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Louis Gianusso: Manhasset resident, a top meat sales executive, insisted on staying busy

Louis Gianusso and his wife Josephine at their

Louis Gianusso and his wife Josephine at their 70th wedding anniversary celebration in June, 2019. Credit: Deborah Podolski

Louis John Gianusso insisted on staying busy. He retired at 65 after a successful career as a top meat sales executive for the Grand Union grocery chain. He then took a part-time job at the deli counter in the Waldbaum's in Great Neck until retiring a second time at 80.

Gianusso, of Manhasset, died on March 28 from complications of COVID-19 following double-bypass heart surgery, his family said. He was 91.

Gianusso’s long career began when he was just a boy growing up in Woodside, Queens.

“He was working since he was a toddler," said his daughter Jessica Marcin, of Port Washington. "His mother and father had a grocery store in Woodside, and that’s where he learned his trade — from them. He was a little delivery boy on his bicycle, delivering stuff to his neighbors.”

Gianusso learned to drive when he was 11, Marcin said, and was just as driven in applying what he learned in his parents’ store to his career.

“He just was a very hard worker. No fun involved,” Marcin said. “He became a butcher, a meat manager, and then he became the New York metro meat sales manager for New York, Florida and Puerto Rico for the Grand Union company. He retired at 65, but he worked part-time until he was 80 at Waldbaum’s as a deli and produce guy."

Even though he retired from his part-time job more than a decade ago, Gianusso remained active in his second retirement.

“He reluctantly let us get him a landscaper,” Marcin said. “But he still had to cut the trees.”

Gianusso died four days after his 91st birthday. A year earlier, the family gathered to celebrate his 90th.

“We gave him a birthday party in Locust Valley [in 2019],” said his daughter Deborah Podolski, of Massapequa. “It was wonderful to have all of us there, including his great-grandchildren. He liked the restaurant. He was particular because he was in the meat business about what he liked to eat and what was good. Shortly after that, in June, we had another party when they celebrated their 70th anniversary. Same restaurant. He loved being with the family.”

Gianusso is survived by Josephine, his wife of more than 70 years, daughters Jessica Marcin and Deborah Podolski, two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, and their families.