Donato Pasquale Latessa passed away on February 19, 2019, in Pompano Beach, FL.
He was surrounded by his cherished family, wife, Victoria (Fatica) Latessa, son, Nathaniel
and daughter-in-law Emily, daughter Alexandra Latessa-Vorvolakos and son-in-law Vasilios.
Don was born in 1926 in Collinwood, OH into a family of 8 children. All are deceased except for
his youngest brother, Gerald (Angela) who lives in FL. Don’s first wife of 37 years, Laverne Mencini,
predeceased him. He leaves behind his loving wife, Victoria, to whom he was married 32 years.
Don lead an incredible life. In his senior year of high school, he enlisted in the Navy and
served his country for 2 years in the Philippines. After discharge, he worked at multiple
jobs while he attended Fenn College of Engineering. He went on to purchase the company he
worked for, Regal Diamond Grinding Wheel. In 1956, he patented a Flexible Abrasive Grinding Wheel.
He further expanded his business and developed Finishers Supply Company. At 46 years old, he sold
his companies and went into horse racing. He served on the Board of Directors at the Painesville
Fairgrounds for many years. He was the owner, trainer, and driver of many harness horses
before becoming a Judge at multiple racetracks including the Meadowlands, Rosecroft,
Delmarva Downs and Garden State Park. In 1989, he presided over the only 2-horse dead heat in the
history of the Hambletonian Race. He was highly respected and admired by all who knew him
through business, racing, family, friends and life.
Don embraced life. He was an avid sports man and enjoyed bowling, hunting, fishing and golfing.
As a horseman, he cared for and drove his own harness race horses. He was a pilot and loved to
fly his airplanes. He also loved to sing, dance, read, cook and learn anything new.
Most of all, he loved and cherished his wife, children and grandchildren.
A farewell will be held at THE VITANTONIO-PREVITE FUNERAL HOME, 5236 MAYFIELD RD.,
LYNDHURST, (EAST OF RICHMOND RD.) THURSDAY, MARCH 28, 2019 from 3PM to 8PM.
Mass will be held 10:00am Friday March 29, 2019 at Holy Redeemer Church, 15712 Kipling Ave,
Cleveland, (PLEASE MEET AT CHURCH). In lieu of flowers, send donations to
St Jude’s Hospital for Children.