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Obituary of Andrew Steven Lalino
Lalino, Andrew Steven ("Andy"), 88, of St. Petersburg, Florida and The Bronx/Mt. Vernon, New York, passed away December 29, 2022 at Palm Garden of Largo Rehabilitation Center.
Andy was born on October 29th, 1934 in The Bronx, the youngest of the seven surviving children of Charles ("Ciro") and Anna Lalino. He was preceded in death by his parents and beloved siblings Carmine ("Cime"), Steven, Josephine ("Josie"), Marie, Theresa, and Joseph ("Joey"). Andy was a member of Holy Cross Catholic Church in The Bronx, where he was Baptized, Confirmed, and received First Communion. He grew up during the depression era and later World War II.
Andy learned to play drums and became an in-demand, popular performer at a young age. His musical career began in Manhattan and seasonally in the Catskills in the 1950's. In the Catskills he performed with Greek entertainers such as the Trio Bel Canto, Nick Gounaris, Eva Styl, Jimmy Apostolou, Maria Sellas and others at the Monte Carlo Hotel in Monroe, New York among many other venues. The Greeks welcomed Andy into their heritage and community, though the Lalino family has origins in Palermo and Marineo, Sicily. He was a member of the George Stratis Orchestra and performed on many Greek album LP's including "The Greek Tempo" by Nick Gounaris and "Encore" by the Trio Bel Canto. Andy was also a member of The Heptone Trio, a popular Manhattan group that performed on live television in the '50s. Other popular artists Andy performed with were: Singer Don Rondo, Jayne Mansfield, Neil Sedaka, Tony Bennett, Paul Anka, Arlene Francis, Arthur Godfrey, Arthur Treacher, Telly and George Savalas, Gary Crosby, Israeli singer Yaffa Yarkoni, and The Young Lads.
In 1955, Andy joined the U.S. Army and kept stateside as a musician in the Blue Jackets and the 1st Army Band. He appeared and recorded with American hero Audie Murphy.
In the mid 1950's he was to meet the love of his life Dolores Antoinette Lalino, daughter of Dominic and Frances DiSario. Andy and Dolores were married on January 30th, 1960, beginning their married life in Mt. Vernon, New York. While still a Manhattan musical performer and recording artist (sometimes referred to as his stage name "Andy Roberts"), Andy opened Andy Lalino Drum Studios in The Bronx and instructed new generations of drummers who went on to great notoriety and success, including jazz drummer Alvin Queen, who Andy would maintain a close friendship with, and Beatlemania performer Bob Forte. Andy was also noted for playing flute and xylophone, among other instruments. Andy made many friends among professional drummers, students, teachers, and fellow musicians over the years: musician Gil Chimes, drummer Tony Monforte, Elvin Jones, instructor Sam Ulano, student Danny Margolis, among others.
In 1967 and 1969 while residing in Mt. Vernon, Andy and Dolores welcomed their two sons Andrew and Douglas. They remained parishioners of Holy Cross Catholic Church.
After Douglas was born, the Lalino family moved to St. Petersburg, Florida in February of 1971, as Andy and Dolores were fond of the area after honeymooning there. St. Petersburg was to be their permanent home. Soon after relocating to sunny climes, Andrew began employment at the Busch Gardens theme park in Tampa in 1974, and remained until retiring in 2000. He became the Assistant Musical Director at Busch Gardens and performed for CEO August Busch and other luminaries, including then-Governor Jeb Bush, United States Representative Mike Bilirakis, distributor Bernie Little, Burt Reynolds, and then-wife Loni Anderson. While serving for Busch Gardens, he played in the Belly Dance Show near the Zagora Cafe in the Moroccan Village, the German Festhaus, and the Dr. Dave Trio by the Busch Hospitality House where his stage still stands to this day. The Lalino family attended Holy Family Catholic Church in Northeast St. Petersburg and their sons received education at Holy Family Catholic School.
