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Family, friends remember one of West Palm Beach's longtime cobblers

Future of Danny's Shoe Repair now uncertain with passing of Danny Catalfumo
Danny Catalfumo from Danny’s Shoe Repair
Posted at 12:03 PM, Nov 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-12 17:46:38-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — On the corner of the Southdale Shopping center in West Palm Beach, you'll find Tony Piraino fixing shoes.

"A lot of people have been in this store," said Piraino.

Annette Candiano is working hard, helping customers.

"I spend more time here than I do at the house," she said.

The dynamic duo is holding down the fort that is Danny's Shoe Repair. The family business a community grew to love.

"They've been a constant," said neighbor Jane Pasley. "Everybody knows them."

It's the man behind the name, Danny Catalfumo, who kept the place going.

"It was all about family and my dad taking care of all of his customers," said son Dan Catalfumo. "If it was broken, my dad would try to fix it."

He created a family here with Tony, Annette and his customers.

"He's like a father to me," said Tony.

It's a family that is now heartbroken with the loss of a legend.

"Yep, we've all lost someone great," said daughter Juliana. "It's going to be a huge loss."

Nearly 60 years ago, Danny opened up the shop.

"If anything could be done to save something, he would save it," said Juliana. "He's a pillar to the community. He was charitable. Kind heart."

She grew up in the shop, watching her dad fix any kind of shoe, boot or purse. "Dan the Cobbler," as some called him, could remember every customer's name.

"That's how smart his brain was," said Annette. "It should be in the Smithsonian."

"He is the shop," said Juliana.

Catalfumo died Monday at the age of 90. The future of his shoe repair shop is now uncertain.

"This shop, unfortunately, will die with him," said Juliana. "We're either going to sell or close. A decision will be made by Dec. 1."

Juliana Catalfumo says Danny's Shoe Repair will either sell or close
Juliana Catalfumo, the daughter of Danny Catalfumo, says Danny's Shoe Repair will either be sold or close now that her father is dead.

Until that time, Annette and Tony will be there, trying to live up to the legend that is Danny Catalfumo.

"There's nobody that could ever replace him," said Annette.

No matter what happens to the shop, its name and its cobbler lives on forever in the community.

"It's like an institution. It will be here forever," said Dan. "People always talk about my dad."

A viewing for Catalfumo will be held Sunday. He will be laid to rest on Monday in West Palm Beach.