Michael Urgo

Celebration of Life

2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Sunday, December 11, 2022
Jonathan’s Pizza
31 North Pearl Street
ALBANY, New York, United States

Obituary of Michael A. Urgo

ALBANY - Michael A. Urgo, age 79, of Albany, NY, passed away on Monday, November 28, 2022, surrounded by his family. Michael was born on August 15, 1943, at Saint Vincent’s Hospital in NYC to the late Millie and Alfred Urgo. Michael was predeceased by his sister Theresa Romano and his brother Rocco (Rocky) Urgo. Michael is survived by his beloved wife of 51 years, Antonella (Toni) Urgo, his son Jonathan Urgo, and his daughter Andrea Urgo. Michael is also survived by his sister Lucretia and brother-in-law Tommy Bernardo, his brother Alfred Urgo, his sister-in-law Joan Urgo, and his brother-in-law Louis Romano as well by many cherished nieces, nephews, cousins, neighbors, and close friends, including Charlie and Beth Assini, and his longtime employee and manager Daniel Hart. Michael or ‘Smash’ as many knew him, grew up on Sullivan St. near the Village. In 1959, at just 16 years old, Michael opened his first sausage stand at the St. Anthony’s Feast which he ran for 20+ years. In the early 1960s, Michael and a dozen of his closest friends opened Club Chateau, a members only club in NYC. Michael also owned a record store, and STAR Courier Trucking. After marrying in 1971, Michael and Toni moved to Hoosick Falls and then settled in Albany. After not being able to get a slice of pizza in the area, Michael decided to bring NYC style pizza upstate. In 1973, Michael opened his first restaurant, Jonathan’s Pizza, Inc., located in downtown Albany. Gone were the days of ordering a whole pizza when all you wanted was a slice. Jonathan’s Pizza soon became a landmark in downtown Albany. Michael or ‘Pizza Mike’ as he is known locally, purchased the building in the 1980s, allowing Jonathan’s Pizza to stay put while permitting room for yet another sausage stand. No passerby could resist the smell of fresh sausage, peppers, and onions on the grill, wafting through the downtown air. If sausage wasn’t your thing, you could grab a soft serve ice cream. If you preferred a NYC style hot dog, you were in luck! Pizza Mike had a hot dog wagon right across the street. Throughout the years, Jonathan’s Pizza’s employees and customers became family. State workers became friends, concert goers and flight attendants became regulars. Jonathan’s Pizza remains open as one of downtown Albany’s oldest family-owned restaurants. In 2006, when approached by the City of Albany Downtown Housing Initiative to take on a project converting underutilized historic buildings into quality housing, Michael did not hesitate. Luxury on Pearl Apartments opened its doors in 2007, offering six beautifully renovated apartments with historic charm. Throughout his life, Michael always wanted to give back to the community. Michael would host Christmas parties for individuals with Down Syndrome. For years, he hired a Santa to walk around downtown Albany to spread holiday cheer. While his children were young, Michael ran a bizarre for Christ the King Church in Guilderland, then later a food truck at the Albany Tulip Festival. Michael also had a role in founding ‘Alive at Five’ in downtown Albany. Over the years, Michael has donated food and hundreds of pizzas to support our local community and charitable organizations, such as for Veterans, and the Boys and Girls Club of Albany. At a 9/11 memorial event, Michael donated over 240 pizzas to every fire station in Albany. His only issue – delivery. Over the next few months, Jonathan’s Pizza was adorned with fire trucks as the Albany Fire Department arrived to pick up, and deliver, the pizzas. Michael owned and operated several other businesses, including a restaurant on Western Ave. and another on Madison Ave. Michael also owned a clothing store, a hair salon, and a deli all located on Maiden Lane, and many more. At one time, Michael owned a horse and even a flock of NYC pigeons. In his younger years, Michael enjoyed fishing, crabbing, and the beach. He also enjoyed betting on horses, casinos, and enjoying loud dinners with family and friends. The family would like to express their sincere thanks to all those that cared for Michael during his illness, including the Rotterdam-Schenectady Dialysis Center, St. Peter’s Hospital, and Hospice. Even in Michael’s final days, anyone lending a helping hand was offered a free pizza. No one would ever go hungry on Pizza Mike’s watch. Michael Urgo will be missed by all that know him. Cremation has taken place through the care of Simple Choices, Inc. A Celebration of Life Memorial will be held in honor of Michael A. Urgo on Sunday, December 11th, 2022, from 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM at Jonathan’s Pizza, 31 North Pearl Street, Albany, NY 12207. In lieu of flowers, donations are greatly appreciated to help support the family with unexpected expenses during this difficult time. Fond memories and expressions of sympathy to the Urgo Family may be shared at: SimpleChoicesCremation.com
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