(1928 - 2018)
Albert "Al" Lorenzoni peacefully departed this world, in his ninetieth year, on January 6, 2018, after having experienced a long and full life of exciting world travels and wonderful family memories, while enriching the lives of countless people along the way. Born in 1928 into a hardworking first generation Italian family, Al grew up in a humble environment as the son of a coal miner in Freeland, Pennsylvania. After serving in the U,S. Army, where he was stationed in Japan, he then worked his way through college and graduated at the top of his class in Civil Engineering at Lehigh. In 1952 he began his thirty-five year career as a cost engineer with Esso, starting in New Jersey, where he met, fell in love with and married Elaine Caradonna. He spent most of his career as the project manager at a variety of Esso refineries, living with Elaine and their family in wonderful places from Kobe to Edmonton. And, wherever Al lived, he made countless new friends and, in doing so, created and nurtured strong community bonds. During his world journey, Al served his community and neighbors in a variety of selfless ways, from school board chair to church council. But his biggest neighborly passion was giving to those in need, from low income children within the community, to fresh air kids from New York City and Newark, to children and families all over the world. It wasn’t unusual for him to befriend a homeless young kid, living on the streets of a city half way across the world, and ultimately end up supporting their long-term education costs. His tireless, selfless and quiet acts of charitable kindness served as an inspiration to all around him. Despite working hard professionally, which led to many career successes, and his unending stewardship to those in need, he always kept his beloved wife and children at the very top of his priority list. His family was the biggest passion in Al’s life, from annual summer camping trips, to weekend family hikes. He did his very best to relate to every single passion in his children’s life. This passion actually intensified with his grandchildren. For the past thirty-six years, "Pop-Pop" never missed being at the hospital after the birth of a grandchild, at their baptisms, at their school plays, trick or treating, at piano recitals, track meets and graduations. He loved being a witness to their joys and successes. In 1985, after having lived in places like England, Japan, Alberta, the Netherlands and Houston, he "retired" to Charlottesville, where he and his wife had bought a worn out old turn-of-the-century home, which they then spent the next decade, with the guidance of Peter, their architect son, and the nail hammering talents of Henry Shifflett, lovingly transferring it into an authentic Elizabethan Tudor masterpiece, modeled after homes they had admired in England. This beautiful home would then be the sight of countless family dinner and birthday celebrations throughout the years. When he was sixty-two years old, Al purchased, with Elaine, another "project", this time a run down three-hundred year old French farm house in a small village in the Normandy countryside. They spent the next twenty three years beautifully and meticulously bringing it back to life, as they worked each summer renovating it with their bare hands. Throughout the years they hosted countless dinners and overnights for their French neighbors, family and visiting friends from all over the world. He is survived by his wife Elaine and their five adult children; Mark, Lisa, Donna, Kim and Peter and their spouses. He also leaves a wonderful legacy of seventeen grandchildren, who range in age from four to thirty-six, and seven great grandchildren. He dearly loved each and every one of them. In addition to Al’s daily walks in the woods with his beloved dogs, two of his greatest indulgences in life were travel and food and he took great joy in sharing those passions by hosting, along with his wife, many of these grandkids at their homes in Charlottesville and France. He also loved treating his grandkids to summer trips to the Grand Canyon, Mexico, Italy and other special places around the world. Always the organized engineer, he was the ultimate cruise director. All who knew him would agree that the world is a better place thanks to Al Lorenzoni. The Lorenzoni family will forever be grateful to the kind and caring staff at Heritage Inn, who nurtured Al as if he was their own father, to his insightful physician, Dr. Kiyoko Asao-Ragosta and to the Reverend Albert Connette and the wonderful congregational family at Olivet Presbyterian, who visited him on a regular basis and warmly welcomed him with open hearts and arms each and every Sunday. A memorial service will be held at Olivet Presbyterian Church on Garth Road Saturday January 13th at 4:30pm. A reception will immediately follow in the Fellowship Hall. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in Al’s name to Olivet Presbyterian Church, 2575 Garth Road, Charlottesville, 22901.