Rose Tesoriero, founder of Frantone's Pizza, dies at 90

DOWNEY - Rose Tesoriero died of natural causes on Dec. 9 in Lake Forrest. She was 90. She and her husband, Sleme, founded Frantone's Pizza and Spaghetti Villa on Telegraph Road. Born Rose Cappadona on March 24, 1921 in Brooklyn, New York, she married Sleme Tesoriero, her Brooklyn neighbor and sweetheart, in 1942. They remained married 66 years, until his death on Feb. 19, 2010. After the war, the couple lived in New York, where Sleme worked for Rose's father, who operated tug boats on the Hudson River. In 1948, the family moved to Boston, where Sleme owned a popular Boston tavern called Friend's Tavern. The city of Boston decided to erect a civic center at the site of the tavern in 1962, so the family moved to Downey, where other family members resided. Two years later, Sleme and Rose opened Frantone's. They retired from the business in the early 1970s, and their sons and son-in-law continued the operating the restaurant. Rose was active in the Downey community. She was a longtime member of the Newcomers Club and the Woman's Club of Downey. She was also a parishioner at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church. In 2002, Rose and Sleme moved to Orange County where much of their family now reside. Rose is survived by her children and their spouses: Anthony and Mary Tesoriero, Rosalie and Frank Doubleday, and John and Kim Tesoriero; 10 grandchildren; and 20 great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by a daughter, Carolyn. Funeral services were held at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, followed by interment at Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City.