Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Larry Dunham                                                                                 
Birth: May 30, 1900
Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz County
California, USA
Death: Dec. 16, 1985
Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz County
California, USA

Santa Cruz Sentinel Tuesday December 17, 1985 Front Page

Waterfront Legend Dies

SANTA CRUZ - Malio J. Stagnaro, known as "Uncle Malio," "The Admiral," "Mayor of the Wharf," and king of the Sport Fishermen," is dead.
He died early this morning at Dominican Hospital following a short illness. He was 85.
His death removes one more name from that small group of remaining Santa Cruz residents who brought glamour and excitement to the rich days of the local waterfront and fishing industry.
Even at 85, he echoed the rugged individualism. Most of his life was spent on the Municipal Wharf. His gravel voice was the theme sound for thousands of visiting fishermen, commercial fishermen and inland at council meetings where he battled city fathers.
His charm seldom turned off. He grew up in the rough, fighting days of hard-drinking wharf fishermen, easing into an easy-going personality who greeted thousands of visiting deep-sea sports fishermen.
He knew governors on a first-name basis, became a speaker at civic and fraternal clubs, and once reverted to an Indian bareback rider for the dedication ceremonies at Henry Cowell Redwood State Park.
Mr. Stagnaro was born in Santa Cruz in 1900. His parents were natives of Riva Trigosa, Italy. His father opened a fish market on the wharf in 1915.
He attended Laurel and Bay View elementary schools, singing in a trio at his graduation,
He graduated from Santa Cruz High in 1919. The late Doc Fehliman created him with running a mile in 4 minutes, 26 seconds at a high school track meet. The world record at that time was 4:10, held by a Finnish runner.
Mr. Stagnaro worked in com-mercial and sport fishing for 72 years. From 1918 to 1960, during the golden age of Monterey Bay fishing, he worked with a number of state game wardens including Forrest McDermott.
Until 1949, he joined with brother, Cottardo Stagnaro II, to operate wharf fish markets. From 1932 to 1962, they also operated the largest sport-fishing fleet on Monterey Bay. The fleet was sold only a few years ago.
The two maintained the "largest and fastest" commercial speedboats on the coast, featuring the cel-ebrated Sea Stag II.
He helped promote "Day on the Bay" celebration for the city of Santa Cruz and the Santa Cruz Rod and Gun Club through the early '40s.
During World War II, he served in the Navy, reaching the rank of chief warrant officer.
He was a former commander of American Legion Post 64; first member of the California State Small Craft Harbor Commission ap-pointed by Gov. Goodwin Knight; member of the county advertising committee; president of Santa Cruz Rotary Club and was a charter member of the Santa Cruz Harbor Com-
Stagnaro also belonged to Santa Cruz Elks and Native Sons of the Golden West, Parlor 90. He served on the Santa Cruz County Republican Central Committee for 53 years.
As president of the C. Stagnaro Fishing Corp., he opened the first coffee shop on the wharf and in 1965 opened Malio's restaurant. It was sold in 1978.
He joined with his niece, Gilda Stagnaro, to open Gilda's restaurant in 1973.
He is survived by a nephew, Robert "Big Boy" and three nieces, Gilda Stagnaro, Betty Lamb, and Lindy Powell Stagnaro, all from Santa Cruz.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at Holy Cross church at 10 a.m. Thursday.
Visitation will be at Normans Family Chapel from noon to 8 p.m. Wednesday. Private entombment will be in the Holy Cross mausoleum.

Family links:
Cottardo Stagnaro (1859 - 1937)
Maria Zolezzi Stagnaro (1860 - 1930)

Oma F. Evans Stagnaro (1911 - 1984)

Holy Cross Cemetery
Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz County
California, USA
First Posted by Larry Dunham on the "La Nostra Costa (Our Coast)" Facebook Page, 9-11-2012.

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