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Michael A. LoVullo, mechanic called 'Mr. Smarties' Jan. 22, 1923 -- Oct. 23, 2008

For more than 30 years, Michael A. LoVullo handed out Smarties candies -- along with nuggets of his vast sports knowledge -- to the players, coaches and referees at Canisius High School and other schools in the Monsignor Martin League, earning him the nickname "Mr. Smarties."

Mr. LoVullo died Thursday in Sisters Hospital. He was 85.

Born in Pittston, Pa., he lived much of his life in the Town of Tonawanda.

He worked as a master technician for the Hunt Chevrolet dealership, where he had a loyal clientele who would specifically ask for him to work on their cars.

When his late son, Martin, played for Canisius High's basketball team, Mr. LoVullo attended every practice session and game. He began bringing little candies -- tiny Lifesavers -- to show support for all of the players. It would soon become a tradition.

When the mini Lifesavers candies were discontinued, his wife set out to find a replacement and came upon Smarties. The little packages of pastel-colored sweet-tart candies were a hit.

Soon, players on opposing teams started asking Mr. LoVullo if they could have some candy, too, so Mr. LoVullo began giving them Smarties. The players at Canisius, St. Joseph's, Cardinal O'Hara, St. Mary's of Lancaster, St. Francis and Turner-Carroll would all eagerly look for Mr. LoVullo's arrival at their games.

It got to the point that Mr. LoVullo was handing out 60 pounds of Smarties per year -- 20 pounds per season per sport.

Mr. LoVullo also coached young children at St. Andrew's Country Day School.

Mr. LoVullo is survived by his wife of 54 years, the former Loretta LaRussa; and three brothers, Angelo M., Joseph T. and Patrick R.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 11 a.m. Tuesday in St. Timothy Church, 565 East Park Drive, Town of Tonawanda. Prayers will be said at 10:15 in Greco Funeral Home, 2909 Elmwood Ave., Kenmore.


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