Nancy Palese, co-founder of namesake pizzerias, dies at 87

  • Nancy Palese, the namesake of the Nancy's Pizza chain, poses for a photograph at the Niles restaurant in 2012. Palese died Jan. 20.

    Nancy Palese, the namesake of the Nancy's Pizza chain, poses for a photograph at the Niles restaurant in 2012. Palese died Jan. 20. Chicago Sun-Times file photo

 
 
Updated 1/24/2022 11:07 PM

Nancy Palese, an Italian immigrant who, along with her late husband, Rocco, helped put deep-dish pizza on the Chicago map, died on Jan. 20. She was 87.

Palese, born Annunziata Scarano on Feb. 28, 1934 in the southern Italian town of Brindisi-di-Montagna, immigrated to Chicago in 1969 along with her husband (whom she wed in 1948) and their children Ted, Rose and Marisa.

 

The first official Nancy's Pizza restaurant opened in Harwood Heights in 1974 on Lawrence Avenue. Several other locations would follow, including pizzerias in Roselle, South Elgin, Geneva, Woodridge, Crystal Lake, Island Lake and Aurora.

• For the full report, visit chicago.suntimes.com.

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