YOUNGSTOWN — Neil Lucci “Lou” Pallante, 97, died peacefully late Friday, April 1, 2022.
The son of the late Dominic and Josephine Garritano Pallante, Lou was born Dec. 2, 1924. He graduated from Youngstown’s South High School in 1943 and immediately enrolled in the Army during World War II. Serving as a demolition specialist in the Philippines, he remained in the Army until 1946.
On his return, Lou enrolled at Youngstown State University and earned a degree in mechanical engineering in 1950. Working at several manufacturing plants throughout his career, Lou designed, tested and led the construction of the blast furnaces, coke plants and production processes that helped build Youngstown’s reputation as a world leader in steel manufacturing. Later in his career, he took great pride in helping companies reduce emissions and often found solutions that exceed EPA regulations, a fact that never ceased to bring him deep gratification.
Lou married the love of his life, Phyllis “Rae” Pauline, in 1953. By 1959, already with three rambunctious daughters and another on the way, Lou set to designing and constructing a home for his growing family. Along with his mother, who he looked after lovingly and who lived with the family, the house eventually held all five of their children and would be his home until nearly his final days.
After Rae’s passing in 2008, Lou loved being outside and was frequently wandering the corners of his yard to inspect the roses, and walking Mill Creek Park with his companion, Marlene Holdash. Always preferring a simpler path, Lou refused to take a cart while golfing. Though this regularly exasperated his partners, this let Lou find joy and awe in every round, marveling at the cut of the grass, the size of the trees, or the trajectory of the ball. Even at 96, he persisted in cutting his own grass and walking courses through last spring.
Lou — a husband, a father, a grandfather, a friend — leaves a legacy of character for us all. Profoundly humble and intensely logical, he was unwavering in his commitment to his family, to a life of moral integrity, and to his belief our mission is to help all people.
In addition to his parents, Lou was preceded in death by his wife, Rae; his brother, Dominic Pallante of Youngstown; his sister, Concetta “Connie” Ravotti of Youngstown; and his daughter, Linda Grodski (Phil) of Youngstown.
Lou is survived by four of his children, Diane Pallante of Santa Cruz, Calif., Joyce Pallante of Youngstown; Lorraine Bees (Jeff) of Youngstown and Neil Pallante of San Clemente, Calif.; and by his seven grandchildren, Paul Vidal (Kate LaBoone) of Lexington, Ky., Jessie and Jamie Fenisey of Santa Cruz, Calif., Eoghan and Hugh Bees of Youngstown, and Paloma and Andre Pallante of San Clemente, Calif.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 9, 2022, at St. Christine Church, 3165 S. Schenley Ave., Youngstown, OH 40511. Calling hours will precede the service, from 10 until 11 a.m. Immediately following the Mass, a mercy dinner will follow at Cassese’s MVR.
Burial will take place Monday in Resurrection Cemetery, with Veterans Affairs Services.
In lieu of flowers, all monetary donations will be used to place a bench and trees in Mill Creek Park. His daughter, Joyce, will be coordinating this effort.