In addition to full-time employment at Busch Gardens, for many decades Andy continued to entertain as a dummer and electric bassist at events and venues around the area and state of Florida. Since the early 1970's, he was a frequent musician at the popular Zorba's night club in Tarpon Springs and was bassist in the Phil Demas band, a Greek trio. Andy would maintain a strong friendship with Phil Demas and band member George Kostakis over the decades and played with the band into the 1990's at Greek Festivals - including Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Clearwater, weddings, the George Pappas restaurant, Greek Epiphany Celebrations, AHEPA and Goya gatherings, and events. He was also friends with Zorba's owner Nick Patides and musicians Manoli Gregoris, and Spiro Skorodilis. Bandmate and dear friend George Kostakis remembers when he and his father watched Andy on local New York television's "The Greek Hour."
In the 1970's into the '80s, Andy sold drum parts and kits out of the home garage to aspiring musicians. Drum student Mitch Jones would remain a loyal family friend throughout the decades. As a Tampa Bay are musician, he forged new friendships with noted musicians, such as "America's Polka King" Frank Yankovic and Greek musician Gus Vali.
For decades Andy was active in the annual Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon, taking phone pledges, participating in fund-raisers, and encouraging his children to go door-to-door to help support the cure for Muscular Dystrophy. Andy and Dolores made countless charitable donations, were supporters of their church, and later in life Andy would volunteer at nursing homes, entertaining our valued senior populations. Dolores would volunteer for church, teaching, and community causes.
Andy was a loving husband to Dolores and wonderful father to his two sons - a family man devoted to our Lord. Andy and Dolores celebrated the weddings of both children and welcomed their two beloved grandchildren into the world. In 2012, Andy and Dolores celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary. He was a family provider, mentor, motivator, and imparted wisdom and advice to friends and family - many a life did he improve and place on Godly paths. Andy was a devoted Catholic and Christian, often attending mass every day at Holy Family in the morning hours. He entertained thousands at Greek Festivals across the state of Florida and maintained close, charitable ties with the Greek community and Greek Orthodox Church.
Andy loved teaching and learning about success motivation and always encouraged all friends and family to put the Lord first in their lives, work hard, believe in yourself, and do their best. These success principals served those who sought counsel with Andy. Personal projects that Andy created were the following: the famous "Sit In" LP record that taught generations of drum enthusiasts, the song recordings "Bananas and Sugar Cane," "Key West," and "The Busch Gardens Polka." Andrew also authored a popular Success Motivation Declaration and a Wisdom/Personal Goals handbook that even in his final days generously distributed to his admiring caregivers at Palm Gardens of Largo. He enjoyed watching Jackie Chan movies, learning about different cultures and philosophies, and swimming.
Andrew Steven Lalino is survived by his two sons, their wives Sandra and Michelle, and beloved grandchildren Ciara Lynn and Andrew Dominic Thomas ("A.J.") Lalino, who called him Papa.
Andy's greatest accomplishment was being a loving Papa to his two grandchildren, Ciara and A.J. He was a loving father-in-law to his beautiful daughters-in-law Sandra and Michelle. Papa and Nana loved you all to the sky.
Andy was above all a family man. To all family members of the Lalino, DiSario, Caputo, LaLena, and Salerno sides and to all friends of Andrew, Douglas, Sandy, Michelle, Ciara and A.J. - too many to mention - know Andy and Dolores loved you with all their hearts. Same to be said for all the beloved friends and neighbors of Andy and Dolores - they loved and appreciated your friendship. We will miss our father as we continue to serve Jesus on this earth, and speak for all when stating that we take comfort is knowing Andy is with his beloved Dolores in Blessed Eternity in the Kingdom of Heaven with our Lord.
In lieu of flowers, the Lalino family requests donations be sent to:
Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church
Donate online: https://www.htclearwater.com/donate/in-memory-of
Donations can also be mailed to:
Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church
409 South Old Coachman Rd.
Clearwater, FL 33765
You can also call the Holy Trinity Church Office at 727-799-4605
You are welcome to attend any or all of the following services for Andrew Steven Lalino:
Family and Friends Viewing at
Anderson-McQueen Family Tribute Centers/Funeral Home
Friday, January 27th, 2023 from 6:00PM-8:00PM
You are welcome to speak and tell stories about Andy
Funeral Service at Holy Family Catholic Church
Saturday, January 28th, 2023 at 11:00AM
Committal Service at Calvary Catholic Cemetery
Saturday, January 28th, 2023 at 1:00PM
To View a Recording of the Services (Only Available for 90 Days): CLICK HERE
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