Dominic Mautone celebrates 100th Birthday

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Dominic (Nay) Mautone celebrated his 100th birthday on Sept. 23. He was born in 1917 in Chicago to Raphael and Antoinette (Trotta) Mautone, and baptized at Guardian Angel Church.

His Mom and Dad owned a building on Forker Street and the family lived upstairs. On the ground floor was the Ralph Mautone Grocery Store, where his mother and father worked. In addition to Italian, his mother spoke Yiddish to accommodate the Jewish customers. After selling the store, Ralphael and Antoinette bought a building at 912 S. Ashland Boulevard between Taylor and Polk streets.

Dominic was one of eight siblings. In order of birth, they were Louis, Mary, Patsy, Margaret (Maggie), Dominic, Concetta (Connie), Carolyn and Philip. He graduated from Guardian Angel Grammar school and did not attend high school.

Dominick and his friends were on a baseball team called The Foscos (sponsored by Angelo and Pete Fosco) that played at Sheridan and Garibaldi parks and Phillips Stadium, and in Chinatown. A good dancer, he frequented the Aragon and Trianon ballrooms in their heyday with his friends.

He worked as a laborer prior to being drafted into the Air Force during World War II. He earned a Good Conduct Medal while serving as a cook in the barracks kitchen in Bari, Italy. He married Mary Schullo at Guardian Angel Church on April 23, 1942, before he left for the service, and when he returned, he went to work as a laborer on a subway project. He and Mary lived on Hermitage and Paulina, eventually moving to Cicero. They raised two daughters, Antoinette (Peluso) and Eugenia (Franco), who gave them one granddaughter, Lisa (Robert) Morales, and two great-grandchildren, Alessandra and Robert. Eugenia passed away at age 51.

As for hobbies, he always “played the ponies,” which is where he probably got the nickname, Nay, after the “neighing” sound that horses make. He used to go to the track almost daily, but now that he doesn’t drive, a friend takes him to the OTB parlor in Oakbrook Terrace on the weekends.

At age 100, he walks two or three times a day from his townhouse to the entrance of his condo association grounds, where he sits on his walker and enjoys a cigar or two so that the smoke doesn’t bother his neighbors.

We all get a big bang out of him. He lives alone and is really quite independent. He’s a diehard Cubs fan who doesn’t miss a single game on TV, and was thrilled that he lived to see them win a World Series.

He still enjoys being with the family for holiday gatherings during which he likes to eat, hang around for a while, and then take a walk and smoke his cigars. He has a wonderful sense of humor, and we all love to visit with him.

He may appear to be a ”tough guy” but Dominic is really a teddy bear. When his wife developed Alzheimer’s, he took care of her until the day she died better than any nursing home could. He was totally devoted and attended to all of her personal needs: a standup husband in the truest definition of the word.

About Fra Noi

Fra Noi produces a magazine and website that serve the Chicago-area Italian-American community. Our magazine offers our readers a monthly feast of news and views, culture and entertainment that keeps our diverse and widely scattered readers in touch with each other and their heritage. Our website offers a dizzying array of information drawn from every corner of the local community.

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