Tony Stempeck, Guardian of a Restaurant’s Legacy, Dies at 63

first_imgAround a decade ago, Mr. Stempeck devised a way to determine what exactly went into the dishes.“I went down to the restaurant, weighed every canister of spice in the kitchen, she made the sauce, I reweighed the canisters, and then we knew,” he told The Reno Gazette Journal.- Advertisement – After the death of Mr. Stempeck’s mother, Ms. Kramer ordered business cards for him inscribed with her old title: owner-operator.They arrived the day Mr. Stempeck died. One night while working at Casale’s he took the purse of Janet D’Amico, a customer, and hid it behind the bar to keep her around. They had a whirlwind courtship, married in 1990 and divorced in 2003. Ms. D’Amico died in 2007.In addition to his daughter Haley, Mr. Stempeck is survived by another daughter, Cierra Marin; two brothers, Charlie and John Stempeck; three sisters, Madaline Zanoni, Maria Rogers and Helen Jayme; and his partner, Lynne Clark.A devoted father, Mr. Stempeck ordered wood chips and top soil for the construction of a playground at his daughters’ elementary school. He volunteered in the school’s front office, as a crossing guard, at bake sales, at spaghetti buffet fund-raisers. Casale’s regulars, accustomed to the Tony who poured shots of Jägermeister, found it hard to believe, but for two years running he was parent of the year.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – For the first time, the Casale’s family had written recipes.“We’ve been raised to take the restaurant over,” Mr. Stempeck added. “It’s a part of keeping Old Reno alive.”Anthony Patrick Stempeck was born on March 2, 1957, in Reno. His mother and his father, Casimir Stempeck — known by his Navy nickname, Steamboat — ran Casale’s, which Ms. Stempeck’s maternal grandparents had founded as a grocery store in 1937. Tony grew up in a house out back, so close that he could leap from his front door into the back door of the restaurant. He graduated from Sparks High School in 1975.- Advertisement –last_img

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