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Leon E. Ricelli

December 14, 1918 July 22, 2012
Leon E. Ricelli
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Obituary for Leon E. Ricelli

Leon E. Ricelli of Bloomfield Hills, died peacefully July 22, 2012. He was 93 years old. Leon was born December 14, 1918, in Bregonzi, Italy, to Anna (nee Michelon) and Louis Ricelli.

1st Lt. of Cannon Company, 20th Infantry Regiment, Leon was awarded the Bronze Star with valor for gallantry under fire during the Battle of Luzon in 1945. After WWII, he purchased the candy making operation from Ira Wilson Dairy Company, and renamed it �Ricelli Chocolates� in 1955, incorporating the tag line �A little different, a lot better.� Leon, along with Detroit area candy maker Irwin Morley, helped Jack Sanders establish the Sweetest Day tradition in Detroit, encouraging customers to �do something sweet� for someone by giving them a gift of chocolates.

In the 1960s along with three others, Leon formed what would become the Birmingham Pony/Colt Baseball League.

Leon is survived by his beloved wife of 63 years, Rose (nee Vettraino) Ricelli, and children, Michela (Jim) Treharne, Lee (Gayla Houser) Ricelli, Michael (Trish) Ricelli, Rosemary (Steve Scheidt) Ricelli, and Rocky (Traci) Ricelli. He is also survived by 12 grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild.

A Memorial Mass will be celebrated at a later date.

Memorials appreciated to Alzheimer�s Association, 20300 Civic Center Drive, Suite 100, Southfield, Michigan 48076 or Children�s Hospital of Michigan � Shunt Registry, 3901 Beaubien, Detroit, Michigan 48201.


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