Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Attorney Eugene C. Damiano, IALA Co-Founder, Dies at 80
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Los Angeles attorney Eugene C. “Buddy” Damiano, 80, a founder of the Italian American Lawyers Assn., has died, it was announced Saturday at the IALA’s annual installation dinner.
The group was founded in 1977 by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mario Clinco, Damiano, and attorneys Paul Caruso, August “Gene” Carloni, Michael Angelo Pontrelli, and Carl “Tony” Capozzola. Of the six, only Pontrelli and Capozzola remain alive.
Capozzola told those assembled at the San Antonio Winery that of the founders, Damiano “was the guy who held us all together,” also remarking:
“He was the one that was always smiling. He had the great attitude.”
Capozzola related that “Gene wanted to be here tonight.” But, he informed the group, he died Jan. 25 “in the company of his family, after receiving the last rites from the Roman Catholic Church.”
Damiano’s widow, Jan, daughter Andrea Thomas, and son Gene Damiano Jr. stood and were introduced, followed by those in attendance standing and joining in a toast to the deceased founder.
Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich, appearing before the group to present certificates to the new officers, termed Damiano’s death “a big loss to this club, a big loss to this city, and to me personally.”
Damiano was admitted to practice in 1969. He received his law degree from Southwestern Law School and his undergraduate degree from the University of Miami.
He is survived by children Andrea Thomas, Gino Damiano, Alexandria Damiano, and two grandchildren, Matteo and Gianna Thomas.
Mass and burial are scheduled for 11 a.m. on Saturday at San Fernando Mission Rey at 15151 San Fernando Mission Blvd. in Mission Hills.
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