Mr. Louis ‘Lou’ Blaiotta died peacefully at Calvary Hospital, Bronx, NY on March 1, 2018 at the age of 85. He died due to complications from pancreatic cancer. Lou is survived by his wife of 64 years Marie Blaiotta and his three children and three grandchildren: Margaret Gilhooley, her husband Paul, and daughter Maria; Dione Birdsall, her husband Tom, and son Dillon; LJ Blaiotta, his wife Laura, and daughter Alexandra.
Lou Blaiotta was founder of Columbia Elevator Products Co., Inc. He began his career when he was studying at Pratt Institute’s School of Architecture and working as an office boy at Williamsburg Steel Products. While working at Williamsburg Steel, he learned a great deal about business and the elevator industry. His final position was as National Sales Manager of Williamsburg’s Elevator Products Division.
By 1965, Lou’s passion for elevator design and safety led him to found Columbia Elevator Products in Port Chester, NY. Lou Blaiotta’s passion for everything ‘elevator – related’ drove him to build his business, making him an ‘institution’ in the Elevator Industry. His work extended into support of industry organizations including the National Association of Elevator Contractors or NAEC, which bestowed upon him a Distinguished Service Award in 1991 for his elevator industry technical and community philanthropic contributions and a Lifetime Honorary Membership in 2013. His dedication to elevator safety included activities and work on code committees, including NAESA, ANSI, and the NAEC Codes and Standards committee.
As respected as Lou was in the elevator industry, his volunteer and philanthropic activities in Port Chester were important to him. Some activities included serving his community as a Director and President of the Port Chester Chamber of Commerce, an active member of Port Chester/Rye Town Rotary, and Chairman of numerous United Way fund raising campaigns. Lou Blaiotta established the first charitable golf outing for Boys’ Towns of Italy (recently renamed A Chance in Life), a philanthropic organization devoted to the education of orphans. His philanthropic achievements were so grand that he was recognized by the Italian Consulate with the prestigious honorary award of Commendatore, or Knight Commander of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic.
Lou’s passion for his community, his passion for elevator safety, and his vision of serving the elevator community in a unique manner helped Columbia Elevator grow from its humble 10,000-sf beginnings in Port Chester, NY, to become the largest independent elevator architectural products manufacturer in North America with nearly 300,000-sf manufacturing and engineering facilities located in Bridgeport, CT; Miami Lakes, FL; and Winfield, KS.
A memorial mass is scheduled for Saturday, March 10, 2018 at 11:00 AM at St. Paul’s Church, 84 Sherwood Avenue, Greenwich, CT. The family would like to thank the doctors and hospital staff of both White Plains Hospital Cancer Center and Calvary Hospital for their care and dedication to Lou Blaiotta in the final years of his life. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Memory of Lou Blaiotta to Calvary Hospital Fund at http://www.calvaryhospital.org
1740 Eastcheser Road, Bronx NY 10461