John A. Mancini Sr., 78, clothing company executive

November 05, 1995|By Fred Rasmussen | Fred Rasmussen,Sun Staff

John A. Mancini Sr., a retired clothing manufacturing executive and noted designer of men's suits, died Wednesday of cancer at his home in Timonium. The former 35-year resident of Lutherville was 78.

Mr. Mancini retired in 1979 as vice president and general manager of Maryland Hampstead Clothing Co. in Hampstead, Carroll County, a subsidiary of Paramount Clothing Co. of Baltimore, where he had worked since the late 1950s. The rTC business later was sold to Joseph A. Bank Manufacturing Co.

"He designed the executive line for Sears, and his suits were traditional three- and two-button, single- and double-breasted suits," said his son, John A. Mancini, a Towson State University history professor.

"He even designed a double-breasted suit called the Croftley, which was named after our street in Lutherville. He could design, cut and assemble a suit -- he could do it all," the son said.

"Not only were his suits sold in Sears stores throughout the nation but also locally at Hamburgers, Young's Men's Store and Kavanaughs," the son said.

The son of Italian immigrants who were tailors, Mr. Mancini began his tailoring career in 1933 when he apprenticed at Modern Coat Makers on East Preston Street. In 1935, he went to work at Raleigh Clothes, where he met his future wife, Emma Frances Iachini, a seamstress. The couple married in 1939 and moved to Pennsylvania when Mr. Mancini took a position with L. Grief.

"On weekends he would travel to New York and study with John Pizutta, who was one of the best designers in the country at the time," the son said.

Mr. Mancini was a quality control manager for Schonenman in Chambersburg, Pa., when he was drafted in the Army in 1943. He served as an interpreter for Italian POWs imprisoned at Fort Letterkenny in Pennsylvania, and was discharged in 1946 with the rank of master sergeant.

He resumed his career designing clothes for Webster Clothes, and during the early 1950s was a designer and limited partner in the E. S. Dean Clothing Co. of Scotland. He also owned a custom tailoring business on Baltimore Street, where one of his clients was actor Peter Lawford. He joined Paramount in the late 1950s.

Mr. Mancini was a member of the International Association of Clothing Designers and Executives, which awarded him a blue ribbon in 1978 for his design accomplishments.

He was also active in the Knights of Columbus, the Appian Society and the Sons of Italy.

A Mass of Christian burial was offered yesterday at St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church in Cockeysville.

In addition to his wife and son, he is survived by a daughter, Elizabeth Ann Minton of Timonium; a brother, Henry Mancini of Lutherville; a sister, Carmella Kromm of Richmond, Va.; and two grandsons.

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