Daphne and Louis Padula: Were Hearth for Family and Friends

Daphne and Louis Padula, 20-year Palisades residents, died on Friday, April 2, after being hit by a driver while walking across Temescal Canyon Road. The couple, on their way to the 8 p.m. theatrical performance at Pierson Playhouse, died immediately. (See news story, page 1.) Daphne was 73, Louis was 79. ”Louis was born on December 19, 1924 and raised on Staten Island. After high school, he graduated from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at King’s Point in Brooklyn, and served in the Merchant Marines during World War II. ”Daphne was born in Athens, Greece, on March 21, 1931 and moved with her family to Staten Island when she was 18 years old. After a few years of college, she became a model with the Hartford Agency in Manhattan. ”Louis first laid eyes on Daphne on the Staten Island Ferry, on which he commuted to his salesman’s job with Schaefer Brewery in Manhattan. The couple often caught the same afternoon ferry from New York City to their respective homes. ” ”Louis had tried to sit by Daphne on the ferry and he would stare at her from behind his newspaper to try an catch her attention, but to no avail. ”As luck would have it, Louis’ best friend was taking night classes at Wagner College on Staten Island. One day, Louis was describing to his best friend this beautiful girl on the ferry and his friend told him that she sounded like the beautiful girl in his night class. He suggested Louis come and wait after class and see for himself. It indeed was Dapne, and this lucky encounter led to an official meeting and falling in love. ”The couple married on October 14, 1951 in Staten Island, where they lived until 1963.” ”Daphne had quite a career in New York. At the time, the Rheingold Girl was a major beauty contest in the city and she was one of the finalists. From that she became identified with Genesee Beer. She was ‘Jenny’ of Genesee beer, which led to her doing some of the first live television commercials. She also did a great deal of print work, from Revlon to high fashion. She even did some acting and temporarily landed the ‘On the Waterfront’ movie role that Eva Marie Saint ended up playing. The original cast included John Garfield and Daphne, but Garfield suddenly died and the movie got shelved for years until it was recast with Marlon Brando and Eva Marie Saint. ”Louis, meanwhile, left Schaefer Brewery in 1956 and went into commercial real estate. ” The family moved to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in 1963 mainly for their two children, were always sick and needed to be in warmer climate, said their daughter, Lisa, said this week. ”In 1983, the couple moved to Pacific Palisades to follow their older daughter, Cindi, who had relocated. ”Over the last 20 years, the Padulas enjoyed traveling, theater, the opera, movies, and especially their family. Both daughters live in the Palisades. Daphne worked part time as manager of her daughter Lisa’s business, Lilese Skin Care on Via de la Paz. She also enjoyed working out and doing yoga at the Spectrum Club. Louis continued part time in real estate, managing properties he owned in Florida. ”Louis and Daphne celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 2001 at the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills with many family members and friends surrounding them. One of their bridesmaids and their best man were even present. Father Liam Kidney from Corpus Christi Church surprised them by having them renew their vows that evening. ”The Padulas are survived by their daughters, Lisa Phillips Visca (husband Dennis Visca) and Cindi Smith (husband Neil), a travel agent at En Route Travel; grandchildren Guy Phillips, 25, of Santa Monica, Taylor Visca, 13, a student at Corpus Christi, and Alexandra Smith, 9, a third grader at Corpus Christi; Louis’ brother John Padula; and Daphne’s brothers, Gus Theofanous and Bill Theofanous. ”A funeral service was held at Corpus Christi last night, followed by family dinner at the Padula’s home. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to the Alzheimer’s Association, 6900 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90010 (323) 938-3370.