Portland, ME – Pellegrino (Pete) (Pee-Wee) DeSarno passed away early Sunday, morning on the day of the “Feast of the Immaculate Conception”, December 8, 2019. He was born in Portland, Maine August 11, 1939, the sixth child of six children born to Pasquale DeSarno and Catherine Villacci-DeSarno.
He served as an alter boy for fourteen years at St. Peters Roman Catholic Church.
He graduated from Portland High School in 1957, where he was an All State football player (defensive end) and a member of the “Bronzy Club”.
In the late 50’s and early 60’s he played semi-professional football for the Portland Sea Hawks. Pete was a lifetime member of the Italian Heritage Center, Portland Eagles, Portland Elks Lodge and the Portland Boys and Girls Clubs Alumni Association.
A printer by trade, he worked at S.D. Warren paper mill in Westbrook , Maine for thirty-seven years.
Pellegrino (Pete) was a “jack of all trades and master of many.” He enjoyed, and was involved in, many building construction projects, including building his family a lake view summer cottage in South Casco, Maine. Many family summer celebrations took place there. None were bigger or better than “Uncle Pete’s” annual Forth of July parties.
His greatest joy was spending time with his family, friends, and neighbors. Each Sunday was spent cooking with his beloved wife and eating, with family, the many Italian dishes he was famous for. Homemade pasta and sauce was always on the menu. It was accompanied with homemade: pizza, stuffed bread, and Italian cookies.
Pete’s passion was coaching his two boys in various sports, including being the head coach of a Portland Little Ladd football team. He would travel anywhere to watch his two sons participate in any and all of their athletic events.
He is survived by his wife of fifty-three years, Josephine Russo-DeSarno, two sons Ralph and Peter DeSarno, sister Anna DeSarno-Kenney, and several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by: sister Camilla DeSarno-Olore, brothers Antonio, Ralph, and Fred DeSarno.
Family and friends are invited to visiting hours on Thursday December 12, 2019, from 4-7pm at A.T. Hutchins Funeral Home, 660 Brighton Ave., Portland, Maine. Prayers will be recited at 9:15am at the funeral home Friday, December13, 2019, followed by a Mass of Christian burial at 10am at St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church, 72 Federal St. Portland, Maine. Burial will follow in New Calvary Cemetery in South Portland.
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