Italo "Al" Salomone Servi
Italo “Al” Salomone Servi died at home on January 2 2021 in Lincoln MA due to complications from COVID-19. Al was 98 years old. Born on October 3, 1922 in Gallarate Italy, Al was the youngest of six children of Aldo and Amelia Servi. Al’s family can be traced to the eighteen century to a small town in Central Italy named Pitigliano. Pitigliano is known as “The Little Jerusalem” because it was one of Italy’s centers for Jewish culture and gave birth to outstanding Jewish Leaders.
Al had a typical childhood including a Bar Mitzvah at age 14 on Yom Kippur in the synagogue of Pitigliano which was built in 1598. This holiday event was commemorated by Aldolfo Denci’s famous photograph of the Comunità Ebraica. In 1938, when the Racial Laws were enacted by the Fascist Regime, Al was forbidden by law to attend public schools. He was however able to continue his education in a high school hastily organized by the Jewish Community of Milan and was taught by outstanding Jewish University Professors who were forbidden to teach at all other institutions.
With the fall of the Fascist Regime in April 1943 and Italy’s signing of the Armistice on September 8 the German deportations of Jews began. Because of this, Al’s family relocated to Recanati Italy where they posed as refugees from the Milan bombing. The family hid in the open, in very cramped quarters aided by the people of Recanati. The town eventually was liberated by the Allied Forces on July 1 1944 and their life slowly returned to a new normal. Al subsequently was admitted to Università degli Studi di Milano where he graduated in the Fall of 1946 with a degree in Industrial Chemistry. He immigrated to the United States on July 17 1947 to study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Al received a PhD in the emerging field of Metallurgy in 1950 and had a long and successful career working in applied research.
In the fall of 1948 he met the love of his life, Caroline Bordetsky, at the Harvard Hillel House. They were married on August 25 1950. Al and Caroline had a wonderful life together for 63 years until Caroline preceded him in death on April 20 2014. Al is survived by their three loving children, Ronald Joel Servi (wife Su Lehmann) of Scottsdale AZ, Leslie David Servi (wife Susan Peltz) of Lincoln MA, Devorah Gloria Servi of Los Angeles CA, four grandchildren (Jennifer Servi-Roberts, Alison Servi, Amelia Servi, Joseph Servi) and three great grandchildren (Isabel Roberts, Sofia Roberts, Zachary Yavorsky).
In 1976 in a letter to his children, Al wrote that “the establishment of one’s lineage and its underlying foundations is a way of searching for what is beyond one’s life. I want to know whether my life is an end in itself, or whether there is something beyond my life that has meaning.” There certainly is meaning Dad.
Due to the current health crisis, funeral services were private.
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Italo "Al" Salomone Servi
January 11, 2021
Al was such a wonderful, gentle soul, a man of science and a man of peace. I will never forget his kindness to my parents and siblings, his Sephardic melodies at family Seders, and his guidance when I worked at his lab at Kennecott Copper. Al Servi has been, and always will be, an inspiration of how to live life as a good person, properly and well. I and my family (Suzanne and Rose) will never forget him. Sadly wishing all the best to the whole Servi family.
Ben Berman (cousin of Caroline's through Lorraine Lerman Berman, daughter of Rose Bordetsky)