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Lifelong Westport Restaurateur Frank DeMace Dies at 78

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Frank DeMace: Mario’s legend. Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

UPDATE Lifelong Westport restaurateur Frank DeMace died Tuesday, according to Mario’s Place Facebook page run by former employees. He was 78.

Nicknamed Tiger by his Saugatuck boyhood chums, DeMace cut his teeth in the restaurant business working at the Arrow on Charles Street.

Later he partnered for decades at Mario’s Place at Railroad Place with the late Mario Sacco. (See WestportNow July 8, 2009) Sacco often credited DeMace with the restaurant’s success.

DeMace commanded a larger-than-life presence as Mario’s owner and as the chef whose steaks were revered statewide.

Services will be held on Sunday, July 29 from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Harding Funeral Home 210 Post Road East, and on Monday, July 30 at 10 a.m. directly at the Church of the Assumption, 98 Riverside Ave.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Whittingham Cancer Center at Norwalk Hospital.

See family-supplied obituary here.

3 thoughts on “Lifelong Westport Restaurateur Frank DeMace Dies at 78

  1. What a great guy he was. He will surely be missed.

    When I first approached him about the concept of the Slice of Saugatuck, he didn’ t just like it, but pushed me to do it. It was his energy and love of Saugatuck which helped make the festival happen. He was all smiles.

    RIP Frank, I’ll miss you.

  2. Dominic and Lori,
    We were very saddened to hear of your Dad.s passing. He was a good friend for many years. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. We will miss him.

    Sam, Frank and Patty DeMaria

  3. Frank, was and is the most respected, kindest, Ioving, generous man you could ever had met.
    We were best friends.
    We were truly soulmates.
    We learn to love, respect and take care of one another.
    We knew each other well.
    We laughed a lot and we enjoyed spending time together.
    His true friends that knew us as a couple, would have agree.
    We shared eighteen short years together.
    In spite of all the obstacles that came our way.
    Our love we shared could never be broken.
    We had a special bond, that nobody would ever destroy.
    I loved him then,
    I love him now.
    And I will always love him, for ever and ever.
    Frank, may you rest in peace,  my love.
    Until we meet again.
    I love you always and forever.
    Love, Diane
    I am hugging you.
    See you later, honey.

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