If you ever stepped foot in Glorioso's Food Market, 1011 E. Brady St., you likely met Eddie Glorioso, who started the store in 1946 with his brother Joe.
You might say that Glorioso, who seemed to know everyone that walked in the door, even at the age of 92 – when he retired – was the mayor of Brady Street.
Glorioso's son, Joseph, posted on Facebook that his father, sadly, passed away this morning, ending an era on Brady Street, where the Glorioso name is surely permanently engraved in neighborhood lore.
One only need read the outpouring on emotion in the comments on Joseph's post to see the kind of impact that Eddie Glorioso had on his community.
Glorioso was born in Milwaukee's Third Ward and started working alongside his father, an Italian immigrant who was a fruit peddler, working for Gagliano.
In 1946, while working as a welder building tanks at the Heil Corporation, Glorioso saw the vacant space on Brady Street and opened the store with a loan secured by his father from the Gagliano family.
Later, Eddie's younger brother Teddy joined the business, which then expanded to include a restaurant on Brady Street, a store called Eddie Glorioso's on Pleasant Street, an annual stand at Festa Italiana from 1978 until 2008, and the Glorioso's Fine Meats butcher shop on 68th and Wells in Wauwatosa.
One of our beloved founding fathers has passed. Eddie Glorioso died this morning at 95 years old.
He had a special gift of making people smile. He was an icon of Brady Street. We cannot quantify the amount of spirit that he put into our community.
We love you Eddie. pic.twitter.com/T8rwpAqf2s — Glorioso's (@GloriososMarket) July 8, 2019
After he retired at age 92, Glorioso spent his days with his wife until she passed away two years ago, says Joseph.
"He was heartbroken. After that he watched a lot of TV," he says. "He loved watching sports: the Brewers, the Packers. He was a die-hard fan."
Eddie turned 95 on May 26.
"He still had all his marbles up to the very end," says his son. "He was independent and living on his own, still driving at 95."
But last week, Glorioso fell.
"The fall was sort of secondary," says Joseph. "He was having heart failure and pneumonia and it was all kind of at once. But even yesterday he was smiling and blowing kisses and flirting with the nurses. He was larger than life."
Glorioso died this morning.
We send our deepest condolences to his family and many friends. Funeral services and visitation information is expected to be released by the family today.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.