HOLYOKE, Mass. — Louis Henry Paparazzo formerly of Waterbury passed away peacefully on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012 at the Holyoke Soldier’s Home in Holyoke, Mass. He was 92 years old.
Louie was born in Cologne, Germany in 1920. His father, Louis was from Calabria, Italy, and his mother, Maria Alph from Germany where she lived during the first world war. Louie arrived at Ellis Island at the age of 5 with his mother, his sister Eleanor, and his younger brother Joseph to meet their father, already a U.S. resident. As a young man, Louie set out for the western U.S. where he worked on numerous projects with the C.C.C’s and the W.P.A.
Louie joined the U.S. Army in 1939, but during the second world war was “recruited” into the First Marine Amphibious Corp where he served in a variety of capacities in the South Pacific theatre and in many combat engagements.
After discharge from the Army, despite not having finished high school, his considerable talents earned him entry into the pre-med program at Indiana University. It was then that he met his beloved wife Thelma May Zike. Thelma was raising her son from a previous marriage, Ernest Renner. Louis F. (Woody) Paparazzo was born to Thelma and Louie in 1949.
Having to abandon his studies in order to provide for his family, Louie became a construction manager for National Homes, and oversaw the construction of several large housing developments in Indiana. He later formed his own construction company, and built several custom residences near Indianapolis.
Louie took his family to southern California in 1959 where the weather was better suited to Thelma’s health. There he continued to build custom homes, and oversaw several commercial projects.
In 1965, Louie returned to the Waterbury area, and together with his four brothers, formed the real estate development company that would create Heritage Village in Southbury — the state’s first retirement condominium community.
Later, Louie set out on his own again to develop and manage projects in New York, Florida, Pennsylvania and Maryland. He had an indomitable spirit, and never hesitated to embark on new projects in unfamiliar places. He won friends easily, and was admired by many. He and his wife Thelma lived in North East, Maryland for 20 years. After his wife’s death in 1995, Louie enrolled in community college courses where he pursued his life-long interest in art. He devoted several years as a mentor for disadvantaged youngsters, and had a large circle of friends in northeast, Maryland.
He is survived by his son, Woody Paparazzo of Conway, Mass.; his stepson, Ernest Renner of Phoenix, Ariz., and his brothers, Otto Paparazzo, Frank Paparazzo both of Woodbury, and Henry Paparazzo of Bridgewater, as well a numerous nieces, nephews and grandchildren.
Louie was predeceased by his beloved wife, Thelma; his granddaughter, Nina; his sister Eleanor, and his brother, Joseph.
Funeral services and burial will be held at a later date. The Buckmiller Brothers Funeral Home, 82 Fairview Ave., Naugatuck is in charge of arrangements.
To place online condolences, visit www.buckmillerbrothers.com.