus beginning a career as a restaurateur that spanned over 50 years. In 1968, he opened Tom’s Clam Cove on Park Street in Syracuse which grew to become one of the top grossing restaurants in America by the early 1980s. Tom’s Clam Cove was ultimately taken by eminent domain, and Tom opened the Moonraker Lounge, the Miss Syracuse Diner and Mustards hot dog stand. In 1989, he bought the old Rum Runner (Shey’s Tavern) in Cicero and opened Frank’s Plank Road Cafe where he could be found, until recently, walking through the dining room, greeting customers and often
pulling up a chair to visit with them. Tom was a recent and proud member of the North High School Hall of Fame.
He is survived by his loving wife of 59 years, the former Natalie Zangari; two sons, Frank Mafrici and Thomas B. Mafrici; daughter-in-law, Elizabeth August; his three grandchildren, whom he adored, Natalie, Elizabeth and Madeleine Mafrici; his brother, Bruno (Mary Ann) Mafrici; and sister, Pauline (Gaetano) Dieni; several nieces and nephews.
Calling hours will be held on Monday, January 18, 2016 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Farone & Son Funeral Home, 1500 Park Street, Syracuse, NY 13208. Funeral service celebrating his life will be held on Tuesday, January 19, 2016 at 9 a.m. at the Farone & Son Funeral Home and 10 a.m. in Sacred Heart Church, 8229 Brewerton Road, Cicero, NY 13039, where a Mass of Christian Burial will be held. Entombment will follow in Our Lady of Peace Mausoleum.
Share condolences at faroneandsoninc.com
Date of Death: January 14, 2016
Farone & Son Funeral Home
1500 Park St
Syracuse, NY 13208
Published in Syracuse Post Standard from Jan. 16 to Jan. 17, 2016
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