Gaspard Lorito, Lorito’s Italian Kitchen founder, dies at 78

Jan 07, 2019 371

BY: Carlos E. Medina

For more than 40 years, Gaspard Lorito served up authentic New York-style pizza at his namesake restaurant, Lorito’s Italian Kitchen, on East Silver Springs Boulevard in Ocala. In recent years, the 78-year-old Lorito had backed away from the restaurant due to health issues but visited often to check on his children, who took over the eatery, and to greet customers.

Lorito died Monday night after a long battle with congestive heart failure. The news quickly spread on social media, with hundreds of people who had enjoyed a slice or two of pizza over the years lamenting his passing. “So sad ... We have been going there for 35 years. We would always see his smiling face and he would ask how we were doing. RIP Papa Lorito. Heaven’s gonna have the best damn pizza maker up there now,” wrote Doc Martin on the restaurant’s Facebook page.

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