|Larry Calufetti was drafted into the New York Mets organization in 1973.|
Sunshine Cleaning CEO Larry Calufetti dies at 65: Larry Calufetti was Mr. Sunshine to everyone who knew him. His happy demeanor always won people over, his family said. "He has so many friends. He took the time to talk to everyone. He was known for that," his daughters, Erin Calufetti-Schumacher and Jenna Auckland, said Thursday. Calufetti, 65, died Monday after fighting multiple myeloma, a type of cancer, since 2014.
When a shoulder injury ended Calufetti's baseball career — he was in the New York Mets' farm system from 1973 to 1976 — the native of Harrisburg, Ill., moved to South Florida and started a window-cleaning business by driving around with a ladder hanging off the back of his Cadillac.
But even when his business, Sunshine Cleaning Systems, grew to become one of Florida's largest cleaning companies, Calufetti always made employees feel like a team and a family. "He always kept the mom-and-pop feel," said Calufetti-Schumacher, who works at the company. "His door was always open to any employee. He would always take time to listen."
When Calufetti moved to South Florida, he coached baseball at Broward College and ran the valet parking operations at two nightclubs. Then he started cleaning storefront windows in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea.
He also served as president of the International Window Cleaning Association and as chairman of the board for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes in South Florida. When building his cleaning business, Calufetti brought in family members, including his daughter, son-in-law and one of his sisters. "He took a lot of pride in his company," Calufetti-Schumacher said. "He came from nothing and was such a hard worker."
|Larry Calufetti, founder and CEO of Sunshine Cleaning Systems, died Monday at age 65.|
Randy Kierce, chief operating officer of Sunshine Cleaning, met Calufetti while playing baseball at Broward College. "We're all a bunch of baseball guys. It was truly a team format here and it was something he was proud of," said Kierce. "One of the promises I made to Larry was to keep it going and keep it growing."
Throughout his life, Calufetti thought of and gave to others. When he was in and out of the hospital, he would buy the nurses pizza or chicken wings. "He had the biggest heart in the world," said Auckland and Calufetti-Schumacher. "He wanted to give anything that he had — that's what truly made him happy."
He is survived by his wife, Dr. Lise Lambert Calufetti, two daughters, three stepdaughters, a granddaughter and four step-grandchildren. He is also survived by five sisters. A memorial service is set for 10 a.m. Saturday at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, 5555 N. Federal Highway, in Fort Lauderdale. Instead of flowers, the family asks for contributions to be made to the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, Fellowship of Christian Athletes-Broward Chapter, Broward College Foundation and 4Kids of South Florida.