Martin Henry Radosta, Sr., age 86, of New Orleans, passed away on May 9, 2018 in Oakdale, Louisiana. Funeral services will be held at Greenwood Funeral Home, 5200 Canal Blvd., New Orleans, LA 70124 at 11:00 am on Saturday July 14th, 2018. Visitation will begin at 10:00 AM.
On January 16, 1932, Martin was born in New Orleans to Frank Radosta and Florentine Fiegel Radosta. He graduated from St. Matthias Elementary and Fortier High School, then studied accounting at the University of Southwestern in Lafayette and Tulane. He married Sue Mauffray on January 5, 1956.
Martin was a Sergeant First Class with the 39th Infantry Division of the Louisiana National Guard for 6 years. He served as a Mess Sergeant in charge of the kitchen at Fort Polk.
Martin worked at Pascal Manale's Restaurant for decades. He started working at age 10 after his father's death and was still helping out on busy events like Mardi Gras until he was 75 years old. As a youngster, his Uncle Jake and his grandfather would wake him for the trip down to the French Market to purchase fresh vegetables, watermelon, and seafood for the restaurant. Martin would help unload the day's goods, then wash glasses, chop blocks of ice, hose the sidewalk, wash Pascal's car, help Uncle Junior behind the bar for lunch, make deliveries by bike, put beer in the cooler, and serve a few privileged folks meals in their cars.
Years later, along with running the cash register, he became the maitre'd and "Keeper of the Book." He would ask famous people to autograph the leather bound Manale's book when they walked up to the maitre'd podium. Then he'd get the book from the safe and bring it to their table after the meal. He loved to tell stories of all the famous athletes, movie stars, musicians and politicians he had met. But his favorite stories were of the regular customers he came to know and love over the decades.
After high school Martin worked at Standard Fruit Company for six years. At first he checked in banana carriers on the Ripe Wharf, then he moved to the Distribution Desk. He eventually worked as an accounting clerk.
In 1956 he took a job at Burroughs Corporation selling office machines for the next three years. His greatest accomplishment was his sale to Ochsner Medical Center that earned him the down payment for his first home. Then he transferred to Hyster Company where he sold lift trucks on the wharf.
Through the years he always kept his second job of working nights and weekends at Manale's. By the early 1960's he joined the family full time at the restaurant. In 1980 he left Manale's and joined Stephen & Martin's as the manager and maitre'd. Then in 1988 he opened Maestro's Restaurant on Dumaine & Rampart. Martin enjoyed his final decade of working at Manale's with his DeFelice cousins until he finally retired in 2007.
Martin was a volunteer in the Sertoma Club of New Orleans in his younger days. He was an active member of the NRA. After retirement he enjoyed meeting his buddies on Wednesdays at Caffe! Caffe! and seeing everyone at Good Friends Gatherings at The Balcony.
Martin is preceded in death by his son, Martin Henry Radosta, Jr. , his granddaughter Mary Grace Haller, his wife Sue Mauffray Radosta, and his parents.
Martin is survived by Cathy and Buddy Farris, Lisa and Tad Haller, Jeannie Radosta, 7 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren.
The family of Martin Radosta, Sr. wishes to extend our sincere thanks to all who loved and cared for him.