For first-time visitors to the Lindenwood Park fixture Mom’s Deli, the question is obvious. Who is Mom?
Mom is Dolores M. Vago, and even though she entrusted daily operations of her namesake business to her sons Charles and Ronald, the brothers told the Post-Dispatch in 1996 that she stopped by the deli every morning “just to make sure everything’s OK.”
Mrs. Vago died Saturday (Aug. 6, 2016) of complications from Alzheimer’s disease. She was 92.
Known to her extended family as Mama D, Mrs. Vago was born and raised in Murphysboro, Ill. She moved to St. Louis at 19 and married Charles Vago Sr.
The Vagos’ first business was Vago’s Market on the Hill, which they ran for more than 20 years. In 1977, the Vagos and their sons opened Mom’s Deli on Jamieson Avenue between Lansdowne and Sutherland avenues. It remains in operation today.
“Dolores was loved by her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, siblings and so many friends, including great caretakers at Laclede Groves,” her daughter Carmen Snow wrote in an email to the Post-Dispatch.
“She had a great sense of humor, played piano, cello, alto clarinet and violin, had a strong work and faith ethic and will be dearly missed by all.”
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday at Laclede Groves Chapel, 723 South Laclede Station Road, Webster Groves. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations to the Alzheimer’s Association.
In addition to her daughter and sons, all of St. Louis, Mrs. Vago is survived by another son, Dennis Vago of St. Louis; a sister, Diane Meinz of St. Louis; nine grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren.