Louis Paparazzo, 92, created Heritage Village
Louis Henry Paparazzo, 92, of Holyoke, Mass., formerly of Waterbury, died Nov. 14 at the Holyoke Soldier's Home in Holyoke.
He was born in Cologne, Germany, in 1920, son of Louis, who was from Calabria, Italy, and Maria Alph Paparazzo, of Germany, where she lived during World War I. At age 5, he arrived at Ellis Island with his mother, his sister, Eleanor, and his younger brother, Joseph, to meet their father, who was already a U.S. resident.
As a young man, he set out for the western U.S., where he worked on numerous projects with the Civilian Conservation Corps and the Works Progress Administration.
Mr. Paparazzo joined the U.S. Army in 1939, but during World War II was "recruited" into the First Marine Amphibious Corps, where he served in a variety of capacities in the South Pacific theater and in many combat engagements.
After discharge from the Army, despite not having finished high school, his talents earned him entry into the pre-med program at Indiana University. It was then he met his wife, Thelma May Zike. She was raising her son from a previous marriage, Ernest Renner. Louis F. "Woody" Paparazzo was born to Mr. and Mrs. Paparazzo in 1949.
Having to abandon his studies in order to provide for his family, Mr. Paparazzo became a construction manager for National Homes and oversaw the construction of several large housing developments in Indiana. He later formed his own construction company, and built several custom residences near Indianapolis.
In 1950, Mr. Paparazzo took his family to Southern California, where the weather was better suited to his wife's health. There, he continued to build custom homes and oversaw several commercial projects.
In 1965, he returned to the Waterbury area, and together with his four brothers, formed the real estate development company that would create Heritage Village in Southbury--the state's first retirement condominium community.
Later, Mr. Paparazzo set out on his own again to develop and manage projects in New York, Florida, Pennsylvania and Maryland.
He was known for having an indomitable spirit, and never hesitated to embark on new projects in unfamiliar places.
He won friends easily, and was admired by many.
He and his wife lived in North East, Md., for 20 years. After his wife's death in 1995, he enrolled in community college courses, where he pursued his lifelong interest in art.
Mr. Paparazzo devoted several years as a mentor for disadvantaged youngsters, and had a large circle of friends in North East.
Mr. Paparazzo is survived by a son, Woody Paparazzo, of Conway, Mass.; a stepson, Ernest Renner, of Phoenix; three brothers, Otto Paparazzo and Frank Paparazzo, of Woodbury, and Henry Paparazzo, of Bridgewater; and numerous nieces, nephews and grandchildren. In addition to his wife, he was predeceased by a granddaughter, Nina; a sister, Eleanor; and a brother, Joseph.
Funeral services and burial will take place at a later date.
The Buckmiller Brothers Funeral Home in Naugatuck is in charge of arrangements.