Lina Lucarelli, 92, co-founder of Roseland Apizza dies

Below is a statement made on the passing of Lina Lucarelli by Marc J. Garofalo, MPA, Town / City Clerk, City of Derby.

We regret to inform you that Lina Lucarelli, co-founder of the world famous Roseland Apizza passed away on Saturday, Feb. 13, at the age of 92.

Mrs. Lucarelli was an icon of Derby having served generations and thousands of hungry customers at the venerable Hawthorne Avenue restaurant.  Her impact on the community will long be remembered by the high quality of pizza and dinners served, and the tradition of excellence for which Roseland is known.

Please join Mayor Anita Dugatto and the entire City of Derby in expressing our deepest sympathy to the Lucarelli and Scatolini family on the loss of their matriarch.  May she rest in peace in Pizza Heaven!

Mayor Dugatto commented that “Everyone knows that the best pizza in the world is made right here in Derby at Roseland.  Lina’s leadership as owner, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and friend made her one of the respected role models for women throughout the State.  She will be missed by all who knew her.”

OBITUARY: Lina Lucarelli

Lina S. Lucarelli, age 92, of Derby, entered into eternal rest on Saturday, February 13, 2016. She was the beloved and devoted matriarch of the Lucarelli family and co-founder of Roseland Apizza in Derby, CT where she worked alongside her husband Nazzareno “Bocci” Lucarelli until his passing in 1980.

She was born in Montebello, Italy, on September 30, 1923, daughter of the late John and Adele (Rossi) Scatolini and emigrated to the the age of seven to escape Mussolini. She graduated from Derby High School and was awarded her bachelor’s degree from Sacred Heart University later in life. In 2010, she accepted the Dr. John I. Howe Award from the Derby Historical Society as recognition for her legacy, Roseland Apizza.

She was an entrepreneur and real estate investor ahead of her time. She also enjoyed traveling the world, reading, gardening, drinking tea, and cooking Le Marchegian dishes from her childhood. Lina spent her golden years walking to Roseland Apizza daily and was dedicated to running the restaurant alongside her sons in the kitchen. Everyone received free bread under her reign, and the wait was never more than an hour even if you sat there for three.

She leaves behind five children, John Lucarelli and his wife, Colleen, Gary Lucarelli, Denis “Denmo” Lucarelli, Adele Larsen and her husband, Edward, and Marisa Tascione and her husband, Vincent “Fez”. She is also survived by 16 grandchildren, Gary, Jessica, Krista, Kara, Laura, Erika, Carly, Casey, Eddy Joe, Jess, Kirstin, Chloé, Johnny Blake, Elyse, Chelsea, & Riana and seven great-grandchildren, Isabel, Reno, Zachary, Cody, Michael, Carter, and Kash, as well as many nephews and nieces.

Besides her parents and husband, she was predeceased by her sister, Claire Dirienzo, her brother, Reno Scatolini, and her great-granddaughter, Jamie Russell.

We will all miss her passatellis, gnocchis, risotto, cappellettis, and her loving and generous nature. Nini we will miss and love you forever.

Friends may greet her family on Wednesday, Feb. 17, from 4 to 7 p.m., in the Edward F. Adzima Funeral Home, 253 Elizabeth Street, Derby. On Thursday, Feb. 18, her funeral procession will leave the funeral home at 9:30 a.m. for a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. in St. Mary’s Church. Burial will follow in Mt. St. Peter Cemetery, Derby.

Offer online condolences to her family at