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Beggars Pizza Founder Dies at 55

The visitation for Peter Garetto is scheduled to start at noon on Wednesday.

The first date between Peter Garetto and his wife, then Cheryl Metzger, happened at a place in Oak Forest called Tiffany's in 1979.

Nearly two decades later, Garetto bought the building where their first date took place on Cicero Avenue and opened the Beggars Pizza location.

"I didn’t really like him too much at first," Cheryl said, recalling his outwardly intimidating personality. She worked for him prior to the two dating.

"But then you find out that he’s a big teddy bear.”

Peter, founder and co-owner of the pizza franchise, has died. He was 55.

Peter also is survived by his four children, Angelo, Susan, Peter M. and Allison; his mother Janet; siblings Laurance H. (Mary), Laura (Rich) O'Brien, Susan (Dave) Hoffman, Mary Garetto and Janet (Ray) Garetto-Cantelo J.D; mother-in-law Inez Metzger and many other relatives. He joins his father Angelo and his father-in-law Robert Metzger.

A 1974 Marist High School graduate, Peter was a past president of the Builders Tee Club, past Vice-Presidents of the Homer Athletic Club, former member of the Good Fellas Golf Club and a former coach of the Homer Heat and H.A.C. baseball team, according to his obituary.

Visitation is from noon to 10 p.m. Wednesday at Modell Funeral Home, 12641 W. 143rd St. in Homer Glen.

The funeral service is set for 9 a.m. Thursday at Richard J. Modell Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 12641 W. 143rd St. in Homer Glen. Mass will be at 10 a.m. at St. Bernard Church.

Donations to the Multiple Myeloma Foundation at www.themmrf.org are asked for in lieu of flowers.

has locations in Oak Forest, Orland Park, Oak Lawn, New Lenox, Mokena and more than a dozen places. The Oak Forest spot opened in 1998.

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Tinley Park Mom August 01, 2012 at 02:38 PM
so sorry for your loss. Love your Pizza and the kindness that was always served
KMK August 01, 2012 at 09:02 PM
sorry to hear this, sounds like a great guy :( My prayers with the family.
Sara Heklowski August 01, 2012 at 10:43 PM
I just reapplied after 10 years to go back to beggars for some extra side money. I remember Peter and how nice he was to everyone.The company always treated me well and I'm gonna miss him like many other people will! 55 is just to young! God bless him!
Tom Cunningham August 02, 2012 at 03:24 AM
My condolences to the Garetto Family! Much to young! Gave so much! Thank you Peter! Tom Cunningham Red's
Cindy Davis Meldrum August 18, 2012 at 07:11 PM
I was in shock and sad by the news I heard today that I had to search for myself on the Internet. I started working at the age of 15 for Peter & Larry at the Blue Island location. I remember Peter always being the silly one but always thought of them being great bosses. My heart goes out to his wife and family. My thoughts and prayers will be with you. Cindy (Davis) Meldrum

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