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Katherine Pizzolanti, 92, operated Farnham Hotel ; June 18, 1918 -- Dec. 19, 2010

Katherine Pizzolanti, who owned Pizzolanti's Farnham Hotel, died Sunday in her Derby home. She was 92.

Born in Silver Creek, the former Katherine Vara was known simply as Kate to some and "Gramma Kate" to others. Mrs. Pizzolanti started as a waitress in the restaurant of Pizzolanti's Farnham Hotel, working for her in-laws who had started the business in 1916. After her mother-in-law died, Mrs. Pizzolanti took over as head chef and became sole owner of the business in 1969. She ran it until her retirement in 2004, at age 86.

According to her family, Mrs. Pizzolanti often encouraged her customers to "sit long and talk much," as they waited for her to finish preparing home-cooked spaghetti-and-meatball dinners, accompanied by a salad that never skimped on garlic. She often entertained her customers with stories, and she enjoyed traveling across the country, her family added.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Wednesday in St. Anthony's Catholic Church, 417 Commercial St., Farnham.

[mcneil]

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