Marcello Troia, the co-owner of Rosa’s Pizza in Middle Village, passed away suddenly at the age of 48 over the first weekend of October. The youngest among his siblings and co-owners, Troia suffered a cardiac arrhythmia.
Troia was the first member of his family to be born in the United States after his parents and siblings moved to the country from Sicily, Italy, in the early 1970s. After his family established the first Rosa’s Pizza in Maspeth in 1975, Troia eventually began working there when he was a boy, quickly becoming part of the family business. Today, Rosa’s Pizza has nine locations across Brooklyn and Queens, including the one found at 75-59 Metropolitan Ave. in Middle Village.
Upon learning about Troia’s passing, several community members turned up to pay their respects. According to Troia’s widow Glenda, there was a 100-car procession going to his funeral. She credits his kindness and selflessness to those in the community for such an immense outpouring.
“He was a very nice person, very giving,” Glenda said. “He touched a lot of people with his kindness. He’d often help people that he saw struggling. I’d never been to a funeral where I saw as many men crying as my husband’s. A lot of people miss his love and respect.”
Marcello and Glenda Troia had been married for 23 years. They have three children, ages 11, 13 and 14.
Glenda provided some insight into the kindness her husband displayed in the area. She talked about an elderly woman living down the block who would frequently order food for delivery. Since she would sometimes have trouble leaving her home, Troia would often offer to run errands for the women and deliver those goods to her with the food she ordered. His love for children and the elderly made him no stranger to offering to help them.
“Marcello thought that everybody should pay [kindness] forward,” Glenda said. “He taught our kids that. He taught them a good lesson. I hope all those he touched can also pay it forward.”