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Democrat & Chronicle Obituary text

Obituary & Article in Irondequoit Post text

Original story from Rnews text

Story from WXXI News - text

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Article / Obituary from Irondequoit Post

Jesse Guido, owner of Pasta Villa restaurant

Donate to Golisano Children's HospitalBy Linda Quinlan
Messenger Post
Thu Sep 06, 2007, 05:14 PM EDT
Irondequoit, N.Y.

Friends are still "numb," family is devastated, and the community is incredulous.

To a person, everyone who knew beloved Irondequoit restaurateur Jesse Guido speaks about his welcoming personality and smile, his warm and caring heart and his overwhelming generosity.

"He was one of the greatest guys I'll ever know," said best friend Jamie Zolnierowski. "He just gave and gave and gave ... He'd give you the shirt off his back without question; and he never asked anything in return."

"He was one of the most generous individuals I've ever known in my life," echoed Irondequoit Police Officer Jim Frascati. "He brought people together; he was a professional at keeping people together in a positive way."

Jessie Guido, owner of Irondequoit's popular Guido's Pasta Villa at 1313 E. Ridge Road for the past 15 years, died suddenly and unexpectedly while on vacation in St. Pete Beach, Fla. Monday, Sept. 3, 2007. He was 42.

Zolnierowski, who was with him in Florida, said Mr. Guido had "the perfect day" last Thursday, Aug. 30, doing what he loved to do.

His friend had missed his flight that day to Florida and was rerouted to Orlando, he recalled, but took it all in stride, arriving and renting a red Mustang convertible to drive the about two hours to meet his friends.

They went shopping, stopped for fast food, fished off a pier in Tampa Bay until 11:30 p.m., and stayed up past midnight to wish Zolnierowski a "happy birthday."

"That was the last time I ever heard him speak back to me," Zolnierowski said, choking back tears.

When Mr. Guido awoke Friday morning, Zolnierowski said he was breathing irregularly, then stopped breathing. Paramedics were able to get his heart restarted at the hospital, "but the damage was already done," he said.

Friends and family still aren't sure of the cause of Mr. Guido's death. The family chose not to do an autopsy.

"It was just unexpected; it's a shock," said his father, Chic Guido, Tuesday. "He was such a giving person."

"He gave his heart and soul to everybody," agreed friend Lisa Ferrin. "All I can think is of all the people's lives he touched, not just in Rochester, but everywhere."

He'll miss the guidance Mr. Guido provided, said Rich Pagano, who added that they had been friends for 18 years.

"He welcomed me to the Ridge," where they both had businesses at the time, "and we've been friends ever since," Pagano said. "He was a friend, father and confidant all in one."

Pagano said Mr. Guido grew up at 18 Alandale Drive in the Ogden/Chili area and graduated from McQuaid Jesuit High School.

"He was a very intelligent man," he said.

Mr. Guido went on to earn a degree in marketing from the University of Tampa.

"He was a fanatic about food; he knew he wanted to open a restaurant," Pagano recalled.

Mr. Guido first worked for about two years at the former 2001 of Rochester nightclub in Chili, Zolnierowski said, then spent a total of five years working in and managing the restaurant at the Holiday Inn Airport.

There was a brief stint when his friend tried selling insurance, Zolnierowski said, "but he found out it wasn't for him."

He purchased Irondequoit's Pasta Villa restaurant, renaming it Guido's Pasta Villa, about 15 years ago and relocated to Irondequoit about the same time.

He was known for personally greeting all of his customers and making everyone feel at home.

"He was such an icon; he was Mr. Irondequoit, as far as we're concerned," said Sue Roe, co-owner of Irondequoit's Keenan's restaurant, located not far from Pasta Villa.

She said Mr. Guido often would stop by Keenan's, as she and partner Jim Romano would stop by Pasta Villa.

Romano said that in the more than 15 years he went to Mr. Guido's restaurant, he never ordered anything but the pork chops.

"They're the best I've ever had in my life," Romano said.

Beyond Pasta Villa's food, however, Mr. Guido "brought a lot of joy and laughter to a lot of people," Romano said.

"Every time he'd come in (to Keenan's), he'd light up the whole place," Romano recalled. "It was like a release for him to go to someone else's place."

Irondequoit Police Investigator Steve Rosenbaum said Mr. Guido's death "is a great loss to the community."

"He made us all feel like family," he said. "It (Pasta Villa) was just our home away from home."

Mr. Guido wasn't just a great friend, he added, but also was like a brother.

"But that's just not me," Rosenbaum said. "He was like that to hundreds of local people who went to Pasta Villa."

Mr. Guido was known for "giving back" to the community in a variety of ways, but always quietly.

"He always found time to do something special for someone," Pagano said. "But he didn't like or expect to get something in return ... He was just one of the most giving people out there."

Mr. Guido not only supported children's charities like Golisano Children's Hospital, but also schools, the Irondequoit police department, and even acquaintances in need.

Pagano recalled that when his friend heard about a person he knew who had had a car accident, but had no health insurance, Mr. Guido sent money to help with the hospital bills.

