Ben Laurenzo, 89, of Southwest Ranches, Florida went peacefully to heaven on the 10th of January 2018 to be with his predeceased family members that included his wife of 30 years, Millie Laurenzo. His loving family was by his side.
Ben was born in Schenectady, New York, on September 18, 1928, son of Achilles Laurenzo and Estherina Cassella.
From the beginning, life was always about family, whether at home or summers on the family farm, the focus was love and good food. Ben changed his birth certificate and enlisted in the U.S. Navy at the age of 16 serving on the oldest battleship in the fleet, the USS Arkansas. He then volunteered to help take the ship to Bikini Atoll and participated in the atomic bomb tests.
In 1951, Ben moved to South Florida and began a small retail and wholesale outlet in Miami with his family. After several years of working wholesale and Italian food sales, Ben began his retail business in 1964 and Laurenzo's Italian Market was born. The market became a landmark in North Miami Beach and will remain a testament to Ben's dedication and hard work. He always worked seven days a week because he loved what he did.
He is survived by his sister Esther Kirk, closest cousin Doran Jason, children Dona, David, Carol, Laura, Robert, and Danielle. Also survived by sons-in-law, Kevin Davis and Jimmy Torano, eleven grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and many cherished family members here and in Italy.
Services will be held at Fred Hunters Funeral Home, 6301 Taft St, Hollywood, 33024.
Visitation - Sunday, January 14, 2018 - 4 pm - 8 pm
Service & Entombment - Monday, January 15, 2018 - 11 am
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Ben's memory to the following charities:
Stand Up To Cancer - www.standuptocancer.org
Danny & Ron's Rescue - www.DannyRonsRescue.org
3 people have supported the family by purchasing them flowers or gifts from the Healing Registry.
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A word, a hand shake and a smile: that's it.
Thank You, Mr. Laurenzo.
May God give you all strength and peace in your hearts for this great loss. Ben was a super nice guy and loved his family and Laurenzo's Italian Market. His hard work will remain a stable part of South Florida through his children who have worked beside him for deacdes. Our hearts go out to you all.
Tyler & Kat Tesauro and
When we think of you we always think of Millie also. Reunited now with her there is joy but now we feel the grief of your passing. You will be greatly missed. Sympathies to all family and friends who feel that emptiness. Jay & Karen Milligan
Ben was a great guy. My husband knew him in the mid 60s .I came to know him in the mid 70s. When our daughter Kim was about 2 I would take her to the market with me.& whenever Benny would see us he would give her rainbow cookies as she called them. He got as much enjoyment watching her munch on them as she did .....about 8 years later we would all meet again at the horse shows and we all spent 3 weeks together in Ga. and had a great time! Millie & Benny don't come along very often, he had an amazing poster of Millie in the restaurant cafe and proudly told us the story about it. He was a wonderful, generous loving man and will be greatly missed. Danielle, her siblings and family have two of the strongest guardian angels watching over them.May peace be with them .....love Louis Janet and Kim Vernell
Thanks for the food we purchased, the food we ate , the wines we drank and the great atmosphere for friends, Bob / Hope
My Uncle Ben was one of a kind. You never needed to worry about how he felt about something. He would let you know. He was strong, vibrant and funny. I spent a lot of time at his house growing up. He never asked what I was doing there or when I was going home. He often said how did he get so lucky. I was never disrespectful or angry with, probably because he would have given me a sckauf (sp?) He taught me valuable lessons that have carried me well through my life. I wanted to go in the deep end before I could swim, he asked me if I wanted to learn to swim. When I said yes, he threw me in and then coached from the side saying kick kick kick. It worked! He could be a powerful motivator. I went to work in the store when I was 12 years old. I think Grandmommy told him to hire me. I worked almost every Saturday and Sunday until I turned 16. He told me 3 things. Never take money from the register, the customer is always right, and do what they tell you without complaining. He called Carol Ann and I the waterworks, because if she cried, I cried didn't matter. I realized yesterday that this is still true! He loved his family, and we all loved him!
We will always remember you for the great things you did for us and for so many others. May God watch over your soul and keep you safe with Him forever. Linda Laurenzo-Valovich
Loved Laurenzo's The late Dr Bong & I ate lunch so often & I shopped
I still have your bowls & platters
Sending prayers for grace love
Bonnie Bong formerly NMB FL
My deepest sympathy is with all of you. Papa was an amazing man. His quick wit always brought a smile to my face, especially at long Horse show days. He was always kind and loving to all. I willl never forget that he treated avery like a granddaughter, not a bit different than the other kids when she was with him. We loved him. I'm so sorry for all of your loss and hope that the memories and your love for one another will sustain you. Love, stephanie
Lucky enough to spend many days at Laurenzo's with you learning and laughing over the years. I will keep all of our special memories in my heart always. Last week you told me to "keep the ship straight", I will forever do my best! I love you Papa!! -- Diana
Papa, Thank you for being in my life. I wish that you would come back. I will never forget you.
Love always from your granddaughter Hailey
Laura, Carol, David, Diana, Hailey and family, I really never got to know Ben but heard so many stories from you all about this wonderful man. For my Buchanan St family my prayers, love and hugs go to you all at this difficult time. I am here for you all, whatever you need. Mary Ann
Dad, It's hard to believe you are gone. I learned so much from you and I know I inherited much of my strength from you. We always had a good laugh every time we were together, which are my favorite memories. I'm going to miss you so much, but you will always be in my heart. I'm proud to be your daughter.
With all my love, Laura
My deepest sympathy to the entire Laurenzo family. Your dad will be missed by so many, may he Rest In Peace.
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