Prominent Albany businessman Paolo ‘Paul’ Lionetti, nicknamed the ‘godfather’ of the South Coast town, has died.
- Albany businessman Paul Lionetti has died at the age of 69
- He was affectionately known as the ‘godfather’ of the south coast town
- Lionetti had a business and real estate empire worth millions
Lionetti, who died overnight at the age of 69, had a business and real estate empire built up over many decades from a humble beginning as an Italian immigrant.
In 1977, he opened a delicatessen in Albany with his brother-in-law, and his business expanded to include two large supermarkets and a restaurant and bar.
His most recent venture was to build and open the first major hotel in Albany, the 108-room Hilton Garden Inn.
Immigrant to entrepreneur
Tributes have been poured to the identity, who affectionately referred to himself as the city’s “godfather” and a “humble baked bean seller”.
Albanian Mayor Dennis Wellington paid tribute to the former city council member.
“It’s way too young for him to go, he had so much he still wanted to achieve,” he said
“It will take some time to sink in.
Wellington said Lionetti thought he had given about 1,000 people in Albany their first job.
Passion for community
Albany MP Rebecca Stephens said Mr Lionetti had a passion for giving back to society.
“Paul Lionetti … will be remembered for his many accomplishments and contributions to building Albany to what it is today,” she said.
“I will cherish Paul’s loyalty and support for me and my family for many years. Both my sister and I worked for him at IGA when we were teenagers.”
Lionetti made headlines across the country in 2020 when he banned a former newspaper editor from participating in his business after the newspaper had a story about his son Stevens’ legal appearance.