Friday, January 8, 2010

In Memoriam: Ed Rossi, Sr. (1917 - 2010)

The Wildwoods lost a longtime friend, business icon, and community hero when Ed Rossi, Sr. passed away on Tuesday. He was 92.

Rossi was the last of the original nightclub owners from the island's "glory years" as an entertainment mecca. Together with his business partner of over five decades, Phil Bonelli, he presented top name talent at the Surf Club during the 1950s.

The duo moved their operation from the Biltmore Hotel and established the new Phil & Eddie's Surf Club at Atlantic & Cedar in the early 1960s. There, they would go on to feature such legendary attractions as Chubby Checker, Bobby Rydell, Sonny Turner and The Platters, The Righteous Brothers, Bobby Vinton, Jerry Vale, The Fifth Dimension, and many more, for years to come.

A 1936 graduate of Wildwood High School, Rossi was noted as a spectacular athlete in his youth. He played semi-professional baseball and was scouted heavily by the New York Yankees prior to being drafted into the Army.

During World War II, Rossi served his country in the European Theater. He was severely wounded in battle, earning a Purple Heart and numerous additional honors.

Later in life, Rossi was well noted for his community involvement and various charitable endeavors, as well as his warm personality and unique sense of humor.

He was a Venerable in the local chapter of the Sons of Italy, a member of the Union League, the Little Players, and the WHS Warrior 50 Club. In 2009, Rossi was honored as "Man of the Year" by the Sons of Italy, Sylvester Grande Lodge 1838.

A full obituary from today's Press of Atlantic City can be read HERE.

Wildwood 365 would like to send our deepest condolences to Mr. Rossi's family and friends, especially to Mrs. Mary Rossi, his wife of 62 years.

(Special thanks also to Mr. Rossi's grandson, Ryan Troiano, and Chris Chobert for their help in providing information and photos for this entry.)

1 comment:

  1. thanks, for the update, Al. Sad news indeed!