Obituary of Romilio Marinelli (1928 – 2021) – Toledo, OH
Blade staff writer
Romilio Marinelli, an Italian immigrant and US Navy veteran who had a long and successful career as an auto financier, died Wednesday at the Kingston Care Center in Sylvania. He was 92 years old.
He had complications from dementia, said his son, Vincent Marinelli.
Known to many of his peers as “Rome”, the elder Mr. Marinelli arrived in Toledo in 1963.
While working for General Motors Acceptance Corp., also known as GMAC, he was recruited by a banking services company, Yegen & Associates, which had just landed a contract with the First National Bank of Toledo.
Under Yegen, Mr. Marinelli was tasked with helping new partner First National Bank of Toledo grow its business in auto lending and auto finance.
“When my father came here [Toledo], Yegen didn’t have an office, he was just my father, “said Vincent Marinelli.” Even though his office was located there, he was never employed by the bank. He was actually employed by Yegen, but his philosophy was “Hey, if I’m promoting the bank and doing business for the bank, I’ll get my share of the action.”
His philosophy worked.
Mr. Marinelli quickly became a household name in the industry, and the First National Bank of Toledo reaped the benefits of a new business expansion thanks to Mr. Marinelli’s advance.
“It grew slowly, but they became a powerhouse,” Mr. Marinelli said of the First National Bank of Toledo in a profile of Blade in 2001.
In 1968, Mr. Marinelli asked four car dealerships to purchase off-plan financing through First National, which propelled him to become the largest auto lender in the Toledo market.
But this success caught the attention of buyers, and Mr. Marinelli felt his time with First National was running out. After the acquisition of First National Bank by Fifth Third Bank, Mr. Marinelli started his own business, Rome Marinelli & Associates / Rome Marinelli Motor Cars, with his son-in-law, Mark Frederick.
Through years of working with countless vendors and dealers, the name “Marinelli” has become a fixture in the local industry.
“To this day, people come to me and say, ‘Oh, Marinelli, is Rome your father?’” His son said. “And they’ll say, ‘Oh, I remember your dad when I was in the auto business, and I’m retired now, and he was a great guy, he came on Saturdays and he remembered my name. . “That’s pretty cool for a son to hear.”
Mr. Marinelli has made many friendships during his career.
None lasted longer than the one with Bill Sheehan, a debt restructuring agent, whom he met in 2008 after a dismissal during the 2008 financial crisis. The two have teamed up to help small businesses by bringing together investors. and by working to restructure the debt of troubled companies. time.
“We met and he asked ‘How do we fix the situation?’ Remembers Mr. Sheehan. “And he said to me ‘If you can do it, I will support him.'”
“We would help small businesses that had had problems that the bank would no longer finance,” he continued. “… Everyone got kicked out of the bank in 2008 and 2009, and that’s when he [Mr. Marinelli] realized, ‘Wait a sec, there has to be a place and a way to help good people who are really in pain because of something they haven’t done. … In a way, I think he felt like he was playing Robin Hood. ”
Mr. Sheehan and Mr. Marinelli remained close friends as they grew older.
Mr. Sheehan would take her to church, take her to dinner, or just go out to discuss business.
Later in his life, Mr. Marinelli spent a lot of time baking bread.
According to his peers, he was good at it.
“He was a wonderful, wonderful man,” said Mr. Sheehan. “He was supposed to be with people, to do business. He was a social person. He loved to tell stories. And a guy as active as Rome Marinelli was never short of stories to tell.”
Mr. Marinelli was born in the Abruzzo region of Italy on November 21, 1928, but emigrated to the United States when he was only 2 years old.
In 1924, four years before his birth, Congress passed the “Immigration Act,” which dramatically reduced the number of immigrants America would receive from southern, central, and eastern Europe. Although he did not specify a limitation on Italian immigrants, he drastically reduced the number of Italians allowed to enter the country.
Mr. Marinelli had an easier route to the United States than many other Italians.
Her mother was an American citizen born in Milwaukee. Mr. Marinelli’s parents settled in Philadelphia when they finally arrived in the United States, and Mr. Marinelli enlisted in the United States Navy after high school. He married his wife, Teresa, in 1935. She died in 2009.
“He was a good father and a good provider,” said Vincent Marinelli. “He was always active in what we did.”
Survivor are his son, Vincent Marinelli; daughters Carol Montz, Janet Badyna, MaryAnn Frederick and Lisa Walsh; seven grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
A Memorial Mass will be held at Gesu Catholic Church, 2045 Parkside Blvd. in Toledo, at 11 a.m. on September 7. Tours start at 9.45am
The family offers tributes to the Saint-François de Sales and Notre-Dame Academy high schools.
This is a report by Brooks Sutherland. He can be contacted at [email protected]“>[email protected].
Posted by The Blade on Aug 30, 2021.