Guilius D'Ambrogi

[Age 93] The former Towson resident worked in public health for decades and later started a food consulting company.

January 14, 2007|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,sun reporter

Guilius Donald D'Ambrogi, a retired state health official, died Jan. 7 of complications from a broken hip at the Broadmead retirement community. The former Towson resident was 93.

Soon after earning a master's degree in chemistry from the University of Maryland School of Medicine in 1937, Mr. D'Ambrogi, who was known as Don, began a career of more than 40 years in public health. He initially worked as an inspector with the Baltimore City Health Department, where he helped safeguard the milk program in city schools. He also provided many farms and companies with assistance in processing of dairy products.

He later became director of the Food and Drug Division of the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and remained in the job for about a decade until his retirement in the late 1970s.

"He ran a staff of about 400 people and was responsible for all the inspections and complaints across the state," said a son, Robert D'Ambrogi of Freeland.

Born in Sardinia, the oldest of seven children, Mr. D'Ambrogi immigrated to the United States with his parents in 1915. The family settled in Baltimore, where his father was a cheese maker.

Mr. D'Ambrogi graduated from Calvert Hall College High School and Loyola College before studying at the University of Maryland.

He married the former Mabel Elizabeth Leonard in 1938. She died in 1980.

While working in public health, he also founded Ambrose Vending Co. with his three brothers. The business served restaurants, hospitals and hotels in the metropolitan area before closing in the late 1950s.

After retiring from the state, Mr. D'Ambrogi established Food Dynamics Inc., a consulting company for the food industry. Among his clients were McCormick & Co. Inc. and PepsiCo Inc., his son said.

Mr. D'Ambrogi sang in the choir at the Roman Catholic Cathedral of Mary Our Queen for more than 20 years. He also helped the parish start its annual lasagna dinner fundraiser.

"He was a real gourmet cook for our family dinners," said Robert D'Ambrogi. "People would call him from all over and ask him to prepare a dinner for them. ... He never measured, just guessed correctly, when he cooked."

Services were held Wednesday at the cathedral.

Survivors include two other sons, Donald D'Ambrogi of Baltimore and Thomas D'Ambrogi of Severna Park; a daughter, Kathleen Mattessich of Tolland, Conn.; a brother, Phil D'Ambrogi of Dallas; nine grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.

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