Charles Cleary Obituary, Death – Charles E. “Pudgie” Cleary, an Elmira icon and business owner who was the founder of Pudgie’s Pizza and Subs, passed away early on Sunday morning as a result of injuries he acquired from a stroke just a few days before. He was 82 years old. The information was validated by a member of the Cleary family, in addition to an obituary that was published on the internet. Pudgie was born three months before her due date on January 9, 1940, and as a consequence, she was a very little child. Bernadette Cleary-Drew, his niece, claims that Pudgie was given the nickname “Pudgie” by his uncle, who predicted that he would grow up to be fit and healthy.
Pudgie came from a hardworking but low-income household, which meant that he would have to put in a lot of hard work in order to become successful. Pudgie’s Pizza first opened its doors in 1963 on North Main Street, and it did so with the assistance of funds that were raised by his brother while he was serving in the Navy. The pizza shop originally started out as a bakery that belonged to the family. In the beginning, the pizzas and rolls that were made at the pizza shop were made using the dough that had been made at the bakery.
According to information provided by his niece, the business quickly became quite successful, and at one point it had 52 retail locations all across the region. According to the obituary, the company has been passed down through three generations of the extended Cleary family, and it is now being referred to as a “food empire” in the area. When she was asked about Pudgie, she stated that he was a very loyal person as well as a friend to everyone.
Bernadette remarked that he was unafraid of putting in long hours of labor, loved deeply, and treated everyone the same. She talked about how humorous of a guy he was, as well as how much he loved his family and the city of Elmira, and how much he enjoyed being from this area and being here. On Thursday, December 8 from 4-7 p.m., a visiting service will be conducted for Pudgie at the McInerny Funeral Home located at 502 W. Water St. in Elmira, with the funeral ceremony taking place the following day on Friday, December 9.