MERIDEN - Louis Joseph "Louie" DeSandre Sr., husband of the late Emma Marie (Cibula) DeSandre passed away peacefully on Tuesday, April 9, 2013, while in the loving arms of his family.
He was born to the late John and Julia (Manieri) DeSandre, May 13, 1924, in Meriden, and attended local schools. He enjoyed football, being a good place kicker, and played professionally for Rooks Ponies. Louie started his cooking education at his parents' business, DeSandre's Restaurant, on Britannia St., in Meriden. In 1943, he joined the U.S. Army
Air Force and served with the 1535th Army Air Force Base Unit, Central Pacific Wing, Air Transport Command in the Hawaiian and Marshall Islands, earning the rank of Master Sergeant. Upon his service separation in 1946, he again joined his parents and brothers in the restaurant business. It was through a restaurant patron and friend that Louie was introduced to the love of his life, Emma and soon married. Being an industries person, Louie started a small part time transportation service, in 1948, for a local funeral home. He quickly grew this venture to become DeSandre's Livery Service, providing transportation to customers throughout Connecticut. In 1953, Louie and Emma opened the Redwood Restaurant on Center Street, in Meriden, a neighborhood restaurant serving good food in a friendly atmosphere. It was later relocated to the corner of Camp and Franklin Streets and was noted for the daily luncheon specials and grinders, especially Louie's homemade meatballs. Always looking for a new opportunity, he opened the Lowery Organ Center across from City Park in Meriden offering keyboard instruments and lessons. Louie also played the accordion in his youth. His life was one of hard work, taking care of family and friends and making every moment count. His generations of family and numerous friends are a testament to his good life. We have all been blessed in having Louis "Louie" DeSandre in our lives. This sad time is overshadowed by knowing he is in a beautiful place dancing the polka with Emma under the watchful eye of their Chihuahua security Buttons.
He leaves his three sons and their wives, Peter L. DeSandre (Rose Scatton,) of Meriden, and Louis J. DeSandre Jr.,(Lora Riggle,) of Lake City, Fla., James Robert Drauss (Nedrea Nadile,) of Wallingford; three sister-in-laws, Pearl Cibula, of Higganum, Annette Crepeau (Robert,) of Lutz, Fla. and Helen DeMichele, of Meriden. He is also survived by grandchildren, Peter A. DeSandre (Mary), David DeSandre(Alyssa), Dr. Dana Marie Robinson (Nicholas), James Drauss (Maria), Cheryl Church (Keith), Rhonda Powell, Sandra Whitehead, Melissa Reynolds, Russell Rankin, Darren Rankin; and great-grandchildren, Alayna DeSandre, Seamus DeSandre, Ian DeSandre, "Peanut" DeSandre, Joseph Even DeSandre, Ryan Church, Kristina Church, Michael Reynolds, Mitchell McCaskill, Domonick McCaskill, Brandon Reynolds, Elizabeth Rybolt, Jesse Stone, Loressa Stone. He was predeceased by his brothers and their wives, Edward DeSandre (Mildred), Ernest DeSandre (Stella); and his grandson, Louis Joseph (Joey) DeSandre III.
The funeral will be held, Saturday, April 13, at 10 a.m. at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, 109 Goodwill Ave., Meriden, for a Mass of Christian burial. Everyone is asked to go directly to church. Burial with military honors will be in Walnut Grove Cemetery 817 Old Colony Road., Meriden. Calling hours will be at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, April 12. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be made to Louie's parish school in his memory, Our Lady of Mount Carmel School, 115 Lewis Ave., Meriden, CT 06451. Arrangements are under the direction of the John J. Ferry & Sons Funeral Home, 88 East Main St., Meriden, CT 06450. For online condolences please visit www.jferryfh.com