Antonio “Tony” Lauria, owner of Gershon’s Deli for 38 years, died Friday morning at Ellis Hospital, according to a statement from the family.
He passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family, the statement said.
“The Lauria family and the staff of Gershon’s Deli are grateful to everyone for their kind wishes and prayers during this difficult time,” the statement said.
Lauria came to the United States in 1973, after having trained in metal work in Sicily, according to a Daily Gazette story published in September of 2014. That’s the summer the deli celebrated its 60th anniversary, having been launched in 1954 by Irv and Lena Gershon on Upper Union Street.
Lauria became owner of Gershon’s in 1978, after having worked in the deli for several years. He was joined by partners Dave Savino and Lou Gregory in the business, which they had purchased from the Gershons’ nephew, Bob Lessner.
Savino left the business two years later, and Gregory left in 2009, leaving Lauria at the helm, according to the Daily Gazette story about the anniversary celebration.
“I still enjoy it,” Lauria said at the time. “I never imagined that I would be here or be the owner this long. Not when I came over to this country. But I’m very, very happy. And I have a great staff and great customers.”
Information about funeral services will be shared as soon as possible, according to the statement.