Ray Gianelli, founder of Ray’s Formal Wear on New Hyde Park Road in Franklin Square, died on March 22. He was 92.
Gianelli emigrated to America from Italy when he was 13 years-old. Aspiring to live the American dream, he learned English and decided to work for himself. Before opening Ray’s Formal Wear on May 10, 1956, Gianelli owned a coat factory in Elmont. The Franklin Square tuxedo rental stop was family-run until 1999.
Gianelli moved to Farmingville in 1993, yet the impact he had on neighboring businesses had already been felt. He will be remembered by community members and fellow shop owners as a lively, funny and successful gentleman who came to the country with a dream — and made sure it was realized.
Gianelli was the beloved husband of the late Catherine. He is survived by his three daughters, Theresa Catalioti, Maryane Heinz and Donna Fortunato, their husbands, Nino, Adam and George, respectively; grandchildren Tina Broderick, Matthew Fortunato and Anthony and Christopher Cassese; and great-grandchildren Catherine, Grace and Emily Broderick, and Cole and Annabelle Cassese.