It is with deep and heavy sadness that we announce the unexpected death of Alberto Romolo Comini, 76, who died on September twelfth surrounded by his wife and best friend, Kathleen Giuffra Comini, and by his three treasured children.
Born in 1940 in Imperia, Italy, the oldest of three children of Gesualdo and Iris Comini, Mr. Comini lived the years of his youth in Rome. In 1960, he boarded a boat to New York City to start his life as an American, first in Arlington, Massachusetts, then in New York City, and finally in Montclair, New Jersey, where he and his wife of 55 years have resided ever since.
In 1964, Mr. Comini founded OMNIA Industries, Inc., an architectural hardware manufacturer which, due to the attention and commitment of its owner, became a top brand in the door hardware industry. Its expansion required a move in 1985 from Montclair to OMNIA’s headquarters located today in Cedar Grove, New Jersey. It remains one of the only family owned and operated manufacturers in the industry.
In the manner of a renaissance man, while keeping his focus on OMNIA and its growth, Mr. Comini pursued a myriad of interests. He was a longstanding member of the Italy America Chamber of Commerce (IACC), located in New York City, serving as a board member and President for multiple terms. He dedicated his time, efforts and experience in promoting Italian made products in the United States, believing that both countries benefit from business partnerships.
His love of soccer, especially for his hometown team, A.S. Roma, compelled him, with his brother Piero, to organize Montclair’s first youth soccer team, the Montclair Stars, which today is recognized as Montclair United.
Yet, the arts were of significant importance for him, and influenced Mr. Comini to serve as president of the New School for the Arts in Montclair. After hours, he loved dinners with friends, good food and wines, conversations both profound and light, classical music, jazz, any museum. His passions included gardening, tennis, chess, opera, to name a few.
The beach house in Montauk is where the Comini family has gathered during the summers for more than 30 years. In this ocean setting at the end of Long Island, Mr. Comini continued his pursuits, but all of them came covered with sand and salt water. He and his wife were known to spend afternoons on the beach playing their annual chess tournaments until the sun set.
In addition to his wife Kathleen, Mr. Comini is survived by his three children and their spouses: Denyse and Martin Becker, Jennifer and John Caldarella, Alexander and Stacey Comini; and seven grandchildren who were cherished by their Nonno and were the source of hours of delight: Emily and Andrew Becker; Nicholas and Francesca Caldarella; Matthew, Adria and Justin Comini. He also leaves behind his beloved sister Paola and brother Piero Comini, and their families, as well as his dear cousin, Loretta Summers and her family.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be sent to the Human Needs Food Pantry (9 Label St. Montclair, NJ 07042), and Toni’s Kitchen (73 S. Fullerton Ave. Montclair, NJ 07042).