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Paul Angelo LoGiudice, 1958-2011: Ex-Toledoan designed products for cookware firm

Paul Angelo LoGiudice, a former Old West End resident who designed for Calphalon Cookware, died Sept. 20 in his home in Atlanta. He was 52.

An employee of the upscale cookware maker since 1987, he relocated to Atlanta in 2008 after its parent company, Newell Rubbermaid, moved the company headquarters there from Perrysburg Township.

His sister JoEl LoGiudice said he died in his sleep. She said the cause of death is unknown and the family is awaiting results of an autopsy.

According to his family, Mr. LoGiudice's influence in product development and design led to 27 cookware patents for Calphalon, including a handle that stays cool on the stovetop.

He also spearheaded partnerships with department and speciality stores to get the Calphalon product line on shelves and available to consumers.

"Paul was an incredible wonderful employee. He was just a great employee," said Sara Jane DeHoff, widow of Calphalon founder Ron Kasperzak.

A native of West Toledo, Mr. LoGiudice attended St. Jude School and Central Catholic High School. However, he transferred to Rogers High School so that he could graduate in 1976, one year ahead of classmates, his sister said.

Mr. LoGiudice worked at the Toledo Zoo as a teenager and had pets that included pigeons, mourning doves, and finches. "He was very artistic growing up and very much in tune in the way things were arranged," Ms. LoGiudice said.

Mr. LoGiudice, who was one of eight children, didn't go to college. Instead, he moved to Florida to work in retail. He was a manager for a gourmet specialty shop before becoming a sales representative who designed and created displays for cookware shows and cooking demonstrations.

He moved to Los Angeles in 1986 to work for Now Designs, which made table linens and fabric place mats. He moved back to Toledo in 1987 to work for Calphalon.

Mr. LoGiudice bought a home on Glenwood Avenue in the Old West End and became active in the neighborhood historic preservation group. His home also became the venue for an annual Halloween party that eventually became a fund-raising event.

Sue Postal, a close friend who lived with Mr. LoGiudice in the three-story home, said money was donated to a different charity every year. "It began with 20 to 30 people, and well over 1,000 people attended the last party. They just got progressively bigger and bigger every year," she said. She said he had a knack for drawing people with different backgrounds and interests together.

"He could get the oddest group of people together and everyone felt like they belonged. It was one of those unique gifts he had. You never knew who you might run into a Paul's house," Ms. Postal said.

JoEl LoGiudice said her brother was the driving force in getting his siblings together for family reunions and cookouts.

"They always became these huge feasts," she said. "He always said if it's worth doing it is worth overdoing. That was very much his mantra in everything he did." She said he coordinated a five-day trip to Yellowstone National Park in June for himself, his 88-year-old father, and three of his four brothers.

Surviving are his father, Joseph LoGiudice, sisters, JoEl LoGiudice, Maria Elena Gladfelter, and Vicki Valley, and brothers, Bill, Joseph, Vito, and Francis LoGiudice.

The family has scheduled a service to celebrate Mr. LoGiudice's life Oct. 22 from noon to 3 p.m. in the Glass Pavilion at the Toledo Museum of Art.

The family requests tributes to the Agnes Reynolds Jackson Arboretum in the Old West End, the Toledo Museum of Art, Green Initiatives - Green for You Campaign, Atlanta Botanical Gardens, or Youth Pride of Atlanta.

-- Mark Reiter

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