Fred Ciampa, the long-time owner of Same Old Place pizza parlor at 662 Centre St., died unexpectedly on July 22. He was 69.
“He had a heart attack,” daughter Regina Ciampa said. “He was a hard worker and we believe that had a lot to do with it.”
“He’ll be remembered for all the good reasons,” City Councilor Felix Arroyo, a JP resident, said. “The food there is awesome. He was a good person, clearly part of the community for many years.”
Funeral services were held on July 26 at St. Dennis Church in Westwood, Fred Ciampa’s longtime town of residence. Ciampa was interred at Blue Hills Cemetery in Braintree.
“Over 400 people came throughout the day. Longtime customers, charities Dad had given to, friends and relatives, a lot of District E-13 [police]. Dad had done a lot of fundraisers for them,” Regina Ciampa said. “And Mayor [Thomas] Menino called to send his condolences.”
“It was wonderful. He was quite beloved,” she added.
Same Old Place, its booths lined with flowers, hosted the mourners after the funeral.
Regina Ciampa said that the Charlie Harris jazz band and Montilio’s bakery, favorites of Fred’s, donated their services to the funeral.
“It was beautiful,” she said.
“He was a great man and a great friend to a lot of people,” state Rep. Jeffrey Sánchez told the Gazette. “I was in there twice a week.”
The family-style pizza, subs and breakfast restaurant has welcomed generations of JP residents with simple, good food and a friendly atmosphere. Regina Ciampa said Same Old Place will continue with business as usual.
“The family will be running it in the same style. Nothing will change. We’ll be holding fundraisers and giving back to the community, same as always,” she said. “It’s all about carrying on the legacy and providing the Same Old Place pizza to the community. I feel the responsibility to carry on.”
“They built Jamaica Plain around him, he’s been here that long,” longtime customer Bob McDonnell told the Gazette. “I considered him a friend. JP is really going to miss him, and I will, too.”
Fred Ciampa founded Same Old Place on Centre Street in 1977. He started working at pizza parlors while still in his teens, Regina Ciampa said, and was a manager at one of the first Papa Gino’s locations in the city.