On Monday afternoon, dozens of family, friends and others who knew Louis J. "Lou" DiGrigoli were in his childhood West Center Street neighborhood in Lee, paying tribute to a beloved man who died suddenly Oct. 13 at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield. He was 69.

They gathered at the foot of the Route 20/Laurel Street bridge over the Housatonic River where signs reading "Lou DiGrigoli Memorial Bridge" now greet motorists entering each side of the steel and concrete crossing.

The Berkshire Eagle called the dedication a fitting tribute, as the bridge is three houses from DiGrigoli's boyhood home, which once doubled as the family-run grocery store and barbershop. State Rep.William "Smitty" Pignatelli said that DiGrigoli was so well-liked, getting the state's OK for the bridge name was one of the easiest things he has done in the Massachusetts legislature.

A lifelong entrepreneur, DiGrigoli worked selling pizzas, barbering and hairstyling, managing Lee's historic Morgan House and eventually entering the construction field, founding Fox Homes.

As a community leader, DiGrigoli helped start a T-ball league for the kids in Lee too young for Little League. He was also known for "Sale-a-bration," a downtown promotional event that would become what is now Lee Founders Weekend.

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