Angelo Grippaudo

Obituary of Angelo Grippaudo

Angelo was preceded in death by his mother and father, Luigia and Salvatore Grippaudo, his brother Paolo and sister’s Francesca and Maria. As the youngest of the four siblings, he leaves a large and loving number of Italian relatives still living in his birthplace of Enna, Sicily; Louisa, Walter, Enzo, Francesca, Gino, Josephina, Dario, Luigi and many great-nephews and nieces. Having left Enna at the age of 16, to attend culinary school in Lausanne, Switzerland, he graduated at age 18, then moved to London, England. He worked in a well-known restaurant/ comedy club run by Peter Cook called The Establishment, where Angelo met and made friends with Dudley Moore whose jazz trio played nightly and where Dudley honed his comedic skills. When the first Casino, The Claremont Club, opened in London in the early 1960’s, Angelo switched careers as the pay was much higher. He joined a group of young Italians, Greeks & Brits who were tapped to open the first Casino’s in Freeport, Grand Bahamas Island (GBI). Starting at the Lucayan Casino, he was part of the crew opening the much larger El Casino, down the road in Freeport. Working his way up from croupier to pit boss on roulette. It was there Angelo met his future wife Deborah. They married on March 31, 1973 at Mary Star of the Sea Church, and lived in Freeport for twelve-years, having three children; Tessa, Adam & Blair. He visited both Italy and his wife’s hometown of Washington, D.C. many times over the years. Angelo always dreamed of working in the United States, and his opportunity arose in the late 1970’s when Resorts International, the first Casino in Atlantic City, opened in May of 1978. It took almost three-years before he was provided with a license to work there. The family moved to a small town, Absecon, NJ in 1982, purchasing their first home which fronted the inlet from Brigantine Bay. In late 1980’s Angelo was asked to open and manage the very first Casino in Bolivia, S.A. His ex-wife and children moved to Washington, D.C. to be closer to her family. After many years of marriage, the couple divorced in the mid-nineties. Upon his return to the States, Angelo moved to Las Vegas, working at various Casino’s there throughout the 1990’s. He later took a Casino job at the Spa Casino in Palm Springs, CA, where he met and married Janet Watkins, a single mother of two children, who lived in Cathedral City. Angelo and Janet lived at the same Camino Del Mar address for 20+ years, raising her son and daughter and helping with the three grandkids. Recently they’d moved to Phoenix, AZ to be closer to Janet’s son. He is survived by his ex-wife Deborah, their daughter Tessa D. Grippaudo-Luque, son Adam S. Grippaudo, daughter Blair L. Grippaudo, son-in-law Andres J. LuqueTurriago and grandson James A. Luque-Grippaudo. Brother & Sister-in-law’s William and Fran Xanten, Carol and Ben Borchelt, David and Carolyn Xanten, and numerous nieces/nephew in-laws: Susan, Jennifer Beth, Laurie, Tracey and Brett, Tiffany, Amy and Dave, Grace and Glen, Kathy and Dave, and great nieces/nephews Maddy, Allie, Alyssa, Alex, Heather, Julian, Solomon, Ryan and Matthew. He is survived by his second wife of 22 years, Janet Watkins, step-son Hunter R. Watkins, step-daughter Roxanne L. Watkins and step-grandchildren; Micah A. Watkins, Ariel R. Watkins, Dean H. McManus. His many friends and extended family from across the world have expressed condolences, Angelo was beloved by all who knew him. May he rest in Peace.
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