Mike Lapenta, a longtime resident of Lodi, passed away peacefully at the age of 84, on March 10, 2014. He was born in Moliterno, Italy on November 19, 1929 to Francisco and Maria Lapenta. Mike immigrated to the United States at the age of 7 to reside in Lodi. Mike attended St. Anne's Catholic School and graduated from Lodi High School in 1948. After serving in the Army
he attended Humphrey's College to obtain his degree. During his High School years, Mike worked for the Salomon's at their men's clothing store, The Toggery. When orphaned at the age of 15, Harriet and Jerry Salomon welcomed Mike into their home. In 1965 Mike joined Jerry as a partner in the store. He and his wife, Lisa, ultimately purchased the store in 1974. In 1994, Mike and Lisa opened Tuxedos of Lodi. He and his family ran it until 2007, when they sold to their nephew, Peter Westbrook. Mike was a formidable supporter of the downtown area. As an active member of the Lodi Downtown Business Association and the Lodi Planning Commission, he was involved in numerous changes of Downtown Lodi. After his retirement, he stayed active volunteering in the community. Mike was a Partner for the Lodi Police Department, a runner for Meals on Wheels, he vacuumed at Hutchins Street Square, and he helped at LOEL Center. Mike considered himself to be 'a lucky guy' and was extremely grateful to all who helped him in his life. He was a true believer in "giving back". He was a member of numerous clubs including: Knights of Columbus, Italian Club, Lion's Club, and the Odd Fellows. Those who knew Mike knew his love for the San Francisco 49ers and Giants! He was a faithful fan through winning and losing seasons. Mike also enjoyed was his daily walks around Lodi Lake and feeding the ducks. Mike was a devoted family man who always made time for his family. He is survived by his son, Robert "Bob" (Debra Cannon) Lapenta; his daughter. Rita (Christopher) Neudeck; his grandchildren, Elise Neudeck, and Michael Neudeck; his sister-in-law, Irma Westbrook; his nephews, Ross (Elizabeth) Westbrook, Peter (Colleen Lawrence) Westbrook; and Perry Westbrook; as well as his grandnephews and grandnieces: Christopher, Oliver, Warren, Belinda, and Isabella Westbrook. Mike also enjoyed the company of his dear friend, Lenora Eustler. Mike was preceded in death by his parents, Francisco and Maria Lapenta; his loving in-laws, Peitro and Enrica Bacani; his brother-in-law, Ross Westbrook; and his beloved wife, Elisa "Lisa" Lapenta. Friends are invited to visit Wednesday from 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. and Thursday from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. at Lodi Funeral Home. Recitation of the Holy Rosary will be said Thursday at 7 p.m. at the funeral home. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Friday, March 13, 2014, at 10 a.m. at St. Anne's Catholic Church. Committal will follow at Cherokee Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to LOEL Center or Hospice of San Joaquin. Lodi Funeral Home is assisting the family with the arrangements.