Both the Irondequoit Police Department and the department's police union presented him with awards in 2003.

"Jesse was a great supporter of this department and was respected by almost every officer," said Police Chief Richard Boyan. "He had a special place in our hearts."

Mr. Guido was also recognized by the Irondequoit Chamber of Commerce as both a Business of the Month and Business of the Year in Irondequoit.

Mr. Guido was also one of the most organized people, "right down to packing his suitcase,"  Pagano said. He said Mr. Guido also enjoyed spending time with his family, especially his two children, playing on the computer and fishing when he had the time.

Mr. Guido was the one last Thursday night who went around baiting everyone's fishing lines and taking the fish they caught off the hooks, Zolnierowski said.

"His personality was just one of a kind," he said.

Zolnierowski said Mr. Guido also loved to entertain, and would often show up at a party with bubbles or kites for everyone.

"He loved to shop at the dollar store," he laughed.

Zolnierowski, who is a bartender on Saturday nights at Pasta Villa, said one of Mr. Guido's hobbies was chess.

"And he was an excellent player," he said with a chuckle. "Out of five games, I'd beat him maybe only once."

He said his friend also loved the outdoors and had a cabin he enjoyed in Allegany County.

Frascati said Mr. Guido also traveled with him to Italy and LasVegas, and was a practical joker.

He recalled the time Mr. Guido had a mask made of him and passed them out around town. "No matter where I was that night, it was me looking at myself," Frascati recalled.

"He was a family man, a businessman and had a great sense of humor," Frascati said. "He worked hard, but he enjoyed life, too."

Calling hours for Mr. Guido will be held from 3 to 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 7, at Dreier-Giltner Funeral Home, 1717 Portland Ave., which also made the arrangements.

His funeral Mass is at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 8, at Christ the King Church, 445 Kings Highway S. Interment will be at Irondequoit Cemetery.

Mr. Guido is survived by his children, son Zachary Guido and daughter Nicollette Guido; his best friend and loving companion, Karen Riola, and her children, Christopher and Stephanie DeFazio; parents, Betty Guido and Chic (Dottie) Guido, all of Irondequoit; brother Frank (Shauna) Guido of Irondequoit; niece and nephew, Juliette and Frank Guido, of Webster; and many friends, especially his beloved "gang."

In lieu of flowers, the family is asking that people make donations in Mr. Guido's memory to Strong Children's Center or any children's charity of choice.

©2007 Messenger Post papers. Sept 6, 2007


Democrat & Chronicle Obituary - Sept. 6, 2007

Jesse James Guido

Irondequoit: Monday, September 3, 2007 in St. Pete Beach, FL. Survived by his son, Zachery and daughter, Nicollette Guido; his best friend and loving companion, Karen Riola and her children, Christopher and Stephanie DeFazio; his mother, Betty Guido; father, Chic (Dottie) Guido; brother, Frank (Shauna); grandmother, Carolyn Russo; niece and nephew, Juliette and Frank; aunts, uncles and cousins; several friends and his beloved gang.

Friends may call Friday 3-8 PM at the DREIER-GILTNER FUNERAL HOME, INC, 1717 Portland Ave. (at the corner of Portland Ave. and Ridge Rd. E.). Funeral Mass, Saturday at 11 AM at Christ the King Church. Interment Irondequoit Cemetery. A shuttle service will be available in the Medley Centre Parking Lot, NW corner behind Tim Horton's. In lieu of flowers memorials may be directed to the Strong Children's Center or any Children's Charity of your choice in Jesse's memory.

Published in the Rochester Democrat And Chronicle from 9/6/2007 - 9/7/2007.


Rnews news story - Sept 04. 2007

Irondequoit Restaurant Owner Dies

by Jim Aroune
Published Sep 04, 2007

At one of the Rochester area's most beloved restaurants, they're mourning. One of the owners of Pasta Villa in Irondequoit died suddenly.

Jesse Guido was in Florida last week when he was reportedly stricken by a sudden illness.

Guido died over the weekend. He was 42.

Management at the Pasta Villa, an Italian restaurant on East Ridge Road in Irondequoit, said the Guido family has yet to finalize services.


© 2007 Time Warner Cable, Rochester, NY All Rights Reserved -


WXXI News, Rochester, NY

Popular Irondequoit restaurant owner dies

Peter Iglinski
IRONDEQUOIT, NY (2007-09-05)

Irondequoit Town Supervisor Mary Ellen Heyman calls Jesse Guido a "generous man" and says his death is a loss for the town.

Guido, who operated the Pasta Villa on East Ridge Road for 15 years, became ill on a trip to Florida last weekend and died unexpectedly.

Heyman says Guido was instrumental in organizing an effort to install flags and flowers at intersections along East Ridge Road in Irondequoit . He also sat on the town's Master Plan Committee and helped out with local charitable causes.

Heyman says the restaurant was so popular because Guido treated all his customers like best friends.

Jesse Guido was 42.

© Copyright 2007, WXXI -

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