LaMorte, Don­ald An­thony

Chicago Sun-Times - - NATION/WORLD -

Don­ald An­thony LaMorte, 84, a one­time fix­ture in the Chicago restau­rant scene, passed away on Au­gust 22. Born in 1936 in Blue Is­land, Il. to Mary (De Peso) and Daniel, a boot­leg­ger-turned-tav­ern owner, Don grew up work­ing in his par­ents Rose­land es­tab­lish­ment, be­fore es­tab­lish­ing a suc­cess­ful, col­or­ful ca­reer as a restau­rant man­ager and pro­pri­etor, and as a beloved bar­tender at one of Chicago’s mosti­conic restau­rants. In 1956, af­ter leav­ing the army, where he served as a cook, para­trooper and ra­dio re­pair­man, Don be­gan tend­ing bar at Ken & Dicks in Rose­land and later at Le Pub in Lin­coln Park. Af­ter briefly open­ing his own pizze­ria in Hop­kins, Minn., he re­turned to Chicago to man­age such pop­u­lar restau­rants as Sta­tion JBD and TJ’s in Hyde Park, and Loren­zetti’s in East Hazel Crest, Il. He mar­ried Mar­garet LaMorte (Cum­mings), a mother of three, in 1965. To­gether, they had two chil­dren be­fore sep­a­rat­ing in 1970. Don once again be­gan tend­ing bar in the late 1980s, first at Ar­tie G’s, an Ital­ian spot in a River North ho­tel, be­fore mov­ing to Gib­son’s in the Gold Coast, where he worked for 16 years un­til re­tir­ing in 2006. In his free time, he en­joyed golf, horserac­ing, jazz, Frank Si­na­tra, Agatha Christie mys­ter­ies, and the Chicago White Sox. He is sur­vived by his sons Ron­ald of Pflugervil­le, Tex., Daniel of Crete, Il., Jef­frey of Lake Park, Fl., and Christo­pher of Chicago, and daugh­ter, Gianna of Austin, Tex., brother John LaMorte of Ari­zona, nieces Jody LaMorte and Stacy Gerkin, many grand­chil­dren, and two great-grand­chil­dren. A pri­vate ser­vice will be held Au­gust 25 at Holy Sep­ul­cher Ceme­tery in Al­sip.

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