Meet the family
The DiRienzo story begins with two emigrants of the Molise region of Italy arriving to the welcoming sight of the Statue of Liberty in New York, NY in 1889. Lady Liberty herself arrived just four years earlier, and Ellis Island wasn't opened until 1892. Michael and Maria Rosa DiRienzo were just two among roughly 12 million immigrants that showed up in the United Sates that year, full of hope for a better future, and the promise of opportunity.
The couple first made their way to Madison, but then sought new economic opportunity in Cleveland, OH after just a few years. It was there that their eldest son, Angelo, became the first of his brothers to learn the trade of stonecutting. In 1911, Angelo returned to Madison with his skills and one of his younger brothers, Joseph, to found Lake View Monumental Co. (later renamed DiRienzo Bros., Inc.). Two more brothers, Vincent and John, also joined the new family business at the Regent St and Highland Ave location.
After about five years of growing the business, the brothers were able to purchase the land their shop was on. After a few more years, however, they became targets of the Madison City Council since that land was also the desired choice for a new High School. The City Council attempted to implement condemnation proceedings and force the DiRienzos out of the property, but the brothers held firm, and succeeded in keeping their land. The City tried again about twenty years later, but eventually gave up the fight.
John DiRienzo married Sarah Anderson and had two sons- two of whom, Roland and Francis, followed in their father's footsteps. In the 1940s, the two took over the family business and continued to run things until selling it in 1986. Ownership of the business changed hands a few times in the following decades. Most recently, and since 1998, a Minnesota-based, regional memorial supplier operated the company.
In the summer of 2020, DiRienzo was purchased by a family right here in Madison, and we have returned all memorial production back to Madison as well. For the first time in decades, all design work is done in-house, and all our memorials are produced on the northeast side of Madison.
DiRienzo was, and is again, a Madison original!
With over 15 years of personal experience in the memorial/monument industry, I have had the opportunity to participate in many stages of memorial production. I have done everything from memorial design, hand-etching, etching machine operation, sandblasting, installation, and sales.
I have been a part of small, community projects recognizing Madison residents and their achievements, and I have been involved in planning and designing large, public monuments all over Dane County. I have visited several granite processing and manufacturing facilities both domestic and foreign.
My approach with customers is to listen and educate. If a consumer isn't well-informed, they cannot be confident in their purchase.