Sentinel & Enterprise Fitchburg, MA
Wednesday, January 19th, 2005
LEOMINSTER -- Robert Paul Fusco, 62, of Leominster, and Dania Beach, Fla., passed away on Wednesday, Jan. 12, in Dania Beach.
Born in Leominster on April 20, 1942, he was the son of Domenic and Victoria (Iacaboni) Fusco.
While at Notre Dame High School he played varsity football; for his senior year, he transferred to Leominster High School. For his collegiate career, Bob attended the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. on a football scholarship, graduating in 1965 with a degree in business. Between his schooling and his experiences at the Varsity Inn, a local campus venue, Mr. Fusco found what would become a lifelong passion for the restaurant and nightclub business.
In 1967, Mr. Fusco acquired the former Fairmont Café in Fitchburg. From this humble beginning he continued to execute his business strategy to build a network of properties serving the greater central Massachusetts area and beyond. Over the years his enterprise grew to a high point of 15 properties, including local area venues the Beef & Beer, Boomers, the Cinema Lounge, the Tiki Hut and Scampi’s (now Border Grille) at the Mall at Whitney Field, the Thunderbird Rib Room, Hubbardston Inn, the Buttercup, Hits and Time Out in Worcester, and the Sitzmark I at the base of Mount Wachusett. Beyond central Massachusetts, Mr. Fusco’s business ventures included the Sitzmark II and the Compass Lounge on Cape Cod and the High Seas Restaurant in Bradenton, Fla. Venues in Salisbury Beach and Hampton Beach rounded out his primary business ventures.
He also served on the board of directors of the F.I.A. Credit Union in Fitchburg.
At the peak of the business, Mr. Fusco led a team of over 200 people. But, as busy as he was, there never was a time when he wasn’t there for someone who might need a helping hand. His generosity and caring were a key but a silent part of his character.
His personality alone drew people to him. We all have a great deal to be thankful for in having the opportunity to have been part of his life. He lived life large, and his passion for it and how it translated into our lives has made all of us the richer. Bob’s spirit lives on in the hearts and minds of his family and his friends. From the very beginning Bob lived life fully and completely. His love for his family and friends was boundless.
Mr. Fusco is survived by his wife of 35 years, Elaine (Cocci) Fusco of Leominster; two daughters, Lynn Harding of Leominster and Jennifer Fusco of Templeton; five brothers, Jim Fusco of Leominster, John Fusco of Apple Valley, Calif., Ed Fusco of West Townsend and Steve Fusco of Atlanta, Ga.; two grandchildren, Robert and Michelle Brodeur of Leominster; a great-grandchild, Cali DuPuis, who will remember her great-grandfather as “Da”; five nephews, eight nieces, two great-nephews and five great-nieces. He will also be greatly missed by his loving pets, including “Nitty,” his constant companion. His sister, Francis Leger of Augusta, Ga., passed away in 2001.
FUSCO -- On Jan. 12, Robert Paul Fusco, 62, of Leominster and Dania Beach, Fla. Family and Friends are invited to a gathering to be held in his honor at the Border Grille at the Mall at Whitney Field on Sunday, Jan. 23, from noon to 4 p.m. Donations may be made in Bob’s honor either to the MSPCA-Angell, 350 South Huntington Ave., Jamaica Plain, MA, 02130; or to the American Cancer Society, PO Box 102454, Atlanta, GA 30368-2454.