Lawrence D'Abate

Obituary of Lawrence D'Abate

Lawrence D’Abate, age 90 passed into the loving arms of Jesus, on January 19, 2022 in Plain City, Ohio. Known by all his family and friends as Larry, he leaves behind a legacy of service to his country, his community, his friends and especially his family. Larry was born on August 10, 1931 to Lucy and Felix D’Abate in Painesville, Ohio. He and his seven siblings spent their early years working in their parents local grocery store, D’Abate’s Grocery, on 566 S. State St., Painesville, Ohio. It was here where he developed a strong work ethic and a love for serving people. Larry graduated from Harvey High School in 1949. In January of 1951 he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps and earned the rank of Sergeant before his honorable discharge in 1954. His basic training was at Paris Island, S.C. and was stationed at Camp Lejeune, N.C., where he served as a Heavy Equipment Operator for Motor Transport. While enlisted he met his bride, Joanne, on a blind date in 1953. Two weeks after leaving the Marine Corps, Larry and Joanne were married on Feb. 6, 1954 in Winston Salem, N.C. After living in Painesville for a year, they settled in Madison, Ohio and opened their own D’Abate’s Grocery on Easter weekend, 1955, and soon began their family. Larry served his community in many effective ways. He became active with the YMCA when his children began playing in the organization’s baseball leagues. He was one of several people who helped bring the Hubbard Road YMCA to the Madison community. Here he faithfully served for 37 years as a board member. While Larry enjoyed many sports, baseball was his favorite. He also enjoyed bowling with Joanne on various leagues in their early years. Most neighborhood kids knew they could count on Larry as all-time pitcher and quarterback for backyard baseball and football games. Larry was a member of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church for over 40 years. He was also a charter member of The American Legion Post 601 and Jaycees. Larry and his wife, Joanne, owned and operated D’Abate’s Grocery on Chapel Road in Madison from 1955-1975. After selling their Madison store, they soon purchased D’Abate’s Leroy Market from Larry’s brother, Richard, that very same year. Larry and Joanne officially retired in 1993 after working side by side for 38 years in the family business that supported their family of 7 children. Larry will be deeply missed by his loving wife of 68 years, Joanne, of Plain City, Ohio; his sisters, Eva Kinney and Joanne Portaro and his brother, Douglas D’Abate. Seven children will miss their father dearly. Donna Schultz (Austin, TX), Tony (Barb) D’Abate (Mentor, OH), Diane (Mark) Casey (Dublin, OH), Douglas (Nealie) D’Abate (Chagrin Falls, OH), Dan (Lisa) D’Abate (Madison, OH), Daryl D’Abate (Madison, OH) and Denise (Dan) Harless (Plain City, OH). They are grateful for the many memories and lifelong friends made at their grocery stores over the years. Larry was especially proud of his 21 grandchildren: Deidra (Schultz) Smith, Kaity (Schultz) Dickerson, Heather (D’Abate) Shockley, Maria (D’Abate) Gerstenberger, David D’Abate, Hilary Barnett, Christine (D’Abate) Gonzalez, Von Houk, Nick D’Abate, Joey D’Abate, Danielle (D’Abate) Padilla, Robin D’Abate, Kristin Keller, Jessica Kellhofer, Braden D’Abate, Carson D’Abate, Benjamin Harless, Matthew Harless, Stephen Harless, Annie Harless and Gracie Harless. He will also be missed by his 13 great-grandchildren. Larry was preceded in death by his parents, Lucy and Felix D’Abate (Painesville, OH), and siblings: Mary Bevington, James D’Abate, Dominic D’Abate and Richard D’Abate. Visitation will be at Johnson Funeral Home, 368 Mentor Ave., Painesville OH on Sunday, January 30th from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Service will be at the funeral home on Monday, January 31st at 11:00 a.m. Burial immediately following at Riverside Cemetery, Painesville, OH. The family wishes to extend their gratitude to: The Inn at Library Way in Hilliard, Ohio and Capital City Hospice in Columbus, Ohio. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to: Madison YMCA or Capital City Hospice, Columbus, Ohio Online condolences and directions available at