Happy Birthday to Alfred Michael Sforzo

La figlia e la nipote di Alfred Sforzo augurano un felicissimo 80° compleanno al capostipite della famiglia. Nel corso della sua carriera, Alfred  è stato conducente di camion di birra,   proprietario di un bar e di un ristorante, ufficiale giudiziario e ha ricoperto cariche politiche a livello comunale. Nel tempo libero, è stato anche un allenatore sportivo ed un membro molto attivo della parrocchia di San Rocco e dell’Unione Cattolica Sante (SCU).

In the year 1937, some people may remember that the New York Yankees won the World Series, Byron Nelson won the Masters Tournament and Franklin D. Roosevelt was the President of the United States. The year 1937 is memorable for me, because on October 26, my dad, Alfred Michael Sforzo, was born.

Al, as he is known to so many, was the youngest of seven children in a big Italian family. He attended St. Rocco’s Elementary School and West Technical High School. In 1955, he became the wrestling state champion at 139 pounds. In 1956, he married his German sweetheart, Ruth Ann Dietz, and they recently celebrated their 61st wedding anniversary. They are surrounded by the love of their five children (plus one angel in heaven), nine grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

Throughout his career, he drove the beer trucks, owned a bar and became a personal bailiff where he retired after 28 years of service. He also shared many years of ownership of Sforzo’s Family Restaurant in Cleveland. He was always involved in politics, even when he retired he became the Recreation Commissioner in the city of Brooklyn. In the midst of all his jobs, he still managed to coach sports, attend his children’s games and become a very active member of St. Rocco’s Parish. Today, he remains a member of the Sante Catholic Union (SCU) where he has been an active participant for over 60 years.

I am the youngest child, and although I look more like my German mother, I always say that I am my father’s daughter. Growing up, I have very fond memories of my dad taking me everywhere with him. We went to the movies, the grocery store, the dentist, making meatballs for wedding soup at the restaurant, days off from school spent at his work, trips to Walt Disney World, and most importantly - Church. My favorite activities were setting up for functions of the SCU such as dances and family picnics. I have always said I was going to be the first woman in the SCU, just because my dad is in it.  

Now, as an adult, I reflect on my childhood memories and they always bring a tear to my eye. When I had my daughter, Taylor, he took her all over just as he did to me when I was a child. He taught her how to play basketball, baseball and the importance of family and God. She became the “apple of his eye” and I could not have been happier.  

Dad, even though I am all grown up, I will always be a “daddy’s girl.” You have guided me, supported me and loved me unconditionally. I learned the value of being a hard worker and the importance of love and family from you. Happy 80th Birthday, Dad. I wish you many more years of health, love and happiness. And I thank YOU for all you have taught me and provided for me, to be the hard worker, daughter, wife, and mother that I am today. I love you, Dad.

Grampa, no words can describe how thankful I am to have been blessed with you as a grandfather. I have so many wonderful memories with you from shooting hoops in the backyard, going to church and eating fruit with my breakfast every morning at your house. Thank you for being my father figure, my Grampa and one of my best friends. I love you more than you’ll ever know. Happy 80th Birthday!