×

Doane Beal & Ames

160 West Main Street, Hyannis, MA

OBITUARY

Michael A. Valerio

August 1, 1931September 2, 2020

BOCA RATON, FL- Papa Gino’s founder Michael A. Valerio, 89, died Wednesday, September 2, 2020 peacefully at home with his family around him.

Michael was born in Villa Latina, Italy, son of and immigrated to Massachusetts in 1936. In 1954, after serving in the Korean War, he opened his first restaurant serving pizza and ice cream in East Boston, with money his mother had saved from him sending his service earnings home. Shortly after, Mike opened Restaurants in Revere Beach, Roxbury, Dorchester, East Cambridge, Canton, and Brockton, many with his wife Helen (Kazukonis) whom he married in 1957. By 1963, they changed the name to Piece O' Pizza and then Papa Gino's in 1967. Having come from humble backgrounds, Michael and Helen truly lived the American Dream building over 300 privately held restaurants and employing more than 7000 employees in New England, upper-state NY and Florida. Papa Gino’s, pizza and more restaurants became an iconic restaurant chain where many New Englanders have strong embedded memories of the savory pizza, pasta, sandwich and grilled food recipes, All you can eat pizza Tuesdays, All you can eat spaghetti Wednesdays, 3-minute lunches, with many children fondly remembering when they went behind the counter and “Made a Pizza for their Birthday”.

Michael, a devout member of the Catholic church raised money for inner-city kids’ camps run by the Catholic Charities and various religious causes throughout his life. He also spearheading programs to promote Christianity and Family Values.

In tandem with promoting Christianity and Family Values, Michael became an active member of the Republican Party, served as the chairman of the Massachusetts Republican Party during part of The 1980s, and purchased and ran WEEI radio station, an all-news format radio station from 1983 until 1990. From there, he tirelessly continued his support of conservative values and causes throughout his life.

Michael is survived by his wife of 62 years, Helen, son Michael and his two son’s Michael and Luke, daughter Laura Valerio MacKinnon and her husband Bob, daughter Linda Stenzel and her husband Tom and sister Mary (Clarke).

Services will be held in the future. Burial will be private. For online condolences, please visit www.doanebealameshyannis.com .

Services

  • Private Graveside Service with Military Honors

    Saturday, September 12, 2020

    VIEW VIDEO

Memories

Michael A. Valerio

have a memory or condolence to add?

ADD A MEMORY
Bruce Archambault

September 16, 2020

My family would not have been able to lead the live we have if it wasn’t for Mr. Valerio. Some of my favorite memories was riding with Him and visiting restaurants. He was always about customer service and quality product. May he Rest In Peace
The Archambault’s

George & Mary (Mae) Ryan

September 13, 2020

Dear Helen and Family,
We were very sorry to read about Michael. He was such a kind and generous man.
I remember very well having lunch with you and Michael and Father Paul Murphy, S.J. at your home on Cape Cod quite a few years ago. Father Murphy and George were the founders of Morality in Media in 1971 and Michael was very, very generous to the cause.
His passing is a very great loss and I pray for you and your family.
Fondly,
Mae Ryan

Judy & Carl Johnson

September 12, 2020

Mike was a person of great humility and compassion. He was deeply dedicated to his wife, family, church, community, and country.

William Caddigan

September 12, 2020

To the Valerio Family. I was a Papa Ginos manager in the 80’s. Mr. Valerio took a big chance on promoting a very young manager to run a down town Boston store. I never forgot the opportunity he gave me. I met my wife in the Malden store and we have been married 35 years. God bless you all, and Rest In Peace Mr Valerio.

Sharon Forman

September 11, 2020

Dear Helen and family,
Andy and I are heartbroken over Mike's passing. Words cannot begin to express how much Mike has meant to me both professionally and personally. Aside from being yours and Mike's personal secretary for over 12 years, Mike was not only a mentor but a father figure to me.

Please accept our sincerest condolences to you and your entire family. He will be dearly missed.

Love, Sharon

William Brossi

September 11, 2020

Dear Laura & family,

So sorry for your loss. Meeting your Dad was an honor, our family has always enjoyed Papa Ginos, real pizza. We hope you, Bob and family are all well. Thinking of you at this difficult time.

God Bless,

Bill & Jonilda Brossi

Michelle Caron

September 10, 2020

I worked at the Arlington Papa Ginos from 1983-1992 and every time Mr. Valerio came in he was always so lovely and kind to us. He loved to see how well we were all doing and that the store was doing well. Everyone was treated with respect and he had the most beautiful blue eyes! It was a great place to work and I made many friends along the way. I wish his family peace and comfort as they go through this time. May we all have some of his compassion and love for his employees, friend and most of all family.

James Reilly

September 10, 2020

Growing up in Arlington, MA in the 60's and 70's Papa Gino's in Arlington center was excellent. After a visit to the Boy's Club or working at the Regent Theater a stop for a slice or two at Papa Gino's was a must.

Mr. Valerio and the entire Company did an amazing job. The pizza was excellent for a longtime.

May he rest in peace and God Bless him and his family.

Phil Doherty

September 10, 2020

I enjoyed many summer mornings having coffee with Mike and Helen at Panera while talking politics. Holding good thoughts and saying a prayer.

Stuart Hueston

September 8, 2020

I had the pleasure many years ago of meeting Mike and Helen and it was truly clear what an honorable man Mike was and it was truly clear that they had a love story Helen and Mike I was invited to their home on several occasions and they make you feel as if you're just one of the family rest in peace Mike love and miss you Helen so sorry

FROM THE FAMILY

Learn more about the Valerio name

VISIT ANCESTRY.COM