Paul Iannelli, a Festa Italiana founder and leader in Milwaukee's Italian community, dies at age 95

Feb 23, 2024 795

BY: Mary Spicuzza

Paul Iannelli loved being Italian. "He was a family man. He was very proud of his Italian heritage," his daughter Paulette Zizzo said. "And he was a man who wanted things done yesterday." His family remembers Iannelli as a man of few words but lots of action — from building a parking business with his brother to helping create the Italian Community Center and Festa Italiana.

Iannelli was surrounded by his family when he died Saturday at age 95. The son of Sicilian immigrants, Iannelli faced hardship as a child, including the death of his father and the Great Depression. "His dad had died when he was 8. And he had three brothers and one sister, and the brothers went into business together," Zizzo said. 

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