Felice Lupo, who established Astro Pizza in Amagansett in the early ’70s, naming it to commemorate the space explorations of the time, died at home on Aug. 8 in Baltimore, where he had lived for several years. He was 88. He had not been ill, his family said, and died peacefully in his sleep.
Mr. Lupo was a familiar figure in Amagansett, where his children still run the pizza place and restaurant on Main Street.
He was born on Jan. 2, 1926, in Palermo, Italy, to Gaetano Lupo and the former Gesualda Di Blasi. In 1956, he married the former Onofria Teresi. In 1971, at the age of 45, after having been a policeman, or carabiniere, in San Remo, Italy, Mr. Lupo and his wife decided to seek the American dream. With their children and Mrs. Lupo’s mother, they came to America, his family said. Mrs. Lupo died in 2001, but their children survive. They are Gesualda (Alda) Stipanov and Gaetano (Tony) Lupo of Amagansett and Angela Parisi of Manorville.
Mr. Lupo had visited a friend in Amagansett and chose the hamlet as a good place to raise his family. With the help of friends, the couple went into the pizza business. Generations of children remember the big moon on one of the walls, and the astronauts hanging down from the ceiling. Every morning for 35 years, except for one month a year when he took his family back to Sicily, Mr. Lupo walked to work, put on his white apron, and made his pizzas. He turned the business over to his children after the death of his wife.
A few years later Mr. Lupo was married a second time, to Virginia Buscemi, and they moved to Baltimore. She survives. On visits back to Amagansett a few times a year, his family said, he would don his apron again, sit in the pizza place, read an Italian newspaper, eat a couple of doughnuts, and dictate to his children what was right or wrong with the place.
Mr. Lupo loved his family, and was proud of their hard work, dedication, and accomplishments, his family said. He also was extremely proud of his seven grandchildren, most of whom have earned a master’s degree and four have become teachers. They all survive. Mr. Lupo would always comment, his family said, on the fact that his grandchildren, descendants of immigrants, were teaching American kids. Two great-grandchildren also survive. A brother, Vincenzo Lupo, died before him.
A funeral Mass was said at Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church in East Hampton on Aug. 11, the Rev. Donald M. Hanson of that church officiating, and the Rev. Steven Howarth of the Amagansett Presbyterian Church taking part. Mr. Lupo was buried at Most Holy Trinity Cemetery in East Hampton, next to his first wife.