After a short illness René Di Maio peacefully passed away in his sleep April 14, 2016. He was 81 years old.
René was born in Marseille, France in 1935, and was a true Provencal.
As they say in Provence:
“Fai pas bon travaia quand la cigalo canto.” (It is not good to work when the cicada sings.)
He was issued from a family of fishermen and had a varied and colorful career.
He enrolled in the French merchant marine at the age of 14 and later on served in the French navy (with world famous Jacques Pépin).
Just like Jacques, René loved to cook.
René was a Jack-of-all-trades. Throughout his life he dwelled in various occupations and was in turn a fisherman, a taxi driver, a painter, a waiter and a maître d’.
In his heyday, in his fair city of Marseille, René was also a great dancer and won several competitions.
With Louis Toulon, Charlie Davantes and Marcel Parnell, he was one of the original founders of La Pétanque Marinière.
They launched the club in 1973 and gave it its actual name.
René was an excellent pointer and won many tournaments. He excelled in a technique called “jouer a la godille” (to spin your boule around an obstacle).
He was also an avid golfer who not too long ago managed a rare “hole in one”.
René was a complex character with a deadpan humor not always understood by everyone.
But he was above all a devoted family man who doted on his grandchildren.
He is survived by his wife Mireille, two sons and four grandchildren.