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Rosario "Ross" Tribunella

May 19, 1942 - January 4, 2022

U.S. Veteran

Burial Date January 8, 2022

Funeral Home Layton Funeral Home

Obituary Viewed 791 times

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Rosario “Ross” Tribunella, 79, of Far Hills, pizzaman extraordinaire, passed away on Tuesday, January 4, 2022 at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset in Somerville after a long, fiercely fought battle with COPD.

He was born in Collesano, Sicily, Italy on May 19, 1942, the eldest son of the late Mariano and Rosa Corsello Tribunella.  He was born and raised in Collesano until the age of 12 when he came to the USA in 1954 with his parents and three younger siblings.

The family settled in Brooklyn, NY and remained there for the next 13 years.  During his years in Brooklyn, Ross became an owner of Elegante Pizzeria which is still in operation to this day.

In 1967, Ross moved to New Jersey where he would live for the rest of his life.  He settled in Scotch Plains where he would live and work for the next 20 years.  It was during this time that Ross became legendary as an owner of Alfonso’s Pizzeria and then Mamma Rosa’s Restaurant.  In 1986, he brought his amazing culinary talents to Somerville creating dishes at Somerville Pizza and Abbondante Restaurant.

Ross was a proud naturalized US citizen and was proud to serve his country for 4 years in the US Army.  During his army service in the mid 1960’s, he spent 13 months in South Korea which was one of the greatest experiences of his life.

For all those who were blessed to know Ross, he will always be remembered as a beloved, larger than life, colorful character who had a true zest for life.  He was kind, thoughtful, generous, loving and a man of enormous faith in God.  He was a superb cook, specializing in Southern Italian cuisine and pizza making.  He loved to cook for others and greatly enjoyed watching them devour his creations.  He loved to travel, garden and feed the birds.  He also loved cars and motorsports.  But his greatest loves were always his faith, his family and his friends.  He would want our tears to be replaced with laughter of memories of his always humorous nature.

Ross is survived by his loving wife of 30 years, Carol Olson Tribunella; three brothers, Louis (Linda), Joseph and Mario; four sisters-in-law, Rachel, Josephine, Meropi and Maria; fourteen nieces and nephews, Maryrose, Gina, Michael (Tracey), Robert (Claudia), Rosanna, Anthony, Roman, Cora, Isabel, Priscilla, Judah, George, Gianna and Georgia; many great nieces and nephews, great great nieces and nephews; and countless friends.

A private entombment service was held on Saturday, January 8th at Somerset Hills Memorial Park in Basking Ridge.  A celebration of life service will be held at a future date.  In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN  38105.  Arrangements are by Layton Funeral Home, 475 Main Street, Bedminster.