Alfred Peter Cisternelli, age 93, passed away peacefully on Sunday, December 25, 2022, at his home in North Attleboro, Massachusetts, surrounded by his loving family. Born in East Walpole, Massachusetts on October 20, 1929, he was the son of the late Pietro and Julia (Troiano) Cisternelli. He was raised in East Walpole and graduated from Walpole High School with the Class of 1948, demonstrating his athleticism in the hockey arena and on the baseball diamond. Following his graduation, Al enlisted in the United States Navy, proudly serving his country. Upon his honorable discharge, Al started his career which led to the legacy he leaves behind today.
Al returned home to East Walpole and started working nights at the Bird and Sons Box Shop. In his spare time, he would make loom deliveries with his little dump truck which ultimately led to him establishing Cisternelli and Sons in the mid-1950s. In the 1960s he founded Cisternelli Oil Services with his brother James Cisternelli and started buying and selling parcels of land throughout Walpole. By the 1970s, Al had secured the construction and plowing contracts for all the major local corporations like Polaroid and Boston Edison. One of his biggest contracts was transforming the Four Seasons Ice Arena to the American Auto Action (where Walmart stands now). Al ran Cisternelli and Sons for 40 years before “retiring” in 1994.
Retirement did not slow Al down. He started working for Carlo Musto and Sons doing driveway estimates and consulting while also starting his own sealcoating company. After sealcoating on his own became too much, he started consulting for other paving contractors. Al also loved his time at Betro Pharmacy where he delivered prescriptions to local patrons which he did until the pharmacy closed in 2017. Al’s last venture involved auto sales consultation with his cousin.
Throughout his career, Al employed hundreds of people who learned from him; many of whom went on to start their own successful businesses based on the foundation he provided. He also had a very loyal group of employees that stayed by his side for 20+ years until he closed Cisternelli and Sons.
Al cared deeply for his employees and always made sure his guys had work and got a paycheck, even when there was no work. He also made sure everyone received generous gifts at Christmas. He also valued his customers and was known to tell his oil customers to just pay him when they had the money because he would never want them to worry about having heat.
While he worked hard, Al was sure to make time to give back to his community. He spent many years on the board of directors for the Walpole Little League Program, helping the youth of his community learn to play baseball. As a contractor, Al was tapped by the Town of Walpole to serve on the Building Committee for the New Fisher School, overseeing the project from beginning to end. There were countless other businesses and organizations that benefited from Al's quiet but generous ways, as he always wanted to see others succeed in any venture that they took on.
Al was larger than life and no matter where he went, whether a local town or Boston or even on vacation in Florida, someone knew or recognized him.
In his younger years, Al loved playing hockey, watching stock car races, and riding his motorcycle. To his death, he was a devout Bruins and Patriots fan and held season tickets for many years. Al also loved being by the water and cherished his time at his lakeside house in Plymouth and later his house on the ocean in Humarock. He was the greatest grill master and loved manning the grill at all family events. Al loved spending time with his family which was his true pride and joy.
Al was blessed with 6 beautiful children with his first wife, Josephine (Candela) Cisternelli, before marrying the lovely, Patricia Ann (Betro) Cisternelli, in 1976. Together, they made their home in East Walpole, blending their families before adding additional children of their own. In 2007, after the passing of his wife Patricia in 2005, Al made his home in Plainville, Massachusetts, with his beloved partner, Katherine Simmons, before more recently settling in North Attleborough.
Beloved husband of the late Patricia Ann (Betro) Cisternelli.
Loving father of Michael Cisternelli of Norfolk, Cheryl Perry of Millis, Fred Cisternelli of California, Kelli Gilmore of Norton, Richard Hand of East Walpole, Andrew Hand of Walpole, Paul Cisternelli of East Walpole, Tina McCormick of Wrentham, Alicen Swartz of East Walpole, Andrea Cisternelli of East Walpole, Angela Neufeld of Walpole, and the late Peter Cisternelli.
Longtime partner of Katherine Simmons of North Attleborough, and is survived by her children, John Simmons, and Baby Schwartz both of North Attleborough who Al loved as his own children.
Cherished grandfather of twenty-two grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
Brother of Elizabeth Sundquist of Norfolk, Frances Mahoney of Mansfield, Irene Consentino of Taunton, Edward Cisternelli of Walpole, Lee Ann McCusker of Rehoboth, the late James Cisternelli, and the late Dorothy Cashen.
Also survived by many nieces and nephews.
Relatives and friends are kindly invited to attend Al's Life Celebration on Tuesday, January 3, 2023, from 2 to 7 PM in the James H. Delaney & Son Funeral Home, 48 Common Street, Walpole.
Al's Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in Blessed Sacrament Church, 10 Diamond Street, Walpole on Wednesday, January 4, 2023 at 10:30 AM. Interment will take place privately in Saint Francis Cemetery in Walpole.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Al's name may be made to: King Philip Walpole Youth Hockey, P.O. Box 762, Walpole, MA 02081.