Enrico Pucci

December 12, 2011

September 1st, 1931 – December 12th, 2011

An immigrant from Marlia, Italy, Enrico Pucci left his family and came to America in 1951 at the age of 19. Landing in San Francisco he began a fifty-year journey in the restaurant business – a journey in which he became a fixture of the North Beach restaurant scene until he opened his eponymous Marin County restaurant, Pucci’s, in 1982.
From North Beach to Fairfax, “Pucci,” as he was called by his friends, neighbors, and customers, was known for his sparkling personality, his charming smile, and his passion for life – all of which he displayed prominently during his years in the restaurant business.
Though Pucci was a man of many talents and accomplishments, he will be remembered as the loving husband of his wife, Antoinette; the devoted father to his children, Rick, Alicia Susi, and Michael; the proud grandfather of Ricky, Frankie, Emilio, and Tony; and as a one-in-a-million character to his many friends and acquaintances.
A memorial service will be held at St. Isabella’s Church in San Rafael, California on December 29. A fine party, celebrated “Pucci-style” at La Toscana Restaurant, will follow for all who knew and loved him.
Please feel free to use this electronic registry to leave a comment or a remembrance of Pucci – he touched many lives and we are proud of his legacy.
Rick, Alicia, Susi, Mike, Laura, Tina, Mark, Ricky, Frankie, Emilio, and Tony

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  • Jennifer Terwilliger Posted December 17, 2011 12:39 pm

    So many memories, of his yummy cooking, his warm and inviting dinner table, his joking smile followed by a low rumbling chuckle and some choice Italian words, his management of the 4th of July bar-b-ques, his wild tales and zany adventures, Pucci the soccer coach, Pucci the restauranteur, Pucci the philosopher, the bocci king, Pucci the provider, the dad and loving husband. But above all I will remember Pucci the friend, his simple kindness. How he invited us for Sunday supper some thirty-four years ago, a struggling young couple new to the area with no family close by and he brought us into his home and made us feel welcome. What a night, filled with love and happiness, four adorable children, a warm lovely wife, an abundance of delicious Italian dishes and plenty of homemade “grappa”! The chatter around the table was real, it was loud and joyous and warm and welcoming. Ahhh, so much fun! It was the beginning of a long and wonderful relationship with Pucci and his family.

    You had a tremendous impact on my life Pucci, and I will miss you so much. RIP forever with Toni my very dear friend. (PS Don’t drive her crazy right away 🙂

  • Wendy Gaus Posted December 17, 2011 3:06 pm

    I am not sure that I can add much more to what Jennifer has already said about Pucci. He was a man with a large extended family and an even bigger heart who always had room at his table to feed and nurture a stranger. I was one of those strangers. Pucci and Toni welcomed me into their family and by doing so changed my life forever. We vacationed together in Santa Cruz, ate at his restaurant and at his home, and he even did me a favor and let me videotape at his Restaurant … despite the fact that it inconvenienced him, but he did it because I needed help. Like a Dutch uncle, this lovable, quite Italian was always willing to help someone out.

    Now that both Toni and Pucci have moved on, there is a tremendous void in my life, but I am comforted by my memories of the great times we shared together around his table for dinner, Thanksgiving and Christmas, around the pool on July 4th, on unexpected trips to Santa Cruz with the kids and especially at his Restaurant in Fairfax.

    I will never forget talking with Toni about Pucci. She loved the daylights out of her husband and he was always on her mind. One day she said of Pucci, “He’s a good, good man. What else can a woman ask of a husband?” And it was true. Pucci worked hard from sun up to sun down. He made wholesome and good food. He raised 4 upstanding and wonderful children – all of whom graduated college, traveled to Italy to learn about their roots and done well for themselves. Anyone who knew Pucci knows he was the salt of the earth and a terrific friend. Even though it’s been many years since he closed his restaurant in Fairfax, all one has to do is walk down a street and people still mention his name and have wonderful things to say about him. This is a testament to the kind of man he was.

    I will miss Pucci every bit as much as I miss Toni, and I know Pucci has missed Toni even more than I. I can only imagine the two of them reunited once again, two new angels inviting all the other angels to a fantastic meal at what must be the happiest and most satiated table in heaven. Once again, all is right with the universe.

  • Alicia Pucci Posted December 18, 2011 8:54 pm

    For My Dad,

    A daughter learns about a million things from her father. Some are very ordinary, like how to ride your bike or swing a softball bat. Some are very useful, like how to garden and parallel-park a car without power steering. And some are very profound, like how hard work and compassion and a love of mankind will take you far in this world.

    With the passing of my Dad, I reflect on just how much daughters do learn from fathers. There is nothing more special than the bond between a girl and her dad. Perhaps I taught him a few things too.

    With Love, Alicia

  • Anonymous Posted December 23, 2011 12:52 am

    We met my birth mom Toni, and her husband Enrico, when I was 30 years old. He welcomed us with open arms and my kids called him Papa Enrico. We shared some holiday meals at the house and could never leave without eating more food then you normally would in a week. It made him happy to see people eat and hang out together as family. It was always wonderful to see him smile and laugh, it would light up a room. His smile came straight from his soul. When my mom passed away (on Sarah’s 8th birthday) he said,” I don’t just have 4 kids, I have you too and that makes 5.” I cried like a baby in the restaurant at that moment. For he truly understood what family meant, and he knew I would miss my mom Toni as much as he would. He was so lost after my mom died, I know they are together again in Heaven. RIP papa you will be missed. Give mom a big hug and kiss and tell her she needs to eat. The question is, are you going to cook now or is she? xoxoxo

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