Isadore "Izzy" Sanchioli, a life-long Bloomfield baker who developed an encyclopedic knowledge of his community, passed away Wednesday of heart failure. He was 91.
Mr. Sanchioli came to be known as the "unofficial mayor" of Lorigan Street in Bloomfield -- a street on which he lived for much of his life. A former owner of Sanchioli Brothers Bakery in the neighborhood, Mr. Sanchioli is remembered by family for his ability to tell enthralling stories about his life and the street that was his home.
"My dad was a really effervescent person, I mean, very joyful, very much a wonderful person to be around," said his daughter, Ellen Foreman, of State College. "He was kind of a guy who liked everybody and everybody liked him."
Ms. Foreman, 55, remembers her father for the stories he told her and her siblings throughout their childhood. His topics of choice, she said, often touched on Prohibition and involved gang fights in Pittsburgh during the first half of the 20th century.
His wife, Ann Sanchioli, 84, said her husband was a dedicated father. He contracted testicular cancer and a range of other illnesses in the 1950s, and Ms. Sanchioli said his desire to see his children's First Communions and weddings helped him recover and stay alive for so long.
When he regained his health, Mr. Sanchioli taught his children to ski, on snow and on water. He owned multiple boats on the Allegheny River and was an avid member of the Duquesne Canoe Club.
Mr. Sanchioli served in the 14th Armored Division of the U.S. Army during World War II. His military service, along with his experiences as a child during the Great Depression, left a profound impact on his life, family members said.
Ms. Foreman said her father remembered vividly the crowds of impoverished Pittsburghers who would gather outside his family's bakery, too poor to afford any bread during the Depression.
When he took over the family business in the 1950s, Mr. Sanchioli used his job to connect with all of his neighbors and the surrounding community, she said.
"He was always looking out to other people and helping where he could. He always helped those around him and relied on them," she said.
In addition to his wife and daughter, Mr. Sanchioli is survived by his sister, Mary Dittler of Venice, Fla.; his sons, Alexander Sanchioli of Gibsonia, Carl Sanchioli of Brookline and John Sanchioli of Bloomfield; and nine grandchildren.
The funeral service will begin Saturday at 9 a.m. at Winter Funeral Home, 4730 Friendship Ave., and mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. at St. Maria Goretti Parish, Friendship Campus.
Memorial contributions may be made to St. Maria Goretti School Fund, 300 Edmund St., Pittsburgh, PA 15224.
Daniel Sisgoreo: email@example.com, 412-263-1410 or on Twitter @DanielSisgoreo.