Pasqual Lombardi

Pasquale Lombardi (Term of Office 1942 - 1948)

The first Mayor of Federal Heights, Pasqual (Pat) Lombardi was born on January 28, 1895 in Pagliarone, Campobasso, Italy, to his parents, Salvatore Lombardi and his mother, Cosima (Clara) Lombardi Lombardi.

Pasquale and his family arrived from Italy on June 10, 1905. (An “e” was added to his name at immigration.) His father had a grocery store in north Denver on Mariposa Street. When Pasquale was older, he delivered meat and produce to customers by horse and wagon, always accompanied by his dog. If he took too much time at a customer’s house, his horse would begin walking to the next stop. Pasquale had six sisters: Piorina (Rena) Lombardi Rotola; Carolina Lombardi Labate; Lucia (Lucille) Lombardi Bruno; Antoinette (Eva) Lombardi DeJiacomo; Stella Lombardi Bust, and Anna Lombardi Iaanacito. He was the only boy, and needless to say, his sisters treated him like royalty, sometimes being silly and calling him the pope.

Pat married Josephine Ferrone in 1915 when he was 19 and she was 17.

Pat was the sponsor, manager, and player for the Lombardi Grocers baseball team. The team consisted of nephews, friends, a player named Slugger, and some other good players. They would travel from Pueblo to Cheyenne competing against other teams. They won the Semi-Pro League Denver City Championship trophy twice, in 1921 and in 1924, awarded by the May Company.

Pat was a generous man to his church at Saint Catherine’s of Sienna, sponsoring numerous projects. He was an avid hunter and kind-hearted businessman. In 1935, on his way back from hunting, he stopped by the Rainbow Hall for something to drink. He traded the owner, Joe Moore, his nearly-new REO Speedwagon and $350 for Moore’s ownership option on the property. For the next few years, Pat operated a lettuce crate factory at the location with a saw mill in the back. He hauled lumber from his ranch in Golden Gate Canyon, cut it, and then built the crates and sold them to produce companies. After time, the lettuce crate business wasn’t lucrative, and the Rainbow Hall was turned into Lombardi’s Tavern, or as the family called it, “The Place.”

Lombardi sponsored most of the Lombardis who were coming to Colorado from Italy in the 1930s to the 1960s, helping them find jobs, family helping family.

Pat dug his own well for water at Lombardi’s Tavern, as the water in Federal Heights was full of minerals. He shared as much water as possible with the 31 families living in the area who were complaining loudly about its poor quality.

In 1940, by a vote of 32-2, the Town of Federal Heights was incorporated. The voters elected Pasquale Lombardi as their first Mayor (1941-1948). With a board of commissioners, they formed a town government, attaining legal status to sell bonds for a water project to dig a new well. The town had been told about a process to apply for federal assistance and wrote the proposal to dig 1,750 feet to the Fox Hill Aquifer.

The volunteer fire department needed a fire truck, so Pat and one of the Town’s trustees and second mayor, Robert Foster, drove to Ft. Carson, bought a used Dodge truck for $350 and converted it into a fire truck. Volunteers then built a station to house the new truck.

Lombardi and the commissioners had a great impact on the formation of Federal Heights helping it to grow and prosper. Pictures exist of “The Place” with Pat standing proudly with large amounts of venison steak and sausage he’d donated for dinners to raise money.

Pat and Josie had three children - Salvatore Lombardi, Evelyn Lombardi Lantz and Lillian Lombardi Bertolit – and seven grandchildren. They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 1964. Pat passed away on February 7, 1984. He was 89 years old.

                                                                             Contributed by Anthony Steven Bertolit,
Grandson of Pasquale Lombardi

(For additional information about the Lombardi family,
a book, Nonno Tell Us A Story, written by Pietrantonio Lombardi,
great-nephew of Pasquale, is available on Amazon.)