David B. Pietrangelo (Firestone, CO.) age 82, passed away peacefully on Thursday, March 3, 2022, at Tru Hospice Care Center, Longmont United Hospital. Dave was born on April 17th, 1939 in Lakewood, Ohio to Emidio and Florence Pietrangelo. He attended Rocky River High School and left school to join the Coast Guard. After he was honorably discharged, he began working at his father’s well-known restaurant, Caminati’s in Cleveland. Cooking food was love for him as he was an amazing Italian Chef. But he met the true love of his life, Gaynelle Elizabeth Kohr, in 1960 and married her on May 20, 1961. Mr. and Mrs. Dave Pietrangelo moved to Westlake, Ohio, where their back yard abutted a grape vineyard. Dave would make friends with the farmer there who let him pick grapes anytime he wanted. He took advantage of that offer and made homemade wine in the basement. Dave and Gaynelle had three children while in Ohio, and moved them to Arvada, Colorado in 1967. He worked for Zapone’s Food Company and was the head chef at the Olive and Grape restaurant at the Holiday Inn next to Stapleton Airport. Dave eventually opened his own restaurant, La Tosca, on West Colfax. He received great reviews for his food and for the healthy portions he served. Although Dave found success in the restaurant business, he had a strong desire to buy some land and live in the country. After La Tosca, he went on to cook for Rolando’s, an Italian restaurant located in Louisville, Colorado. In 1972, he moved the family from Arvada to Longmont, Colorado and eventually gave up cooking to work in the construction business. His friend, Hess Schindler, offered him a job in construction working on several large projects in Denver, including several high rises and Porter Hospital. Dave commuted from Longmont to Denver for several years until he was able to purchase a 40-acre farm northeast of Longmont. He grew everything from hay to barley on that plot but found more success with the hay business and started a custom hay cutting/baling service with his family. Although some would describe him as an outlaw, Dave was a man of integrity, honor, and loyalty, and was a fierce protector of his family. He loved unconditionally and had many friends over the years. Dave was constantly finding ways to help his neighbors, expecting nothing in return. This brought him much pleasure knowing he could make a difference in people’s lives in many ways. One such way was his courage to respond to car wrecks near Highway 66 and the Weld/Boulder County Line Road to help victims. These wrecks occurred frequently as he would hear these crashes due to living a quarter of a mile from the intersection. One evening he grabbed his son Jim, a garden hose, and both proceeded to extinguish an attic fire in a neighbor’s home, saving it prior to the arrival of the local fire department. He also risked his life protecting some neighbors from a belligerent individual who threatened to shoot him and his neighbors. Throughout the farming and hay business years, Dave would barter hay for things that he believed had value. One such acquisition for hay was commercial kitchen appliances that he stored in his barn. He had an itch to open a restaurant again and did so in 1989, just east of I-25 and Highway 66 called “Peter Angelo’s”. He used the kitchen appliances he bartered for and save a lot of money. He did very well at that location, attracting thousands of patrons from all over northern Colorado and Nebraska until he sold it in 1997 and finally retired. Dave had a great sense of humor as he would look for ways to scare or prank anyone, including his children or the neighborhood kids. He hid in an armoire cabinet to scare his relatives, but the prank turned awry as the armoire fell and trapped him inside! He loved animals and was particularly fond of the family cats, especially a Calico named Louise. Over his remaining years he went on hunting trips to Africa and would take an occasional trip to Las Vegas or Central City. He had many hobbies which included his passion for gardening, fast cars, fishing, camping, and of course – cooking food! Dave is survived by his spouse Gaynelle E.; his children, Steven D. Pietrangelo, Jim H. Pietrangelo (Cheryl) and Jane E. Pietrangelo; his grandchildren, Soren G. Pietrangelo, Vincens M. Purrier and Connor J. Pietrangelo; his sister, Roslyn Herrilko. He was preceded in death by his other siblings, Dolores Milburn, Patricia Keller, and James E. Pietrangelo; and his parents, Emidio Pietrangelo and Florence Pietrangelo. Dave was laid to rest in a private burial on Thursday, March 17 at Foothills Gardens of Memory in Longmont, Colorado. The family will host a celebration of life service to be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Longmont Humane Society, 9595 Nelson Road, Longmont Colorado, 80501.
Published by Longmont Times-Call on Mar. 20, 2022.
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