Volume 73, Number 48 | March 31 - April 6, 2004


Connie Lanna, 86, owned several Village dry cleaners

Connie Lanna, a resident of Jane St. for more than 50 years and the owner of various Village dry cleaning businesses over the years, died March 11 at the Mary Manning Walsh residence on the Upper East Side at the age of 86.

She was diagnosed with cancer in September, said her daughter, Linda Panzella.

Born on Lafayette St. to Michael and Marianne Cutrone, who emigrated from Bari, Italy, she went to public elementary school, graduated from Needle Trades High School where she was trained as a pattern maker and then worked in a shoe factory in Brooklyn.

She met her future husband, Pat Lanna, at the Arcadia Ballroom in Manhattan and they were married in 1946, her daughter said. The couple moved to Jane St. in 1949.

In the 1940s, Connie Lanna owned and operated a young women’s sportswear shop, The Mademoiselle Shop, at 115A Greenwich Ave., a location that is now a gift shop. “My father told me that the day I was born, my mother closed the shop and walked to St. Vincent’s Hospital where she gave birth to me five hours later,” said her daughter.

In the early 1950s she sold The Mademoiselle Shop and then owned various dry cleaning shops in the Village. Her husband owned and operated Washington Sq. Cleaners on Sullivan St. in the 1960s but sold it to join her at the Valet Shop, which Connie had operated since 1958 at 2 Fifth Ave. She retired in 1996 to take care of her ailing husband who died in 1997.

“My father was a member of the Progressive Era Association at 73 Washington Pl. for many years. The club was originally Italian-American men only, but they opened up membership and when my father passed away my mother took over his membership,” Linda recalled. “It was she who introduced me to my husband, Joe, who was a customer of hers at the Valet Shop,” she added.

In addition to her daughter, her son-in-law, Joseph Panzella, and her eight-month-old granddaughter, Julianna Teresa, survive her. Perazzo Funeral Home, 199 Bleecker St., was in charge of arrangements. The funeral was at Our Lady of Pompeii Church on Carmine St. on March 15 and burial was in St. John’s Cemetery in Queens.

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