Commack barber Emanuel LoGiudice dies at 79
Emanuel (Manny) LoGiudice, a longtime barber sometimes called the Mayor of Commack and a former pizza shop owner in Fort Salonga, died of heart failure on Feb. 7 at Stony Brook University Hospital. He was 79 and lived in Nesconset.
LoGiudice was 21 when he came to America from Sicily in 1955 and decided that he wanted to be a hairstylist, his family said. He went to a hairstyling school and a barber school in Brooklyn while he lived in that borough's East New York section.
He worked in a variety of shops, then opened a beauty salon -- Mario de Milan -- in Forest Hills, Queens, where he met his wife, Eva Horvath, a makeup artist there.
"He loved his family, his barbershop and good food and wine," said his wife of 39 years.
They got married, sold Mario's and moved to Lake Ronkonkoma in 1973.
"He had already had his first bypass in 1979, when doctors said he'd be dead in a month," Capaldi said. "In 1981, he opened the Commack Corners Barber Shop on Jericho Turnpike in Commack."
She said her father had a charismatic personality, was a people person and played a vital role in the Commack community for the next 32 years.
"People would come for his haircuts and his advice, some for more than 30 years," she said.
In 2002, she said doctors told her father he might have only six days to live, then did double bypass surgery on him.
LoGiudice went on to open three more barbershops, which he eventually sold to younger barbers he had schooled.
"He liked to talk and to help people," said Ralph Kay, a barber for six years at Commack Corners. "He was a great barber with a great sense of humor."
Besides his wife and Capaldi, he's survived by daughter Gina Vittitoe of Cranford, N.J.; a sister, Kay Romano of Port Jefferson; two brothers, Peter of Port Jefferson and Anthony of St. James; three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.