Louis Eni, 74, President Of Dietz & Watson Meats

Posted: January 04, 1996

Louis J. Eni, 74, of Medford, president and chief operating officer of Dietz & Watson Meats in Philadelphia, died yesterday at Hahnemann University Hospital.

Mr. Eni joined Dietz & Watson more than 40 years ago and ran the company for the last 20 years. He is credited with aiding the company's growth into a multimillion-dollar business with customers worldwide and more than 400 employees, said his daughter Cynthia E. Yingling of Medford.

According to Mr. Eni's three children, Dietz & Watson is ``truly a family business in every sense of the word.''

All three now work for the company, which was founded in 1939 by their maternal grandfather, Gottlieb Dietz, along with Walter Watson. Under Dietz's direction, the company was based in a small facility on Front and Vine Streets. After Dietz's death in 1964, his daughters Lore Dietz-Giacchino and Ruth Dietz-Eni - Mr. Eni's surviving wife of 44 years - and Mr. Eni took over.

Today, Dietz & Watson Meats has a 180,000-square-foot facility on Tacony Street in Philadelphia and processes more than 250 varieties of deli meat.

``The three of them worked together and brought the company forward,'' Yingling said. ``They were the second generation. We are the third.'' All of the officers and operating personnel are family members, Yingling said.

Working together gave the Eni family the kind of close bond that few families have, said his son, Louis Eni Jr. of Southampton.

Mr. Eni graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1944 from Villanova University. He served briefly in the Navy during World War II, then worked as an engineer for the Lester Piano Co. in Lester for 11 years before settling down at Dietz & Watson. He was born in Philadelphia and moved to Medford in 1951.

He was a member of the Tri State Dairy and Deli Association and of the Philadelphia Food Trade Organization, which named Mr. Eni Man of the Year in 1991. He was a member of St. Mary of the Lakes Roman Catholic Church in Medford.

He also is survived by another son, Christopher W. Eni of Medford, and a brother.

Friends may call from 7 to 9 p.m. tomorrow at Mathis Funeral Home, 58 N. Main St., Medford. Mass of Christian Burial will be said at 9:45 a.m. Saturday at St. Mary of the Lakes Roman Catholic Church, 40 Jackson Rd., Medford. Burial will follow at West Laurel Hill Cemetery, Bala Cynwyd.

The family has requested that memorial donations be made to Likoff Cardiovascular Institute, c/o M.C.P.H.U. Fund Development, Mail Stop No. 615, Broad and Vine Streets, Philadelphia 19102.

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