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Submitted by Dave Ferderer, Dino’s grandson

Long-time Racine businessman Dino Dominici died Friday at his home.

Dino Dominici, 82, beloved husband of the late Grace Dominici, passed away peacefully surrounded by family at his home on Feb. 14, 2014.

Dino and his wife, Grace, are best known as long-time owners of Dino’s Restaurant in Racine. He retired in July 2013 from the restaurant after operating it for 58 years. Dino’s Restaurant was opened by Dino and Grace in February 17, 1955 and has done a lot of business through the years.

Dino was born in Rosara, a region of Ascoli Piceno, Italy, on July 21, 1931 to the late Pietro and Rosalia (ne: Ticchiarelli) Dominici. He came to the United States in 1948 and proudly served his newly adopted country during the Korean Conflict, but not before graduating from Washington Park High School in 1950. Six years later, on April 24th 1954, he married the love of his life, Grace, also from Italy, at Holy Rosary Church – Kenosha.

Together, Dino and Grace opened their first restaurant on Feb. 17, 1955. The original “DINO’S” was located at 1816 16th St. It was a modest establishment with ten stools and one table for two. Dino added delivery service in 1959, beginning a 54-year tradition that delivered piping hot foods to your door.

Over the years, Dino has been recognized by groups within and outside the restaurant industry. He was elected President of the Southeast Chapter of the Wisconsin Restaurant Association. In 1982, Dino was given the “Golden Key Award” in recognition of his activity in the economic growth of the Racine area. His colleagues named Dino “Restaurateur of the Year” in 1980 for his outstanding achievement in the restaurant business. And in 1985, Dino was again elected President of the WRA. Dino was given the “Real Seal” Award from the Wisconsin Dairy Association for serving 100% dairy products in his restaurant. Dino was a member of various local organizations.

Dino and his wife retired from the restaurant business in July of 2013.

Together Dino and Grace have helped family and friends follow their passion of cooking. You could always find Dino in the kitchen of his restaurant where he followed his lifelong passion. Over the years, Dino has encouraged others to follow in his success of being a restaurateur.

He was always willing to help his friends and family in their business ventures even if it led them away from the family business. Dino was proud to be a small business owner and encourage everyone to follow in his footsteps.

Most recently he was proud to help the Racine Police Department with the new 16th St Community Oriented Policing House. Dino was proud to donate food to the volunteers and the after school program. He was always active in giving back to the community.

In 2011 he helped organize an event to help support Julian Thomas School and Safe Haven of Racine. He was proud to make hundreds of gallons of his famous spaghetti sauce that supported many fundraisers over the years including the “Tuesday Optimist Club” and “The Miracle on 16th St.” That supported Julian Thomas School of Racine.

His generosity went far beyond his neighborhood.  He was an active supporter with his family of “We Are Racine”. On the night of the Jacato fire Dino made sure the first responders and residents were taken care of with a “truck load” of pizzas and sodas. In June of 2012 Dino with the support of his friends and family made and donated picnic tables for W.A.R.

His Family will continue to help these organizations in the future in Dino and Grace’s Honor.

Dino was loved by so many in the community.

Since 1955, Dino has believed in serving the best quality food and he knows that without your support and the help of his family, none of what you have been reading about would have been possible.

Surviving Dino  are his children Rosalie (Jim) Ferderer of Racine: Vivian (Leopoldo Sacripanti) Dominici of Fano Italy, and Peter Dominici of Racine; grandchildren Michael J. David J and Amanda Rose Ferderer, Michelle and Jacqueline Sacripanti; Nika M. amd Dino J. Dominici and his only brother Leonardo Dominici living in Fano Italy. Also so many dear friends, Former employees and customers from the restaurant.


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