Larry Pistoresi Sr., affectionately known as “Mr. Chowchilla,” died Thursday in Chowchilla. Pistoresi will long be remembered for his commitment and dedication to the community he called home.
Pistoresi was born in Berenda and raised in Chowchilla. He attended local schools and graduated from Chowchilla High School in 1942. After high school he served in the Air Force for three years. When he returned home he began a career in the car business by working with his dad. He later owned Pistoresi Chevrolet in Chowchilla along with his dad Pete and brother Monte. After they sold the dealership, Larry continued to work in the car business as a salesman at Steves Chevrolet. Countless people over the years bought a car from him.
Pistoresi was a soft-spoken man with a determined spirit. He stood by his word and could always be counted on. He was a people person and never met a stranger.
Pistoresi was a member of the Chowchilla Rotary Club, joining the club in 1949, a few years after it was charted. He was an active member and had perfect attendance.
He was also a founding member of the board of directors of the Chowchilla District Memorial Hospital, which began in 1954. During that time he held all offices within the organization. He served 13 three-year terms as director and several terms as president. He was appointed the permanent chair of the finance committee.
He became a member of the board of directors of the Chowchilla Chamber of Commerce in 1970, a position he held until his death. “He was a significant contributor toward the vision of the chamber,” Chamber Director Stacy Curutchet said. Pistoresi was always willing to do his part, whether it was replacing lights on the city’s Christmas decorations, tending bar at a chamber dinner, judging the Christmas decorating contest, or never missing a meeting. He was a solid businessman and had a heart for the local business community.
He was a regular at the A&R Refrigeration coffee group, which meets each morning for an hour. The group first met at Chowchilla Drug at the corner of North Third Street and West Robertson Boulevard until it closed, and then they began meeting with Rollo Larson at A&R.
Larry Pistoresi Sr. touched many lives, believed in his community and was devoted to his family. His contributions to the community will continue to make a difference for generations to come.