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Joseph J. Rosato, 80, owner of Rosato's Hotel in Lyndonville for 50 years, died Saturday (Sept. 19, 1998) in Medina Memorial Hospital after a brief illness.

Born in Albion, Rosato graduated from Albion High School. During his high school years, he competed in baseball, basketball, track, wrestling and boxing. He remained an avid sportsman.

He also took pride in recalling that in 1936, he was quarterback on the team that included halfback Tom Colella when Albion's football team won the Monroe County and Western Conference championships. Colella later became an All-America star at Canisius College and played for the Detroit Lions, Cleveland Browns and Buffalo Bills.

Rosato remained an enthusiastic supporter of many local and national sports events and organizations. The Joseph J. Rosato Sports Scholarship Fund has been set up at M&T Bank in Lyndonville.

After graduation, Rosato enlisted in the Navy with the intention of making it his career. During World War II, he served in both Europe and the Pacific and achieved the rank of chief petty officer.

Deciding to return to civilian life, he bought the old Lyndonville Hotel on North Main Street in Lyndonville and operated it ever since.

Rosato had several longtime employees, including Roger Thiel, who worked for him for 40 years, and Gert Goldsmith, who was with Rosato 38 years. Rosato took delight in his daily breakfast meetings at the hotel, where he and friends would discuss the local news and "solve the world's problems."

He married Alice Cardone in 1961. Before her health declined, they enjoyed traveling to California, Arizona and Nevada and to their winter home in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. She died in 1996.

Rosato was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion and the Rotary, and was an original member of the Orleans County Restaurant & Liquor Dealers Association. He also was a charter member of Shelridge Country Club.

He was a member of St. Mary's Catholic Church.

Survivors include his son, William of Albion, and a grandson.

Prayers will be said at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday in Cooper Funeral Home, 215 W. Center St. A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 in St. Mary's Church, West Avenue and Eagle Street. Interment will be at Boxwood Cemetery.

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