Kingman restaurateur Lombardo dies suddenly

The Lombardo family is mourning the death of their father, Vito, after he passed away suddenly on Thursday.

Vito Lombardo, 57, was well known for his generosity to the community and the huge portions served at his two restaurants - Lombardo's Sicilian Grill on Eastern Avenue and Stromboli's on Andy Devine Avenue.

A search of the Miner's website generates a long list of fundraisers, events and thank you letters from numerous local organizations that include Lombardo's name and restaurants.

"He was just a people person. He always liked having people around him," said his daughter, Gina. "He liked to help others.

"Restaurants have always been his passion. He's been in the business his whole life. He started working at my grandparent's restaurant when he was 10. We were all raised in restaurants."

According to a story printed in the Miner on July 21, 2003, Lombardo first moved to Grand Rapids, Mich., from Sicily with his parents and siblings when he was 7. He worked with his family in a pizzeria that his father bought in the 1960s.

Lombardo later inherited the pizzeria.

"He loved family," his wife, Mary said. "His family was his whole life. He worshiped his grandkids. He loved kids in general and they always seemed to be attracted to him."

"He would do things at the schools just to help out the kids. He liked to serve lunches and had an ice cream shop where he often gave away free ice cream to the kids," she said. "He had a big heart."

The family moved to the Kingman area in 1999 and opened Stromboli's.

He opened Lombardo's Sicilian Grill in 2009. The restaurant became an instant hit with its unique Sicilian cuisine, mafia-themed "Mob Nights" and wine tastings.

Services are at 11 a.m. Monday at St. Mary's Catholic Church, 302 E. Spring St. Lombardo's obituary is on Page 4.